A Meskhetian Turk who had been forcibly resettled visited Tbilisi for the first time in 70 years. Photo by Beslan Kmuzov for the "Caucasian Knot"

13 December 2018, 14:10

Meskhetian Turks tell about difficulties in moving to Georgia

The seminar "Minorities in the Caucasus – Way to Stability" in Tbilisi has discussed the return of Meskhetian Turks to Georgia. According to their story, when addressing Georgian officials, they face various problems, up to refusal to accept documents for obtaining citizenship.

In 1944, the Meskhetian Turks living in Georgia were forcibly resettled to Central Asia by order of Stalin. In 1956, they received the right to return to the Caucasus.

The seminar was organized by the Federated Union of European Nationalities (FUEN).

"Many Meskhetian Turks live in Russia, Azerbaijan and Central Asia; and they are eager to return to Georgia," said Arnid Martens, the FUEN President, adding that Georgian authorities are willing to contact Meskhetian Turks, but this problem needs more attention.

However, the Meskhetians interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" noted that they are experiencing difficulties in moving to Georgia on their own.

Meskhetian Turks (Ahıska Türkleri in Turkish) are ethnic Turks, who historically lived in Meskhetia – an area in south-western Georgia.

According to Mukhammad Rakhimov, an activist of the Azerbaijani organization "Vatan", the main goal of Meskhetian Turks is to become full-fledged citizens of Georgia. "Meskhetian Turks died in Nagorno-Karabakh, fighting for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. In the same way, we are ready to fight for the unity of Georgia," he said.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 13, 2018 at 08:25 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Beslan Kmuzov; Source: CK correspondent

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