Etulia (Tülü Küü) is the southernmost and the most remote village in Moldavian Gagauzia. Its first mention dates back to 1808. Due to its location, a unique climate has formed here for the breeding of a local culture. In other words, the nearest big cities, such as Comrat or Chisinau, are far away, so the Gagauz culture has been preserved in a more intact form in Etulia.


It is a small village, with one main road (also known as Lenin Street), along the edges of which there are houses and small roads leading to the valley and hills. Ordinary people live here mostly engaged in agricultural activities. People from Etulia, like many in this region, have to periodically leave their homes in search of work, but they still maintain a warm attitude towards their home place, and try to return back, because for the Gagauz people there is nothing more important in life than home and family. 

The history of Gagauz people is surrounded by mysteries - scientist still haven’t found a clear answer - who are they and where are they from? There are many scientific hypotheses about the origin of Gagauz people. According to one version, their ancestors are Turkic-speaking people who came from Altai to the Balkans; according to another version, they are descendants of the Turkic Bulgarians. The word “Gagauz” itself originates from the Turkish language. The Turks called them Gagauz because they refused to convert to Islam, remaining in Orthodoxy. However, their culture contains many pagan rituals and superstitions that are practiced to this day.


At the beginning of the 19th century, the Gagauzians began to populate the Budzhak steppe - a territory in the southern part of Bessarabia, from Comrat to the Black Sea. This is how the Gagauz people found themselves in the Russian Empire, and later in the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Gagauzians were split by the border between Ukraine and Moldova.


Gagauz is a very small ethnic group. The largest concentration of Gagauz people in the world is found in the Budjak steppe - around 120 thousand people live in Moldova and around 25 thousand people in Ukraine.

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