Comrat (Romanian: Comrat; Gagauz: Komrat; Russian: Комрат / Komrat) is a city in Moldova and the capital of the autonomous region of Găgăuzia.
It is located in the south of the country, on the Ialpug River.
In 2004, Comrat’s population was 23,429, of which the vast majority are Gagauzians.
Gagauzia (Gagauz: Gagauziya or Gagauz-Yeri; Romanian: Găgăuzia; Russian: Гагаузия), formally known as the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Găgăuzia (Gagauz Yeri) (Gagauz: Avtonom Territorial Bölümlüü Gagauz Yeri, Romanian: Unitatea Teritorială Autonomă Găgăuzia, Russian: Автономное территориальное образование Гагаузия / Avtonomnoye territorial’noye obrazobaniye), is an autonomous region of Moldova.
The Gagauz people are a small Turkish-speaking ethnic group living mostly in southern Moldova (Gagauzia), southwestern Ukraine (Budjak-southern Basarabia) and north-eastern Bulgaria (Dobruja).
Unlike most other Turkic-speaking peoples, the Gagauzians are predominantly Orthodox Christians.
There is a related ethnic group also called Gagavuz (or Gajal) living in the European part of northwestern Turkey.
Regions with significant populations:
“…Wishing to visit Gagauzia, we decided, in a rainy vernal morning to have a flying visit to Comrat.
Arriving at the South Station from Chisinau, after we paid 34 lei/person (2.2 euros) for ticket, we took in hurry a minibus with destination Chisinau-Taraclia.
The first thing we have noticed in South was that Moldova has bad roads, it was impossible to stay calm in the bus.
On the way, we remarked that on both sides of the driveway there were a lot of vineyards.
After one and half hours the driver stopped in a very small station, with few buses-we arrived in Comrat.
At the beginning, the city appeared to be uninhabited and old, we saw few people walking on the streets.
After a little walk in the town, we discovered some little shops, which seemed to be forsaken and we found a market place.
We decided to see what are the prices and what do the gagauzians buy from there.
We must confess, even the sellers were fairly polite, we felt a bit uncomfortable because of the people who didn’t stop staring at us. It was strange to see how while you were buying hot peppers you were surrounded by people who were quite smiling at you.
Another thing we have noticed was the big number of pariah dogs which were following you till you didn’t drive them away. Having a walk on the streets of Comrat we saw a lot of old houses and buildings, remained from USSR period.
If you want to ask someone from there about something, we think you should know more languages. Gagauzian people have a strange way of speaking: they use two languages (gagauzian and russian ) at the same time, so it’s difficult to understand them.
After we passed a whole day in Comrat, searching for a place to eat, we came back to the station to take the bus. For this time we paid 36 lei (2.35 euros) for the ticket and we took the last places from a bus.
It was a very old bus, with broken chairs which were moving at the simple flick.
In more than one and half hours we were in Chisinau, tired but pleased that we had seen something different from the usual-an interesting and strange city, Comrat…”