2024, Volume 21, Issue 1

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Zaual Khadzhi-Muratovich Ionov
Karachay-Cherkessian Institute for Humanities, Cherkessk, Russia
Erciyes University, Talas / Kayseri, Turkey


For citation
Ionov, Z. Kh.-M. (2024). Double Surnames among Circassians in Homeland and Diaspora Communities: A Comparative Study. Voprosy onomastiki, 21(1), 198–206. https://doi.org/10.15826/vopr_onom.2024.21.1.010

Received on 5 March 2023
Accepted on 25 June 2023

Abstract: The study comparatively examines the extralinguistic factors influencing the prevalence of double surnames among Circassians residing in their ancestral territory and within the Turkish diaspora. Drawing from scholarly literature on Adyghe anthroponymy, as well as fieldwork conducted by the author between 2019 and 2022 in the Turkish city of Kayseri and surrounding villages inhabited by a dense Circassian population, the research explores the phenomenon of double surnames, defined as the simultaneous or consecutive use of two surnames within a single family or clan. The author contends that while the evolution of double Circassian surnames is rooted in historical narratives transmitted across generations, the rationales behind their emergence differ between the homeland and the Turkish diaspora. In their native land, secondary surnames typically arise from commonplace or social occurrences (such as family incidents, redemption from captors, or the acquisition of surnames from noble or affluent families). Conversely, in Turkey, the adoption of parallel surnames among Circassian families is exclusively linked to state policies aimed at integrating and assimilating immigrants into the Turkic milieu.

Keywords: Adyghe; Circassians; Adyghe languages; Kabardian (East Circassian) language; onomastics; anthroponymy; double surnames; Circassian diaspora in Turkey


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