Diasporic Identity in Russian Azerbaijanis
Hazır, Ümit Nazmi
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This thesis aims to analyzethe Azerbaijani diaspora in Russia and its components in the formation of the diasporic identity. In order to examine the identity formation of the Azerbaijani diaspora in Russia; firstly, various opinions on diaspora and the relation of diaspora with identity, ethnicity and migration are discussed. The ethno-national diaspora concept of Sheffer is also used in the thesis to analyze the Azerbaijani diaspora in Russia. Secondly, the general outlook of the Caucasus with historical dimensions is articulated. Thirdly, the identity issue in Azerbaijan as well as various ideologies which are effective in the formation of the national and the diasporic identity of Azerbaijanis is deeply exhibited. Besides that, the impacts of the Karabakh issue and the Khojaly Massacre on the identity are scrutinized due to being effective in the shaping of both national and diasporic identity of Azerbaijanis. Fourthly, Azerbaijani diaspora across the world and diaspora politics of the Azerbaijani government are displayed. The thesis is based on semi-structured interviews with the Azerbaijani intellectuals and representatives of the diaspora organizations in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. In this respect, the dynamics and structure of Azerbaijani migrations and the diaspora in Russia are examined through the interviews. The interviews are particularly used in the fifth chapter in order to understand the identity components of the diaspora and views of the diasporic Azerbaijanis in Russia. The thesis argues that the components of the diasporic identity in Russian Azerbaijanis consist of the ideologies of Turkism, Eurasianism as well as Azerbaijanism.