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Stalin and Saakashvili against Meskhetin Turks2011-05-04 13:31
Georgia will have to repatriate Meskhetin Turks since January 2012. That is the demand of the Council of Europe. The time period when the country's authorities were to perform repatriation expired in 2010. Director General of the Council of Europe for Political Affairs and Democracy Jean-Louis Loran has put it directly that Tbilisi had disrupted the return of people.
Saakashvili's regime seems to agree to repatriate Meskhetin Turks; still, it is already making arrangements allowing Sakartvelo to avoid further prospect of neighbourhood with Muslims.
The height of two thousand meters above sea level, snow until May and just cabbage and potatoes to eat - that's the description of the backwater district lost in the mountains of Samtskhe-Javakheti region where Meskhetin Turks have been living at all times. Just like the surrounding nature, harsh and enduring, they managed to arrange their life in a place which is almost unfit for living.
However, in 1944, Stalin and Beria decided that Meskhetin Turks should not inhabit this part of the country and sent them to the Middle Asia where people lived who were close to them. Since then, Meskhetin Turks have got the single national idea of coming back home from the hot desert to the cold mountains of the South Caucasus.
However, there are a lot of obstacles on this way, Georgia being the main of them. The authorities of this country do not at all rejoice the return of Meskhetin Turks to their motherland. Another point is that Tbilisi has to put up with the rest of the world, which insists on the repatriation of Meskhetins.
In 1999, Georgia had to undertake an obligation on creating the required legal base within three years for the return of the people and to bring back all those wishing to return to their original habitats and create acceptable living conditions before the end of 2010. Last year, the Council of Europe in the person of Director for Political Affairs and Democracy Jean-Louis Loran stated that Georgia had disrupted the plan of repatriating Meskhetin Turks and that was why the term of the process was prolonged.
Now the organizations engaged in repatriation say the process will start at last but it will start since next January. However, Georgian authorities arranged it in a way that even if they bring Mesketin Turks back they won't bring as many of them as the Council of Europe meant.
The official term of applying for registration for those wishing to return expired on January 1, 2010 and the major part of potential returnees never knew about it. According to the International Community of Meskhetin Turks, only 3840 applications were filed within the whole period of registration, which is about two percent of the total number of those deported in 1944.
Generally speaking, any time restrictions for filing an application for being repatriated are common discrimination and representatives of the organizations defending the rights of Meskhetin Turks believe the Georgian law on repatriation to be discriminatory.