Changing perception of homeland for the Kazakh diaspora

There is a sizable Kazakh diaspora living in Turkey and Europe. Since their initial migration, these Kazakhs have been involved in actions aiming to preserve their group's cultural and ethnic boundaries. By studying these actions and related discourses, this article seeks to explain how these groups formulated and reformulated their identities and loyalties in their host states over generations. Many Kazakhs in Turkey and Europe originally came from Eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang) and considered this area their homeland. However, Kazakhstan's independence in 1991 led to an important change in their homeland orientation and, after 1991, the activities of an increasing number of Kazakh diaspora organizations shifted toward Kazakhstan as the homeland. Therefore, this article focuses mainly on two periods: the period before and the period after Kazakhstan's independence. The fieldwork was conducted in Turkey, Germany, France, and the Netherlands and includes interviews with leaders of Kazakh diaspora organizations and other members of the diaspora.


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Citation Formats
I. Kuşçu Bonnenfant, “Changing perception of homeland for the Kazakh diaspora,” NATIONALITIES PAPERS-THE JOURNAL OF NATIONALISM AND ETHNICITY, pp. 380–396, 2016, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: