Gagauz Yeri - Work in Progress
The Gagauzs are Christians of Turkic origin living in the south of Moldova whose language mixes the Turkish of Anatolia and a bit of Bulgarian. At the fall of the USSR, the fear of the Gagauzs, as for the inhabitants of Transnistria, was a union between Moldova and Romania and the risk for those two non romanian-speaking populations to be “lost” in a Romanian-speaking country. Even today, very few Gagauzs speak Romanian, and use Russian or Gagauz.
Unlike Transnistria, they did not obtain their independence after their uprising. Their ephemeral and self-proclaimed Republic in 1991 had to drop flag after three years due to a lack of support and local resources. But since 1994, they officially have a very strong autonomous status in the Moldovan State. Today Gagauzia is officially an Autonomous Territorial Unity (split up in 3 parts) within the Moldovan Republic. In this respect, Gagauzia could be an example of successful reintegration for the unrecognized States that flourished throughout the former Soviet area.
However, little by little, the Gagauz autonomy is nibbled and reduced to a symbolic portion. A reality that the Gagauzs are not at all ready to accept ...
Traditionally Gagauzs are more pro-Russia and pro-Turkey, recently they confirmed by referendum that they would refuse any rapprochement with the EU and prefer to join the Eurasian Custom Office (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia). Another obstacle for Moldova on its way to European integration (after Transnistria).