Abstract. The issue presented here is a reflection on the complexity of communities living together on the same territory, their origins still defining identity and the political determinants that have affected decisions and behaviours of entire social components. The multi-ethnicity, the poly-linguism and multi-religiosity of the people settled around the Black Sea have historically created reasons for interconnections and, alternatively, of rivalry, invasions and looting.
The nation states on the Black Sea host various ethnic-linguistic and religious minorities that often testify to the reasons for a presence consolidated in history by traditions and behaviours. Some of the most interesting minority groups are those belonging to the following ethnic families: Slavs, Caucasians, Turkic peoples, Pontic Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Romance peoples, Indo-Aryans, Germans. Areas of geo-anthropic relevance can broadly trace because the Christian-Orthodox Slavic communities prevail in the northern and western portions, the Caucasians of various religions in the East and the Muslim Turkic in the South.
If we accept the perspective of historical continuity and the independence status of any country, the Kievan Rus’, the first nucleus of Greater Russia, was born in 882 and developed later to the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and the present Russian Federation; current Romania and Bulgaria formally born in 1881 and 1908; Turkey in 1923 from the dissolution of the Ottoman Sultanate; but USSR-arisen Transdnestrija, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and Abkhazija have less than 30 years of life as independent states.
The falls of the Russian and Ottoman Empires, undermined by the rise of nation-states, have undoubtedly weakened the nature of coexistence in diversity, exacerbating ethnic and religious conflicts within communities: social exclusions have multiplied due to an interest in determining homogeneity within a framework often fictitiously unitary. It is the season of nationalisms, running through clash among blocks of alliances, territorial conquests and induction of political and commercial influences. The problem is on managing minorities and their claims in terms of existing or presumed rights, according to the fundamental laws of the States. Without minimising the importance of national belonging, it seems clear that a more suitable instrument for understanding social interactions among groups with different customs and traditions is the examination of ethnic-linguistic and religious ties in their historical context and their relationships with the political power at each time.
Architect, independent scholar of Political Islam, writer, director and manager of the website www.islamicworld.it