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The Yezidis in the Soviet Union


The Yezidis (also spelled Yazidi or, in Kurdish, Êzdî) are a Kurmanji (northern Kurdish)-speaking religious minority that are spread across northern Iraq, Syria, the Caucasus (Armenia and Georgia) and Western Europe. Today, the largest group of Yezidis live in northern Iraq, which is also home to most of the holy sites. The Yezidis who settled in the Caucasus had left Anatolia during the nineteenth century as well as during the First World War. Since the collapse of the USSR, unemployment and ethnic tensions have pushed many Yezidis from the Caucasus towards Russia, Ukraine or Western Europe. This chapter will set out (i) the Yezidi presence in the USSR with (ii) a focus on their role in the development of Kurdish studies and cultural institutions, as well as (iii) drawing a picture of how the Yezidi presence has evolved after the end of the Soviet Union, especially centring on new identity debates and the relations between the Yezidis and Kurdish movements in the diaspora.
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hal-04444200 , version 1 (07-02-2024)



Estelle Amy de la Bretèque. The Yezidis in the Soviet Union. Hamit Bozarslan; Cengiz Gunes; Veli Yadirgi. The Cambridge History of the Kurds, 1, Cambridge University Press, pp.458-474, 2021, ⟨10.1017/9781108623711.019⟩. ⟨hal-04444200⟩
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