Gagauzians’ origins

16 Feb

There are many different theories and some interesting legends about the Gagauzian anticient background.

Gagauzian people may descend from the clan of Seljuq Turkish or from the Tartar tribes that used to wandered in the Russian steppe. After Ottomans were defeated in the Russain-Turkish war between 1807-1812, and the region of Bessarabia was took over by by zar Alexandre I, Soviets promoted the Gagauzians’ migration into that new province Christian of the Russian empire. Being  Christian orthodox, Gagauzians entered even more in contrast the Muslim Turkish tribes settled down in Bessarabia, and they chased them off.

Because of their stand-alone origins, Gagauzian people have always considered themselves as entity that is independent from Moldovian or Bulgerian neighbors. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the willing of self-determination raise up again; at the time, Gagauzia was part of the Republic of Moldova, had to respond to the parliament in Chisinau and it was stressed by issues about minority rights. Consequentially, the Gagauzian independence declaration in 1991 was easily expectable.

The Gagauzian autonomist uprising of those years was greatly expired by all the most ancient Gagauzian tradition and symbolism; the fact had been clearly pointed out even by the iconography of the very first flag, where a grey wolf is depicted onto a blue sky.

While the blue color is to be recollected with the sky god Tengri the pagan Gagauzian progenitors believed in, the image of the wolf is related to one of the best-known legend about Gagauzian lineage. According to this tell, in the steppe there was a tremendous fight between two tribes, that caused the destruction one of the two rivals. A boy was the only survivor out of the losers, but his leg was badly injured and if a wolf hadn’t found him and took care of him, he would have died. Eventually the wolf delivered him twin baby boys, half wolf and half man, who started the dynasty of the werewolves, the great ancestors of the Gagauzians.

When I first heard this story, I immediately associated it with the legend about the great origins of the Roman Empire, whose protagonists are twin baby boys with a wolf as a mother as well. Of course, there are some differences, because according to Roman tale, the babies Romolo and Remo had been abandoned in the wood, and a wolf found the basket where the twins were wrapped in and she took care of them as her cubs.  The analogy might be self-explanatory: it looks like people with great consciousness of themselves have a disposition to associate their ancestors with proud and fearless animals, such as wolves.

The dispute between the political organs of Chisinau and Comrat opened by the Gagauzian secessionist uprising in 1991 was toned down when Gagauzia was recognized as a ‘national-territorial autonomous unit’. It was 1995 when the actual three-colored flag was approved. Blue is again the major color, but on the bottom there is also a white band, symbolizing wisdom and pure thoughts, followed by a red band that represents the blood spent into the renovation. Three stars that stand for the number of the Gagauzian districts are in the upper corner on the left.

Even though  political and economical compromises gave an answer to theseparatist request and  approaches between Moldova and Gagauzia has became mostly dialectical and cooperative, groups of extremists are still in action, such as one called волкурт, the wolves. They preferred violence than words, even if the former makes just sounds while the latter might lead into actions and results.

They probably forgot that even wolves can communicate and get the point without scratching and snapping their pack-mates all the time.


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