Ali Mezarcıoğlu About Romanipe and Ciganipe On The Occasion of April 8

Our readers know that we don't use the word Gypsy (Cigany) as a name defining an ethnic community. The word Gypsy (Cigany) is the common name of peripatetic peoples, who exist all around the world, in Central Asia, Anatolia, Balkans and some regions of Middle East. There is a clear similarity among Roma, Abdals, Loms, Doms, Mugats and the others which unite them under the umbrella term Gypsy (Cigany). Lands, herds and forestal areas these peoples had owned were captured from them throughout history. So they lost the chance of subsisting on agriculture, herding, hunting or gathering. They produced some craft productions and served services in exchange of food with surrounding populations. This process make these peoples a part of universal Gypsy caste.


Gypsy peoples have been obligated to subsist on unpreferred jobs with low income since traditional Gypsy occupations dissappeared with spreading of industry. World Gypsies are facing many problems including poverty. Problems of Gypsy peoples living all around the world are mostly similar. International solidarity of Gypsy peoples is so important to solve the international problems of Gypsy peoples. On the other hand, each Gypsy community have to be in solidarity in itself, to improve their own cultures and promote it to the humanity.

A Gypsy community came a long way in last 30 years from this side: Romani people. Roma, whose oldest ancestors started their long journey in India, created their own language Romanes, which is the most important element of their national identity, in Balkans. Roma, who migrated to the different parts of the world, are still living intensively in Balkans.


There is two big pain of Roma which is almost impossible to be forgotten in the Europen history. First is the slavery which continued until 19th century in Romania. Roma with the other Gypsy groups were sold into slavery in this period. The other pain of Roma which is also impossible to be forgotten is the Genocide. Roma were among the victims of the terrible massacres of Nazi party.

Roma entellectuals, who took lessons from this pains, with some Gadje entellectuals organized a congress in London in 1971. The delegates who were mostly from Balkans approved a flag for world Roma in the congress. There was blue-green background symbolising the heavens and earth with a red chakra, which is also one of the important historical symbols of Indian civilization, representing either nomadism and connection of Roma and India. The delegates decided April 8 to be celebrated as the world Roma day. From that day on, April 8 started to be known as the world Roma day among Roma people.


This monday is April 8. Roma declared April 8 as a day to protest racism this year. Racist terror targeting Gypsies and all minorities will be protested on the occasion of April 8. We, as the Gypsies of Turkey, support this decision. We congratulate our Roma brothers and sisters who made this brave decision against racist terror killing people in their home with molotov cocktails...


  1. The 8 April Movement, formed after the brutal
    eviction of 90 families at Dale Farm (UK)is
    now working to coordinate events and protests
    next Roma Nation Day, 2013.

    The London protest will be held on Sunday
    7 April.

    Anyone interested in this "joined-up" action
    against anti-Roma racism, which already
    includes Romani groups from Argentina to
    Albania, can seek more information from

    Grattan Puxon
    8 April Movement

  2. "April 8" will be marked in many countries - in London
    on Sunday 7 April. This year there will be more co-ordination
    and "joined-up" action to show the world that Roma are
    coming together to help each other in these troubled times.
    For more information email:
    8 April Movement