MINELRES: ECMI launches project on Meskhetian Turks

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Fri Aug 6 17:18:57 2004


Original sender: William MCKinney <mckinney@ecmi.de> 



ECMI Launches Project on Meskhetian Turks

The European Centre for Minority Issues launches a unique project on the
last of Stalin's deported people, "Between Integration and Resettlement:
The Meskhetian Turks". This project is being made possible with the
generous support of the Volkswagen Foundation. 

The Meskhetian Turks is the last among the national groups of the Soviet
Union deported during Stalin in 1943-44, which yet has not been able to
return to their native region (in southwest Georgia). Some 270-335,000
people today, the Meskhetian Turks following pogroms and multiple
displacements find themselves scattered throughout vast territories in
Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia
and Turkey. In some of these countries, the Meskhetian Turks face ethnic
persecution and even expulsion, while independent Georgia effectively
blocks resettlement to their native region. International actors seeking
to address these problems encounter severe difficulties in finding
solutions, not only because of the opposition to resettlement but also
because of a lack of consistent knowledge on Meskhetian Turks' own
perceptions of their displacement and their visions for future
settlement. 

ECMI's research project aims to produce a comprehensive and comparative
cross-border study of today's Meskhetian Turk communities through
establishing a network of researchers and strives to develop an
alternative discourse to the framework maintained by many international
actors addressing the problems of the Meskhetian Turks, based on the
assumption that most Meskhetian Turks desire to return to their region
of origin. The project, through the conduct of multi-disciplinary
research in eight countries, seeks to grasp the complexity of the
subject by obtaining a thorough understanding of Meskhetian Turkish
identity, migration processes, concepts of "home" and social
organization, which can provide a basis for new approaches to finding
durable solutions to the problems of the Meskhetian Turks. 

Time Frame and Funding Details 
The project will run for 20 months starting from July 2004 and result in
an authoritative volume on the Meskhetian Turks. The project has been
generously funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. 
Please send any additional enquiries to the Project Director Tom Trier,
Senior Research Associate, ECMI trier@ecmi.de