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Migrants Assimilate, But Preserve Ethnic Identities

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Ferries cross the Marmara Sea twice daily on the two-hour trip from Istanbul to Bursa. (Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz)

Back home, their differences may run strong, but within Turkey, ethnic groups from the Caucasus often find that they have more in common than conflict. Thousands of ethnic Muslim Caucasians from Georgia, Abkhazia and the North Caucasus left their homelands in the mid-19th century as Tsarist Russia took over the region. Both ethnic Georgians and ethnic Abkhaz often settled in places near the Sea of Marmara, where the topography resembled the mountainous homelands they left behind.

Justyna Mielnikiewicz is a freelance photojournalist based in Tbilisi.

Migrants Assimilate, But Preserve Ethnic Identities

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