25th Anniversary of Gagauz Autonomous Region’s in a ceremony held in Komrat, the capital of Gagauzia, on 23 December 2019.Establishment was celebrated.
The ceremony was attended by Irina Vlah, President of Gagauz Autonomous Region, as well as Mehmet Altay, President of Turkish-Moldovan Interparliamentary Friendship Group of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), Gürol Sökmensüer, Ambassador of Turkey to Chisinau, Vladimir Kısa, President of Gagauz People’s Assembly (Halk Topluşu), Former President of Moldova Pyotr Luçinskiy, former President of Gagauz Autonomous Region Georgiy Tabunşçik, representatives of the countries and many invited guests.
President Vlah, recalling the establishment of the Gagauz Autonomous Region on 23 December 1994, said in a speech here, “The people of Gagauz have gone through a very long and difficult road. The Gagauz people have been recognized as a nationality in Moldova for 25 years. This date is not only the feast of Gagauzia, but of the whole of Moldova”.
Vlah, noting that the Moldovan government had restricted the rights of the Gagauz Autonomous Region, said, “Our Customs and tax collection rights have been taken away from us. Laws on education and economics are being discussed. This is unacceptable and is contrary to the agreements reached between Komrat and Chi Kişinău in 1994.” Vlah also stressed that the rights of the Autonomous Region of Gagauz should be enshrined in the Constitution of Moldova.
Mehmet Altay, President of Turkish-Moldovan Interparliamentary Friendship Group of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), said he was happy to be with Gagauz people and said, “Turkey is the friend of Moldova and the blood brother of you. You accept us as brothers.” Altay stated that Turkey has implemented many projects in the Gagauz Autonomous Region and will continue to support the people of Gagauz. Altay, adding that they closely followed and supported the work of the law amendment aimed at making the autonomy status of Gagauz Autonomous Region operational, said, “The full functioning of autonomy will make the ties between Gagauzia and Moldova stronger as well as the whole country”.
The event ended after performing Gagauz folk songs and local folk dances.
On the 25th Anniversary of the status of Autonomy, events were also held in Moldova’s capital Chisinau and Istanbul.
Gagauz Autonomous Region
It is an autonomous region attached to Moldova and has a population of 172,500. The Gagauz people that gave the country its name are of Oghuz Turkish origin. The Gagauz people, who are Orthodox Christians, speak Turkish very close to Anatolian Turkish. About 250 thousand Gagauz people are settled in the territory of the former USSR. Most of them live in Bucak district in Southern Moldova. The villages of Gagauz are located in Odesa and Zaporojye provinces in Ukraine, as well as in Romania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kabardino. Apart from the Gagauz autonomous place in Moldova, 8,000 live in Chisinau, 1,600 in Bender and 3,300 on the Northern Bank of the Dniester River, and about 20 thousand Gagauz live in Bulgaria and Greece.