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Gagauzia is an autonomic republic in the south of Moldova. Its population is a mainly Turkish-speaking, Christian minority. Their ancestors fled the Russian-Turkish wars in the 18th century, but to be able to settle in the area they had to convert to Christianity. Nowadays the Turkish dialect spoken in Gagauzia is influenced by Russian, rather than Islam, as most other Turkish dialects.

Gagauzia is largely autonomous as a result of threats to become independent, made to Moldova's national government by its inhabitants. Moldova's constitution was amended in order to pave the way for Gagauzia's far-reaching autonomy. The regional capital is Comrat.


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