MINELRES: New ECMI publication on Meskhetian Turks

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Fri Sep 10 19:17:42 2004

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

New ECMI Publication

Pentikainen, Oskari and Tom Trier. Between Integration and Resettlement:
The Meskhetian Turks. ECMI Working Paper #21. Flensburg: European Centre
for Minority Issues. September 2004, 24 pp.

The Meskhetian Turk population was deported to Central Asia, along with
seven other ethnic groups in the Soviet Union during World War II.
Whilst other deported people, Chechens, Ingush, Balkars, Krachais and
Kalmyks were rehabilitated after Stalin's death and allowed to resettle
in their pre-deportation territories, three groups were not permitted to
return. These included the Crimean Tatars, who were only to be
rehabilitated with the demise of the Soviet Union, and have subsequently
returned in significant numbers to Crimea in Ukraine over the past 15
years. Another group, the Volga Germans, originally deported from the
Soviet Volga German Republic, have largely emigrated to Germany in the
post-Soviet era, and do not have territorial aspirations in the Volga
region. Hence, the Meskhetian Turks are the last of the 8 deported
peoples, for whom rehabilitation and resettlement remains unresolved.
The Meskhetian Turks today live dispersed throughout several countries:
Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia
and Turkey. Meskhetian Turks face very different living conditions in
their countries of settlement, ranging from statelessness and
discrimination in southern Russia, to higher levels of socioeconomic
integration, eg. In Ukraine, Azerbaijan or in Central Asia. The
Meskhetian Turks were originally deported from Georgia, which hqs since
become an independent state, but opposes repatriation of Meskhetian
Turks and has effectively blocked efforts to implement the repatriation
plans pledged by Meskhetian Turk organizations and the international
community. Relatively little is known about the current situation of the
Meskhetian Turks. This working paper gives an overview of the main
aspects of the 'Meskhetian Turkish question', including their history,
the population group's current socioeconomic situation, their
organization and civic life, and the international dimension of the
deportation and resettlement issue. The paper also seeks to identify
areas for further research that have not been explored in-depth, but
which are crucial for future attempts to address the issue coherently in
order to find durable solutions to the issue of return.

 This working paper also marks the launch of a large-scale research
project, "Between Integration and Resettlement: The Meskhetian Turks",
which has been made possible through generous support of the Volkswagen
Stiftung, to be carried out by the European Centre for Minority Issues
from July 2004 to February 2006.