News28 November 2018
TİKA stands by the Meskhetian Turks
Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) carries out a great number of projects towards the Meskhetian Turks who have been banished from Georgia in 1944 and have been living in exile for 74 years in different countries.
In addition to organizing programs for the Meskhetian Turks who currently live in different countries to visit their homeland, TİKA also provides support for them within the fields of education, agriculture, and health in many countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
TİKA organized a trip to Georgia between the dates May 3rd-11th, 2016 for the Meskhetian Turks, who had been exiled to Kyrgyzstan from Georgia in 1944, to visit their homeland for the first time in years. The trip was accompanied by the witnesses of the exile, the representatives of the Association of Meskhetians, journalists, and historians. Last month, TİKA carried out the façade reconstruction of the middle school, where nearly 750 students from 17 nationalities study in the Budenovka village of the Ysyk-Ata District in the Chuy Region, which is densely populated by the Meskhetian Turks. Also, the façade renovation and painting operations of the Nur Nariste Day Care Center in the same village were carried out with TİKA’s support. Moreover, clean water was provided for the inhabitants of the Krasnorechka village in the same district by constructing a 1,250-meter-long pipeline in two streets. The water supply networks were also renovated in the Kenesh and Yuryevka villages.
The Meskhetian Turks visited their homeland
TİKA also provided desktop computers, laser printers, smart board projectors, sound systems and furniture for the Chinghiz Aitmatov Public High School equipped with an infrastructure for internet in the Novopavlovka village in Kyrgyzstan, where Meskhetian Turks live in large groups, in order to make sure Turkish classes resume efficiently. Eager to visit their villages in the Meskheti region for years, Meskhetians came together in the region as part of a 3-day program in Georgia with the support of the International Association of Meskhetian Turks (DATÜB) and TİKA. TİKA also carried out an agricultural development project to economically support the Meskhetian families who are landowners in Georgia as well as to increase their integration with the local people of various ethnic identities.
Projects within the fields of education, agriculture and health
The "Meskhetian Turks Civil Society Leaders and Diaspora Workshop", which was organized by the International Association of Meskhetian Turks between the dates November 14th-18th, 2012 in Turkey, was also attended by the Meskhetian Turks who live in Azerbaijan thanks to the support of TİKA. An aid of 70 tons of wheat seeds and fertilizers was carried out in order to fulfill the requests of the Meskhetian Turks in Azerbaijan to improve their social and economic state. TİKA donated wheelchairs to 120 disabled individuals around Azerbaijan, some of which were Meskhetian Turks.
On the other hand, TİKA built a school with a capacity of 320 students in the Talgar district of Almaty, Kazakhstan, which is largely populated by the Meskhetian Turks. Moreover, the technical equipment needs of the Kazakhstan Meskhetian Turks Association and the Meskhetian Journal were met by TİKA.
The Meskhetian Exile – November 14th, 1944
The Meskhetian Turks, who lived in the Meskheti region of modern-day Georgia, were exiled to Central Asia during the Soviet era by Stalin on November 14th, 1944. Thousands of people were displaced via trains on this journey which resulted in the death of approximately 17,000 people. The Meskhetian Turks, who were settled in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, had to live under martial law for 12 years. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it was found out in the archives that this exile was part of the operation for cleansing the Black Sea coasts from Turks by Stalin. Today, approximately 500,000 Turks of Meskhetian origin live extensively in Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, the USA, and Ukraine.