15 Nisan 2018 Pazar
The Last of the Estonians, in Kars
türkçe links to original Turkish article
(Hürriyet Newspaper, 15 April 2018)
Holding the fort.
During the Ottoman-Russia War of 1877-1878, known in Turkey
as the "War of '93" based on the Islamic calendar, the Russians
settled 60 Estonian families in a village near the city of Kars.
The last remaining Estonian,Avgust Albuk (49), explained that
"The Russians brought us here to develop agriculture and the 60
families were settled in Karacaören village. As the years passed,
our people contacted the German Consulate and one by one they
went to Germany. Up until 7 years ago, there were two of us
Estonian families here but now it's just me."
Albuk says he gets along well with his Moslem wife Yadiger
Albuk (39), adding that "in the month of Ramazan, she fasts
but we have 'sahur' and 'iftar' (morning and evening meals
during Ramazan) together. We respect each other's religion.
Our daughter goes to school here. We're an Estonian family
but Turkish citizens. I don't need a church because I can
practice my faith at home."
There's no place like home, even if it's in Kars.
Since the fact that there are Estonians in Kars is not well known,
most people assume they are ethnic Germans. Albuk said that
he has gone to Germany a number of times but always returned
because he loves Turkey. He makes a living making concrete
flower pots with the support of KOSGEB (Small and Mid-size
Enterprise Development and Support Directorate) and hopes
to increase his operation. Albuk has a daughter Melisa (17)
from his first marriage and a son, Bünyamin (9) and another
daughter, Meryem (1.5), from his marriage to Yadiger.