MINELRES: Armenian ombudsman warns Georgia against resettling Meskhetian Turks

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Jun 14 19:50:03 2004

Original sender: Emil Adelkhanov <emil-ade@cipdd.org> 

Armenian ombudsman warns Georgia against resettling Meskhetian Turks 
Text of report by Armenian news agency Noyan Tapan

Tbilisi, 8 June: Armenian rights activist Larisa Alaverdyan has said she
understands the concern of the Armenian population of Georgia's
Samtskhe-Javakheti Region over the possible mass return of Meskhetian
Turks to the region.

Larisa Alaverdyan said in an interview with [Georgian news agency]
Kavkasia-Press that if the Georgian government decides to take in the
Meskhetian Turks who wish to return to Samtskhe-Javakheti, a real
conflict might break out in the region.

Meskhetian Turks were evicted to Central Asia during Stalin's repression
in the middle of the last century. Their return was a condition when
Georgia was admitted to the Council of Europe.

According to the Armenian ombudsman, the Georgian government should be
maximally careful and wise while taking any specific decisions on this
issue. About 300,000 representatives of this people are living in CIS
countries today. The largest diaspora of Meskhetian Turks - about 80,000
- lives in Azerbaijan.

Source: Noyan Tapan news agency, Yerevan, in Russian 1308 gmt 8 Jun 04

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