THE EFFECT OF GLOBALIZATION AND MICRO NATIONALISM ON MİNGRELİANS AND LAZ PEOPLE

Yılmaz ESKİBİNA

Megrelians and Laz people are two Caucasian tribes from the same root. At the end of the power struggle of the great powers, the borders were redrawn, the Megrelians began to live within the borders of the Orthodox Christian Soviet Russia and the Laz people began to live within the borders of the Sunni Muslim Ottoman State. Today, Megrelians are citizens of the Georgian State and Laz people are citizens of the Republic of Turkey. Laz people are Muslims and Megrelians are Christians.

Until recently, all Black Sea people in our country were called "Laz". Being a Laz was considered as honorable position, and non-Laz Black Sea people were not bothered by this situation. They wrote “Lazoğlu” on the back of their cars and took “Laz …..” as nicknames on social media. However, with the development of communication and ease of access to information in the recent period, it became clear that the Laz people are not only "Black Sea residents", but they are Caucasian tribe and they have their own language. The Megrelians, who are close relatives of the Laz people, live within the borders of the State of Georgia. The Laz people have integrated with the Turks in the Republic of Turkey. Likewise, it is understood that Megrelians also experienced similar integration with Georgians in the State of Georgia.

Nowadays, we are experiencing an accelerating globalization phenomenon. One of the effects of globalization is the effort to bring micro-nationalisms to light. The aim of our study is to determine the effect of micro nationalism on Megrelians and Laz people. For this, a qualitative research method was used, and after the literature review, an interview was held with İsmail Avcı Bucaklişi, one of the Laz intellectuals.

As a result of the research, it was understood that micro-nationalism, one of the effects of globalization, did not have a visible effect on the Megrelians and their close relatives, the Laz people. It is seen that the intellectuals of both sides are in an effort to organize activities based on the sensitivity of "not to lose language and culture". However, it would not be wrong to say that this effort did not find a response at the grassroots.

Keywords: Globalization, Micro-nationalism, Ethnicity, Megrelians, Laz people.