Georgian Minister slams Turk-Meskhetians' decision

Publié le par Sophie Tournon

http://www.medianews.ge/Society/748.html

August 01,2007

Giorgi Kheviashvili Georgia’s Minister of Refugees and Settlement has stated today that the so-called Turk-Meskhetians toured about Samtskhe-Javakheti region on July 31 without prior agreement with the Ministry.

Kheviashvili said they arrived in the region officially as tourists, though, according to the released information, they met with locals and became interested in real estate related issues. Georgian Minister also advised Turk-Meskhetians not to travel on their own initiative to their ancestors’ former places of residence.

On June 27, the Georgian Parliament adopted the draft-bill initiated by the Parliamentary Faction “National-Movement-Democrats,” about possible repatriation of the so-called Turk Meskhetians to Georgia by the second hearing. According to the draft-bill, Turk Meskhetians will be actually provided the right to return to Georgia and be granted full and equal Georgian citizenship. These refugees have to submit applications to the Georgian Ministry of Refugees and Settlement by January 1, 2008 to acquire the legal status of repatriates.

Georgia took responsibility at the European Council to create legal basement and start the repatriation of Turk-Meskhetians on to their historical land. Georgia must finish the repatriation of Turk-Meskhetians before 2011.

Turk-Meskhetians were forcefully exiled from Georgia back in the 1940s. In 1944 hundreds of the families were exiled from Meskhetia, southern Georgia by force, to the Soviet Central Asia. According to the latest information, there are 130, 000 Meskhetians residing in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation and many other countries.

Publié dans Actualité

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