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The Survival of Ossetians in Turkey

Richard Foltz Concordia University, Montréal, Canada Abstract The migration of North Caucasian peoples into Ottoman Anatolia during the early 1860s included some five thousandMuslim Ossetes who settled first in the Sarıkamış districtand later moved further west. While today the descendants of these migrants may number as many as 60,000, most now live in the major urbancentres of Istanbuland Ankara and have largely become assimilated into modern Turkish society. However, three villages in the Yozgat districteast of Ankara, Boyalık, Karabacak and Poyrazlı, have remained Osse- tian-speaking up to the present day. This paper explores the circumstances though which the Ossetian language has survived in these villages 160 years after the migration, and what prospects exist for the continuation of a distinct Ossetian communal identity in Tur- key. The Ossetian language, in both its majority Iron andminority Digoron dia- lects, continues to have a small number of native speakers in Turkey, de- scendants of migrants who left the North Caucasus amidst the political turmoil of the early 1860s. Perhaps five thousand Ossetes were part of this migration (Chochiev 2015: 106), which saw them settle in villages in the eastern district of Sarıkamış that had recently been vacated by Armeni- ans. Following the Russo-Ottoman war of 1877-1878most of them moved furtherwest, and threeof their villagesin the Yozgat region of central An- atolia have remained exclusively Ossetian and Ossetian-speaking up to the present day. Particularly given the pressure from Atatürk’s strong as- similationist policies of the 1930s, which have remained a cornerstone of Turkish domestic policy till today, the survival of spoken Ossetian in Tur- key after more than 160 years of separation from the homelandseems lit- tle short of miraculous. The simple explanation for this remarkable phenomenon would seem to be an intenselyisolationist attitudeamongst the Osseteswho relocated to Anatolia, which persisted throughout the first century of their resi-dence in Turkish-ruled lands. As late as the 1960s some sixtyvillages in central Turkey remained entirely Ossetian, essentially cultural islets cut off from the outside world (Chochiev 2015: 111-112). In 1966, the Icelandic linguist Fridrik Thordarson was briefly able to conduct fieldwork on the dialect of Iron, which was then still spoken in the Sivas district (Thordar- son 1971). Since that time, however, the overwhelming majority of Ossetes in Turkey have moved to urban areas, where they have become for the most part assimilated. At present only three villages in the Yozgat district remain, Boyalık, Karabacak and Poyrazlı, where the inhabitants are exclu- sively Ossetes who still speak Ossetian.

Ossetes born and raised in Turkey during the 1960swould appear to be the last generation of native Ossetian speakers in the country. Many will describe how their parents broke with traditional isolationist attitudes af- ter moving to the city, refusing to speak Ossetian to their children so that they would not grow up speaking Turkish with a foreign accent. Others recall being taunted at school for not knowing proper Turkish. In short, the pressures of assimilation proved no longer avoidable once having abandoned the self-determined reality of villagelife for the melting pot of the city, especially since unlike many other ethnicgroups, the Ossetesdid not settlein urban ghettos but spread throughout the broader society. REDISCOVERING OSSETIAN IDENTITY Throughout the Soviet period, which covered seven decades (1921-1991), contacts between Ossetesliving in Turkeyand those in the Caucasuswere all but non-existent. After the fall of the Soviet Union,however, the open-ing up of borders allowed for the re-establishing of contacts. During the period of estrangement and isolation Ossetes living in their Anatolian vil- lages were able to romanticize their lost homeland, which became a kind of paradise in theircollective imagination (Chochiev2015: 116).

By the 1980s a relatively small number of the now mostly urbanized Ossetes began to react against what they saw as the slipping away of their cultural identity. A group of such-minded individuals living in Istanbul founded the Alan Culturaland Aid Foundation (Alan Kültür ve Yardım Vakfı)in 1989, aiming “to secure social solidarity among the Ossetiansliv- ing in Turkey and… to protect and develop their cultural values” (ibid.: 120). The Alan Vakfı originally had branches in Ankara and Izmir, but they no longer exist.

Over the course of its 33-year history the Alan Vakfı has sent over 140 TurkishOssetes on discovery visits to the “homeland”. It has also provided 25 to 30 monthly scholarships at a time to Ossetian university students in Turkey, and offers financialaid to Ossetes who are experiencing economichardship. On the cultural side, it has brought singers from Ossetia to per- form concerts, and organized some fifteen exhibitions for Ossetian paint-ers. Recent years have seen the organization of a Festival of Ossetian Cul- ture, although this was suspended from 2020-2022 due to the COVID. From the beginning of the pandemic, the Alan Vakfı was the only institu- tion in Turkey to send protective materials and medical equipment to Os- setia.

The Foundation has published several books in Turkish to acquaint in- terested membersof the community with an Ossetian culturethat has be- come increasingly distant to them.These include a historical atlas (Bzarov 2002) and Turkish translations of such works as Kuznetsov/Lebedensky’s seminal book (2000) on the historyof the Alans and Omar Bogajtı’s (2012)nostalgic book “Oh, Our Mountains, Oh Our Homeland”. They have also published a pedagogical manual by Ata (2019), “Ossetian History in 100 Questions”. Somewhat tellingly, Ata’s Turkish translation of the Ossetian Nart epic—which is considered in the homeland to be the nation’s most important cultural heritage—was done not from the original Ossetian but rather from Georges Dumézil’s 1965 French translation (Ata 2014).

Perhaps the most significant contribution of the Alan Foundation over the past three decadeshas been attempting to preserve knowledge of Os- setian through the offering of language classes. Previously, on five occa- sions these were taught by native speakers brought from Ossetia, alt- hough this is not the case at present.Prior to the COVID pandemicthe courses drew around 15-30 students. The Foundation is now developing online courses, which, it is hoped, will allow for increased enrolments. These will include not only languageclasses but also courses in traditional Ossetian cooking. In the past, instructors have also been brought from Ossetia to teach Ossetian traditional dances, and lessons in playing tradi- tional Ossetianmusic on the accordion have also been offered.

The Foundation owns a space in the Şişli districtof Istanbul, which,although central, is no longer as generally accessible as it once was given the demographic explosion of the metropolis. By late spring2022 its socialactivities, including Saturdaybreakfasts and traditional dance classes, had begun to resume after a two-year suspension due to the pandemic. In May 2022, we personally witnessed young people at the Foundation perform- ing such music and dance with a high level of competence and enthusi- asm. Unfortunately, the absolute numbersof ethnic Osseteswho demon- strate an interest in maintaining their hereditary identity remains rather small. As a member of the Alan Foundation put it to us, “We calculate that there may be as many as 60,000 people in Turkey with Ossetian ancestry, but only about a thousand feel any strong attachment to it; those who feelsome attachment mightbe a couple thousand more”(Güneş 2022). Ossetes have not generally seen any problem in being associated with other North Caucasian groups in Turkey and have often participated in collective cultural activities and events with them. A monthly journal for North Caucasians in Turkey, Jineps (Жьынэпс),1 has a page in Ossetian called “Alanty Qælæs” (Аланты Хъæлæс, “The Voice of the Alans”), which features items, such as poetry and proverbs, and lists the Ossetian holi- days (бæрæгбæттæ) of the month. However, as the page is in Cyrillic it is estimated that only a few dozenpeople are actuallyable to read it (Güneş2022). LINGUISTIC DIFFERENCES Both dialects of Ossetian, Iron and Digoron, continue to be spoken in Turkey by small numbers of ethnic Ossetes.2 As one would expect, in comparison with the spoken dialects of Ossetia they have developed un- der a Turkish, rather than Russian influence. For example, in Turkish Os- setian the word uærdon (уæрдон), which originally meant “cart”, is now used to referto any type of wheeledconveyance (cf. Turkisharaba).3 Pre-dictably, many neologisms that Ossetian in the Caucasus has borrowed from Russian are taken instead from Turkish by its speakers in Turkey. Thordarson (1971: 147) noted a few phonological variations in Anatolian Ossetic and observed that Anatolian Ossetes had created a periphrastic future tense (-inag dæn), while employing the traditional future tense in the sense of the Turkish present aorist. More recently Şahingöz (Tsoriti 2021: 118) has identified a number of additional particularities in Anatoli- an Ossetic, includingsome morphological and syntactic variations, as well as calques on Turkish words, e.g., batsaguryn “to call”, but literally “to search”,in place of dzuryn “to speak”,but also “to call”, as in Turkish,ara- mak “to search”, but also “to call”.4 Even among the older generation of na- tive Ossetian speakers, informal conversations tend to alternate between Ossetian and Turkish.

1 Available online at:жьынэпс-газетым-и-ныбжьыр-илъэс-15-ир/. 2 Thordarson (1971: 146, 167) initially believed all Anatolian Ossetes to be speakers of Iron, although in a postscript to his article he noted the “probable” existence of “a small Digor settlement in the vicinity of Kars”. German-Ossetian scholar Emine Şahingöz (Tsoriti Eminæ), whose parents are Digor-speaking Ossetes from the Anatolian village of Poyrazlı, is currently completing her doctoral dissertation on Digor linguistics, entitled “Definite- ness in Ossetic: From Definite Article to Accent Movement”, at Goethe-Universität Frank- furt am Main.

In keeping with Atatürk’s reforms Ossetes, like all other citizens of Turkey, were required to take Turkishnames starting in 1934. Some man- aged to find Turkish surnames that approximated their Ossetian ones— e.g., Kuşoğlu for Kusaty—while others continued to identify by their orig- inal family names when interacting privately with otherOssetes. More re- cently a number of individuals have taken advantage of the loosening of legal restrictions to reclaim their original family names, and Ossetian first names, such as Alan, Fidar, Zarina, etc., are making a comeback. Many Ossetes remain keenly aware of their family origins in Ossetia and the vil- lages they came from, and the first questions when meeting another Os- sete will usually be genealogical, trying to figure out whether they are in any way related to each other,as it often turns out they are.

RELATIONS WITH TURKS AND WITH OTHER MINORITIES As noted above, the astonishing survivalof Ossetian languageand identity in Anatolia after more than 160 years of separation from the homelandis

most easily explainedby the strongly isolationist attitudesof the Ossetian migrants during the first century of their exile. Children were exhorted by their parents and grandparents not to speak Turkish, and marriage to non-Ossetes was strongly discouraged. Marrying Kabardians was some- what acceptable, as they were considered to be closest culturally to the Ossetes, and intermarriages with other Caucasus peoples occurred as well. Villages maintained Ossetian-language primary schools at their own ex- pense, educating girls as well as boys (Chochiev 2015: 117). In contrast to their neighbouring communities in Ossetian villages women typically went unveiled. Conflicts, including murders, were resolved internally, without recourse to the Turkishauthorities (Sokaeva 2015: 45). In Turkey, all ethnic groups of the North Caucasus were and continue to be lumped together under the collective term Çerkes (Circassian). The Ossetes, along with the Turkic-speaking Balkars, are also sometimes re- ferred to by the Circassian term Kuşha (Къущхьэ), meaning “mountain people”.5 It has only been relatively recently that some Turkish Osseteshave begun to reclaim the self-designation of “Oset”. While relations be- tween the different indigenous nationalities in the Caucasus region itself have often been volatile, in Turkey they have mostly enjoyed a high level of mutual interaction and cooperation, perhaps united by a sense of their common origin and their sharedminority status. CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS Ossetes in Turkey observe Islamic holidays and secular Turkish ones, but the kuyvd (куывд) ceremony, which is the basis of virtually all social occasions in Northand South Ossetiaand involves the ritual consumption of large quantities of alcohol, is absent, as is the visitation of holy moun- taintop shrines (which are all located in Ossetia) and even the annual week-long feast of Dziorgwyba in November. The kuyvd (from the verb kuvyn “to pray”) is a fundamentally religious ceremony in Ossetia, but in Islamic Turkey this aspect had to be abandoned, and the term now has a purely cultural meaning.Anatolian Ossetes give another explanation, which is that poverty preventedthem from performing the animal sacrifice (preferably a young bull or a ram) that is also integral to a proper kuyvd. Some also consider that the kuyvd is a “Christian” ritual, belying an ignorance of its fundamentally pagan origins (Foltz2019; idem 2020; idem 2021a).

Anatolian Ossetes still prepare the traditional stack of three pies, or chiritæ (чъиритæ), which are the centre of Ossetian ritual meals, but this is usually only once a year at annual villagegatherings in August,and they have been deprived of the cosmological, ritual meaning they possess in Ossetia.Moreover, the protocol for servingthe pies, which consists of first sayinga prayer and then slicingthem into eighths,only after placingthem on the table and without rotating them—a procedure that is rigorously adhered to in Ossetia—is performed “carelessly” in Turkey, with the pies often cut beforethey are brought to the tableand turned in the processto make slicing them easier. Interestingly, a very successful Ossetian restau- rant in Istanbul called Fıccın—which occupies half a city block in the popular Beyoğlu district and advertises its cuisine as “Circassian and Ana- tolian” rather than “Ossetian”—specializes in serving chiritæ. The restau- rant is named for fydjyn (фыдджын), a particular kind of chiri filled with meat.

3 Уæрдон can be used to mean “car” in modern Ossetia as well, but requiresthe modi- fier хæдтулгæ (“self-propelled”). I am grateful to Tamirlan Salbiev for this clarification. 4 Şahingöz gives the Digor forms for which I have substituted the Iron equivalents.

5 Or more accurately, “foothill[-dwellers]”: kъу “slope” + щхьэ “mountain” (with thanks to John Colarusso).

Anatolian Ossetes have, nevertheless, preserved a number of culturalnorms (æghdæu) that distinguish them from other Muslim peoples in Turkey. For example, they shun marriage between any blood relations as being equivalent to incest, whereasfirst-cousin marriage is widely accept-ed and even encouraged by many Muslim ethnicities (some Ossetes who are said to be “more Muslim than Ossetian” do marry first cousins, how- ever). At Ossetian weddings men and women typically dance together, unlike most traditional Muslim weddings, which are gender segregated. Like the playingof traditional music,this practice has brought criticism from other Muslims, but has, nevertheless, survived. In addition to these observances, Anatolian Ossetes claim to preserve some traditions that have falleninto abeyance in Ossetia. Most frequently citedis the prohibition against sittingwith or speaking with the parents of one’s spouse—a practice explained as being intended to avoid family ar- guments.

BOYALIK About12 km southeast of the town of Sarıkaya, a regional centreof about 22,000 inhabitants known for its thermal springs and a well-preserved Roman-era bathhouse, is the pleasantOssetian settlement of Boyalık. The village is set among rolling hills of cultivated fields, with snow-capped mountains visible in the distance to the south. The setting recalls that of the village of Zamankul in North Ossetia, where some of the inhabitants have their ancestral roots. The inhabitants speak the Iron dialect of Ossetian.

About fifteen households live in Boyalık year-round. The number dou- bles in summer when city-dwellers return to their home village for ex- tended vacations. At slightly over 1,200m above sea level, the climate re- mainscomfortably cool in summer. The roads are paved, and the villageis served by electricity. A spring in the village centre supplies water; it is re- ferred to as the “bride-breaking” spring because in the past young womensometimes froze to death in winter when going out to fetchwater from it. Poems have been writtento preserve the memory of these ill-fated maidens.

There is a small building, which used to serve as a school, but with there being no more than five children now living in the village it has been converted to a community centre; the students are instead bussed to Sarıkaya. The local mosque was restored in 2020 along with an adjacent house for an imam, but it remains unoccupied, since the government has not acted on requests for a permanent imam to be sent to live in the village.

The village head (muhtar), Ercan, was born and raised in Boyalık. His main duties involveoverseeing the local infrastructure, particularly the ir- rigation system, which is vital for the local agriculture. Apart from him, those who live in Boyalık year-round are either retired or make their liv- ing by farming, mostly lentils, which are the major crop in the region. Some years ago, local farmers sold their seeds to a firm in Canada, where they were genetically modified and later sold back to them. It is said that the plantsnow grow twiceas high, but the lentilsdo not taste as good.

One Boyalık farmer,Yücel, works in his fields for five months in the summer and spends the rest of the year relaxing at his seaside residence in Mersin. He met his wife, Irina, during a trip to Ossetia several decades ago; they married, and she returned with him to live in Turkey. Irina says that her first few years in Boyalık were very difficult. At the time they shared the house with Yücel’s parents, who were “extremely traditional”. She was required to wear hijab to which she was unaccustomed growing up in the Soviet Union, and in keeping with the above-mentioned taboo she was forbidden from speaking to her father-in-law. Now that the cou- ple have the house to themselves, she finds her summer existence in Boyalık more enjoyable, but she preferstheir time by the sea.

The couple’s two children have moved away to other parts of Turkey. Yücel’s four brothers all live in France and work in construction. Asked why he alone preferred to stay in Boyalık, he replies that it was not a mat- ter of choice but of custom: as the youngest brother,it was his duty to stay and look after their parents(his father livedto be 100). Renovations to the family home he and his wife occupy were financed by his brothers living abroad.

In fact, most of Boyalık’s inhabited dwellings have been recently reno-vated—with the benefit of money brought in from elsewhere—making it a quite attractive village overall, although about half of the surviving houses lie abandoned and there are many empty plots where traditional mud brick homes no longer stand. One part-year resident is restoring the elaborately hand-carved wood-paneled interior of his ancestral home, in the traditional Ossetian style, as a kind of personal museum. The house is left unlocked, and the muhtar will proudly take visitors to see the work in progress even when the owner is absent. POYRAZLI About 27km southwest of Sarıkaya lies a much bigger Ossetian village, where the archaic west Ossetian dialectknown as Digoronis spoken. Poy-razlı, meaning “place of cold north winds” in Turkish,is home to about two hundred households, sixty of which are occupied year-round. In con- trast to sleepy Boyalık, Poyrazlı is quite a lively village,animated by the sounds of tractors, generators, and animal noises. Cars and minivansregu- larly ply the main road through the village. There is a small grocery, a functioning bakery, and the mosque has a resident imam. The primary school, however, closed down about fifteen years ago, and nowadays the village’s dozen or so schoolchildren are bussed to a nearby village. As in Boyalık, the former school is now used as a community centre for wed- dings and other celebrations. There is a large yard with banquet tables, and a colourful new playground for children. The village has a small med- ical clinic,but the doctor comes only once every two weeks.

A modernhouse (centre left) and the mosque, Poyrazlı(photo by the author)

KARABACAK There is a third Ossetian village in the Yozgat district, about 17km fromSarıkaya a few kilometres off the road to Poyrazlı. By far the smallest of the three,Karabacak is inhabited by a mere ten to fifteen households dur- ing the summer season, and only one year-round. The place is not exactly empty, as one finds women from adjacent, non-Ossetian villages coming to collect hogweed (madımak) for soup. The fields, as well, are tilled by non-Ossetian men from neighbouring villages. When asked if there were any Ossetes around,they all looked puzzled, but when we said “Cherkess” they understood. No, they only come in the summer,we were told. Actually, we did find one memberof the only permanent residentfam- ily tending cows near the village spring—a tall, twentyish man by the name of Taha, but he too was ignorant of the term “Ossete”. Once again when we asked if he were “Cherkess”, he understood. Actually, just his mother was, he told us; his father was an Ahiska, i.e., a Meshketian Turk from Georgia. Taha confirmed that during the summer the village is in- habited by a number of “Cherkess” families returning from the cities. In fact, like Taha’smother, they are Iron-speaking Ossetes. RECONNECTING WITH OSSETIA Once travel to the Caucasus became possible after the fall of the Soviet Unionin 1991, many Ossetes availedthemselves of the opportunity to re- discover the land of their ancestors. The 1990s were a particularly harsh time in the post-Soviet countries, and Ossetesfrom Turkey were often shocked by the economic and politicalhardships being faced by their countrymen in Ossetia.While initially a number of Ossetes from Turkey had imagined setting up businesses in Ossetia or even going to live there, once confronted with the realities of living in a corrupt,impoverished post-Soviet environment virtually none followedthrough with this dream. Nevertheless, over the past three decades many Ossetes in Turkey have travelled to Ossetia, often reconnecting with long-lost relativesand in some cases finding marriage partners whom they bring back to Turkey. As noted above, for a number of years the Alan Foundation, in collabora- tion with the government of North Ossetia-Alania’s Ministry of Nations,has been sendinggroups of young Turkish Osseteson week-long all-expense paid trips to learn about their ancestral homeland.

Beslan memorial,Poyrazlı (photo by the author)

A particularly striking expression of community solidarity between Ossetesin Turkey and those in the Caucasian homelandcame about in 2017 when the Alan Foundation created “memorial forests” in the three remaining Anatolian Ossetian villages to commemorate the victims of the infamous Beslan attack on 1 September 2004, when a group of mostly In- gush and Chechen terrorists took over a school in North Ossetia. Alan Foundation members planted a total of 3,000 trees in plots adjacent to the villagesof Boyalık, Karabacak and Poyrazlı—1,000 in each village—including one tree for each of the 186 children who were killed in the at- tack, bearinga metal plaquewith the name of a child who perished. Thesememorials are officially called “Angels of Beslan Memorial Groves” (Бес- лæны сывæллæттæн цырт-къох). The Poyrazlı grove was designed by Ankara resident Ufuk Güneş to resemble two overlapping Ossetian pies, since in Ossetian tradition the third pie is omitted when commemorating the dead.

Wall painting of Ossetianmountain scene, Poyrazlı(photo by the author)

In Ossetia, a group of artist-activists known as Portal was sufficiently moved by this gesture that eight of them travelled 1,700km to the Yozgat region by bicycle to participate. For the memorialat Poyrazlı they created a sculpture of bent metalbars in the shape of a largecube with a fountain in the middle, evoking the fact that for three days the Beslan hostages were deprivedof access to water althoughthey could see it.

In the centre of town, on an empty wall by the main road the Portalartists painted an Ossetianmountain scene for passersby to enjoy. Acrossthe street they painted an inspirational Islamichadith in Digoron,in big red letters: Rattagy kukh rajshg u (“A giving hand is better than a taking one”). CONCLUSION Despite the dwindling numbers of both permanent and part-time resi- dents, the Ossetian villagers of Boyalık and Poyrazlı remain committed to keeping their community identity intact. There exists an unwritten agreement not to sell property to outsiders; if someone wants to sell, theremaining villagers will pool their resources to buy the property in ques- tion. But given the diminishing interest of the younger generation in re- turning to the villages even for vacations, to say nothing of living perma- nently,it is questionable how long this protectionism can be sustained.

When all is said and done Ossetes in Turkey have, for the most part, remained Ossetian only in terms of their language, and that too appears well on its way to being lost. As Muslims living in a Muslim environment, they have abandoned most of the distinctive aspects of Ossetian culture as “un-Islamic”. Few if any read Ossetian or are aware of Ossetian litera- ture, whether it be the Nart stories or the poetry of Kosta Khetagurov. In- deed, already in the 1960s Thordarson (1971: 146) found that “When asked… about the Narts, nobody seemed to have heard of them”. And since the younger generation are no longer learning the language, even that seems doomed soon to disappear.

Middle-aged Ossetes now say they regret not teaching their children Ossetian, but apparently it is too late to do anything about it. Offering language courses, whether online or in-person, seems unlikely to reach more than a limited number of enthusiasts among the younger genera- tion. Atatürk’s policy of promoting a universal Turkish identity across the Turkish Republic has not been without effect, and an Ossetian self- awareness—which from the very beginning was lost in the national imag- ination under the genericNorth Caucasian umbrelladesignation of “Cherkess”—seems likely to disappear entirely within the not-too-distant future.


I am grateful to Mehmet Alıcı, Hayrı Ata, Ali İhsan Aydoğan (Zaloity Alekhsan), Mehmet Aydoğan (ZoloityMækhæmæt), Dzakoity Ahmet, Irina Dzhikkaeva (Dzikkaity Irina), Fatima Foltz (Qyrghyty Fatimæ), Ufuk Güneş (Atsæty Ufuk), Svetlana Kirgueva (Dzioty Atsirukhs), Sadrettin Kuşoğlu, and Yücel Öz (Ælbegaty Yücel) for their guidance and assistance in con- ducting the fieldwork for this article. An earlier draft was presented on my behalf by Tamirlan Salbiev (Salbity Tamirlan) at the 2nd International Conference Anatolia-the Caucasus-Iran in Yerevan, Armenia, on 23 June 2022; I am thankful to Tamirlan Salbiev and Jost Gippert for their comments.


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Bogajtı U., (2012), Ah dağlarımız, ah vatanımız!, Battal Kuşhan (tr.), Istanbul. Bzarov, R. S. (2002), Osetya tarih atlası, Istanbul.

Chochiev, G. (2015), “Evolution of a North Caucasian Community in Late Ottoman and Republican Turkey: The Case of Anatolian Ossetians”, A. Gorman/S. Kasbarian (eds.), Diasporas of the Modern Middle East: Contextualising Community, Edinburgh: 103-137.

Foltz, R. (2021a), The Ossetes: Modern-DayScythians of the Caucasus, London.

Foltz, R. (2021b), “Uastyrdži ii. In Ossetian Popular Culture”, E. Daniel (ed.), Encyclopædia Iranica online, Leiden.

Foltz, R. (2020), “The Rekom Shrine in North Ossetia-Alania and its AnnualCeremony”,

Iran and the Caucasus 24.1: 38-52.

Foltz, R. (2019), “Scythian Neo-Paganism in the Caucasus: The Ossetian Uatsdin as a ‘Na- ture Religion’”, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture13.3: 314-332.

Güneş, Ufuk, personal communication, 13 June 2022.

Kuznetsov, Vl./Lebedinski, Y. (2000), Alanlar step atlıları,Kafkas beyleri, Demir Alp Serezli(tr.), Istanbul.

Sokaeva, D. V. (2015), Fol’klor anatolijskix osetin, Vladikavkaz.

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Ossetic”, Izvestiya SOIGSI 27: 111-121.

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