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What Does Gypsy Universal Nation Mean? 09/12/2011
The real meaning of the term Gypsy Universal Nation, used in the news published on Çingeneyiz.org, is often being contested. The term Universal Nation means something different from both nation and ethnicity. The term Universal Nation substantially addresses the common pain and hope of Gypsy peoples who live in different parts of the world and who speak different languages.
Nation as a political term defines a group of people living in a bounded area as citizens of a state. For example, citizens living in Turkey who have rights and duties determined by the constitution are accepted as members of the Turkish nation according to the constitution. The term ethnicity defines a group of people who share the same culture, origin and often a languge. Nations can include different ethnic groups. Members of these ethnic groups have the rights and duties determined by laws of the nation they are citizens of.
The term Universal Nation differs from both nation and ethnicity. All people who made their living on typical Gypsy ways of subsistence before the spreading of industrialization due to the fact that their lands, animal stocks and forestal lands in where they hunt and gather were captured by others, generate the Gypsy Universal Nation. Peoples whose ancestors subsisted on agriculture and stock breeding before the spreading of industrialization generate the Non-Gypsy Universal Nation.
The term universal nation is not completely political. An individual who belongs to the Gypsy or Non-Gypsy Universal Nation could also be a member of a nation and citizen of a state which is dominant in the country he / she lives. Her / his citizenship rights and duties would be determined by the national laws of the state. Being a member of the Gypsy Universal Nation doesn't make a Turkish citizen with Gypsy origin different from the other Turkish citizens. A Turkish citizen with Gypsy origin has the same rights and duties as the other Turkish citizens regardless of his / her universal nation membership.
So what does being a member of Gypsy Universal Nation mean? The members of the Gypsy Universal Nation share the same pain since thousands of years. Their natural resources were captured; they were hindered to subsist on agriculture and stock breeding in various ways; they were forced to live outside of formal settlements. They were obligated to subsist on jobs with low incomes and othered by the others after industrialization through prejudices hindering them to work in regular jobs. The most important similarity of the peoples generating the Gypsy Universal Nation is the victimhood mentioned.
The members of the Gypsy Universal Nation could through mutual solidarity make up for the victimhood. The members of the Gypsy Universal Nation could demolish the universal caste system imprisoning them in poverty and the wall of prejudices if and only if they could be in solidarity with all Gypsy peoples universally.
Source: Ali Mezarcıoğlu Çingenelerin Kitabı Cinius Yayınları (Ali Mezarcıoğlu The Book of Gypsies Cinius Publishing Company)