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Georgian Kurds: March on West2009-09-15 22:24
Polish radio reported on increased number of refugees from Georgia with Yezidi Kurds being the majority. They are not happy with their lives at home not speaking the only official language - Georgian. As GeorgiaTimes learned from the Union of Yezidis mostly it's young people that go away in search of dolce vita. But part of them gets back unable to settle down in Europe.
Poland gets serious about its buffer role between the former USSR states and Europe. After the Georgians who initiated a strike in an alien camp finally calmed down, the Refugee Department got down to statistics. As it turned out nearly 100 Georgians daily apply to Polish officials for asylum. As a rule they try to enter the country via Polish-Belarus border crossing point in Terespol, not far from Brest.
Since May the refugee flow has gone up drastically. Over four months more than 3000 Georgian citizens applied to the Polish authorities for asylum. Remarkably, over the past 8 years before that there were only 400 applications.
Now Georgian emigrants are more numerous than from Chechnya, Eva Pekhota from the Department on Foreigners states. According to the statistics Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian citizens are on top of the list of border crossers through Terespol crossing point (nearly 25 thousand persons per year). Given that Georgia has four and a half million people the flow of emigrants through Poland is really extraordinarily high. Considering also the number of people trying to go to Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and other Mediterranean countries, it's amazing how unpatriotic Georgians are.
However 90% of the emigrants via Poland are Yezidi Kurds. Generally these are often undereducated, sometimes illiterate people aged 18-65, the Polish radio reports.
The Kurds in Georgia form a small community practicing a pre-Islam religion close to Zoroastrism. According to Caucasus Analytic Center expert Edward Abramyan there are nearly 6 thousand people in the community while official sources state there are 20 thousand Kurds living in the country.
The Kurdish settlements in Georgia appeared as early as in 15th century when Yezidis fled the territories conquered by the Turks. In the USSR they were tragically affected by displacement in 1944. Thousands of Kurds as well as Meskheti Turks and Khemshils were convoyed to Central Asia.
The rest of them were at the very bottom of Georgian social ladder working as street cleaners and gardeners.
In late 1980s when the country's ethnic minorities fell into real disgrace with the authorities, Kurds were massively relocated to Krasnodar, Stavropol, and Moscow.