Turks can’t re­turn to their homes for 70 years

Azeri Observer - - Azeri Observer - By IS­MAIL KAZIMOV DOC­TOR OF SCIENCE, PRO­FES­SOR

T heir his­tor­i­cal land is in the ter­ri­tory of present Ge­or­gia from where the in­no­cent peo­ple of about 200 000 were ex­iled far away hav­ing be­come the sac­ri­fice of Stalin’s eth­ni­cal pol­icy. They were de­rived out of their dwellings by the or­der of Stalin, a despot of Ge­or­gian off spring. For been last 70 years these un­lucky peo­ple have been strug­gling to re­turn to their na­tive land.

More than 100 000 Ahiska Turks de­ported once from their na­tive land now live in Azer­bai­jan. The whole na­tion de­prived of their right to dwell in their moth­er­land, have long suf­fered from the tragedy of be­ing ex­iled, like some other peo­pleo of the for­mer Soviet Union- Crimean Tatars, Chechens, İn­gushes, Garachays, Balkars and Kalmiks.

The truths of the long his­tory have re­mained in the pa­geo of the his­tory. The ahiska Turks have not for­got­ten yet about their be­ing once a part of the Ot­toman Em­pire, their re­la­tion­ship with the Bun­turks, the di­rect Turks of the an­cient Cau­ca­sus. But as one of the ola eth­ni­cal units of the Cau­ca­sis, the Ahiska Turks re­mem­ber their be­ing ex­iled with a greater hor­ror and ex­cite­ment-the cold winter of the 1944 and the hor­ri­ble heat of the sum­mer of 1989...

Their his­tor­i­cal land is in the ter­ri­tory of present Ge­or­gia from where the in­no­cent peo­ple of about 200 000 were ex­iled far away hav­ing be­come the sac­ri­fice of Stalin’s eth­ni­cal pol­icy. They were de­rived out of their dwellings by the or­der of Stalin, a despot of Ge­or­gian off spring. For been last 70 years these un­lucky peo­ple have been strug­gling to re­turn to their na­tive land.

Their be­ing ex­iled to the hot fields of the mid­dle Asia and Kaza­khstan was a se­cond blow on the ill-fated peo­ple. How­ever

the ghost did not let them have a peace in this land as well.

The con­sent for dis­place­ment of the ex­iled peo­ples’ in­deed af­ter Stalin’s death did not con­cern the Ahiska Turks, be­cause Mikoyan, one of the Ar­me­nian lead­ers of the for­mer Soviet Union, had trans­ferred to their land the Ar­me­nian refugees from for­eign coun­tries.

The Ahiska Turks, in­spired by the glas­nost and re­con­struc­tion re­form of M.Gor­ba­chov made a new ef­fort for re­turn­ing to their land. How­ever dis­as­ter came af­ter dis­as­ter. In or­der to pre­vent their be­ing re­or­ga­nized a bloody slaugh­ter was com­mit­ted in 1989.

The lands or­ga­nized with close par­tic­i­pa­tion of Ar­me­ni­ans on KGB-s plan in­flicted reprisals against the Ahiska Turks who lived in com­pact in Fer­gana prov­ince of Uzbek­istan. Their houses were burns, their prop­er­ties were plun­dered, hun­dreds of peo­ple were killed and dis­lo­cated be­ing sent to dif­fer­ent re­publics of the for­mer Soviet Union.

The slaugh­ters against their na­tive broth­ers, their prob­lems trou­bled Azer­bai­ja­nis. The con­sent and de­ci­sion of Azer­bai­jan’s govern­ment a part of Ahiska Turks were moved to Saatli, Sabirabad, Guba, Khachmaz and Shabran prov­inces of Azer­bai­jan, al­though they had not lost their hope to re­turn to their eter­nal landAhiska. The un­for­tu­nate peo­ple, taken un­der pa­tron­age and care of Azer­bai­jani peo­ple, con­sider this land their se­cond moth­er­land. It should be noted that yet in he 50’s, Azer­bai­jan had achieved a de­ci­sion for the set­tle­ment of Ahiska Turks in Azer­bai­jan. A part of them were al­ready set­tled, but with the fear that they would again be liv­ing in com­pact, Moscow stopped their re­set­tle­ment.

The Ahiska Turks who have un­der­gone a his­tor­i­cal in­jus­tice have no rep­re­sen­ta­tives in their eter­nal land in present Ge­or­gia, ex­cept those who have been or­ga­nized chang­ing their sur­names.

An­other goal for the de­por­ta­tion of the Ahiska Turks was de­creas­ing the num­ber of the Turks in the Cau­ca­sus.

Ge­or­gian of­fi­cials did not re­act to the de­ci­sion of re­set­tle­ment of Ahiska Turks in their na­tive land pos­i­tively. Dis­re­gard­ing their obli­ga­tion be­fore the Euro­pean coun­cil they gave pref­er­ence set­tle the Ahiska Turks not in com­pact, but in­di­vid­u­ally, in dif­fer­ent ar­eas of Ge­or­gia. There­fore the Ahiska Turks dis­agreed with this pol­icy, that pre­vents them to re­set­tle in their na­tive land. Fur­ther­more, the Ahiska Turks are con­sid­ered by Ge­or­gian sci­en­tists to « Is­lamized Ge­or­gians » , to be meskhetian by their orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion. This grounders con­cep­tion of late Rome cen­tury. This goal of this ground­less the­ory was to re­move the whole how­ever, the so- called, «meskhian». Turks have proved their be­ing of Tur­kic ori­gin by pre­serv­ing all their Tur­kic na­tional com­po­nents, eth­ni­cal psychology and self-con­science, tra­di­tions.

We think, the eth­ni­cal and de­por­ta­tion his­tory of the Ahiska Turks must be re­garded within the long his­tory of Ge­or­gian faith the Tur­kic world. The Ahiska Turks who would never be rec­on­ciled with their for­tune, go on strug­gling for join­ing their eter­nal na­tive land and keep­ing their ma­te­rial and moral cul­ture.

There is one more no­tion that nourishes the in­ner world of the Ahiska Turks- the no­tion of be­ing Tur­kic. This ideal, as the great son of the Ahiska Turks has once noted, is that «they have never aban­doned the idea of be­ing Tur­kic from their hearts, and the Tur­kic lan­guage from their mouth» (on nws­pa­per «Ashig söz», Jan­uary 18, 1917).

While turn­ing over the pages of the painful his­tory of the Ahiska Turks, we re­mem­ber their hope­ful say­ing: «And for us the sun will rise».

This say­ing ex­presses the great ex­pec­ta­tion, be­lief and wish of a na­tion for a happy day af­ter the painful his­tory of 70 years long de­por­ta­tion.

IS­MAIL KAZIMOV

Ahiska Tower in Ge­or­gia

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