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Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


Chapter four in Issues of the Post-Communist Transition: Structure, Culture, and Justice. Edited by Stephen R. Bowers and Marion T. Doss, Jr., 2001. Monograph of the Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies Monograph Series number 29. For the William R. Nelson Institute for Public Affairs. James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.


The Gagauz leadership has advanced several basic demands. The first category of demands relates to economic concerns and these appear to be the most fundamental. The situation that they insist be addressed in that there is an economic disparity between Gagauzia and the rest of the Moldovan Republic.

If one looks beyond the rhetoric of Comrat, Gagauz political demands are secondary to the economic ones. They demand political parties that would operate in local elections. They want more seats in the Moldovan Parliament and believe that all laws should be published in the Gagauz language as well as in Russian and Romanian.

While much has been said about Turkish involvement with Gagauzia, this has not served to generate any feeling among the Gaguz that their cultural roots are in Turkey. Those who emigrate are most likely to go, first, to the United States and, second, to Russia.

Ties between Gagauzia and Transdniestria reached their closest during the early part of the 1990s. Since that time Gagauzia has found a more effective relationship working within the Moldovan Republic. The confrontations of recent months are a product of the Moldovan political crisis, not intervention from Tiraspol. They have led to a renewal of ties between these two regions.

Transdniestria’s fundamental demand is to assume equal status with the Moldovan Republic within a confederation. There appear to be limited prospects for a renewal of violence such as that seen in 1992.

Direct foreign intervention by any one of the three nations with the greatest interests in this situation – Russia, the Ukraine, and Romania – appears unlikely barring a renewal of violence.