A participant of the events in the city of Volgodonsk dedicated to the anniversary of deportation of Meskhetian Turks. November 14, 2017. Photo: screenshot of the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EppgLP_KpCg

14 November 2017, 23:57

On anniversary of deportation, Meskhetian Turks demand rehabilitation

The city of Volgodonsk has held events dedicated to the 73rd anniversary of deportation of Meskhetian Turks from Georgia. They pointed to the absence of dialogue with the Georgian authorities on the issue of their return to their historical homeland. The nation's right to rehabilitation has not yet been realized, they assert.

On November 15, 1944, under Stalin's order, they began a forced deportation of Meskhetian Turks, living in Georgia, to Central Asia. During three days, from 90 to 116 thousand people were deported. In 1956, Meskhetian Turks were allowed to return to the Caucasus, but many remained in the inhabited areas of Central Asia.

The legislation of Georgia does not provide for dual citizenship; therefore, many cannot return to their historical homeland in Georgia, because they do not want to lose their Russian or Azerbaijani citizenship.

Over the past two years, only three families of Meskhetian Turks returned from Azerbaijan to Georgia, Tsira Metskhishvili, the head of the NGO "Tolerance" in the region of Javakheti, reports. He explained that in Azerbaijan the process of citizenship renunciation entails huge financial costs.

In Russia, the status of Meskhetian Turks also remains complicated. Those, who have no Russian citizenship, are deprived of all rights.

The Meskhetian Turks (Ahıska Türkleri) are ethnic Turks, who had lived in Meskheti, a region in the south-west of Georgia. Now they live in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey and the United States.

As noted by Bektash Ampashulin, the head of the "Vatan" national cultural centre of Meskhetian Turks in Kabardino-Balkaria, they cannot move to Georgia because of the obstructions built by the authorities of this country.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Lyudmila Maratova, Konstantin Volgin, Galina Gotua, Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondents

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