The autonomous region of Gagauzia (Gagauz Yeri) lies 100km due south of Chişinău but is a world apart from the cosmopolitan capital. This Turkic-influenced Christian ethnic minority forfeited full independence for autonomy in the early '90s, thus making it subordinate to Moldova constitutionally and for defence. But politically the Gagauz generally look toward Russia for patronage, while increasingly looking toward Turkey for both cultural inspiration and economic investment.
Who are the Gagauz? Well, it's is complicated. One theory is that they were converts to Orthodox Christianity who relocated to this area after Russia's victory in the Russo–Turkish War of 1806–12. Their language is a Turkish dialect influenced by Russian Orthodoxy, as opposed to the Islamic influences inherent in Turkish.