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Meskhetian Turks, also known as Muslim Meskhetians, or simply Meskhetians (Turkish: Ahıska Türkleri; , t'urk'i meskhebi or მაჰმადიანი მესხები, mahmadiani meskhebi; , turki-meskhetintsy) are the former Turkish inhabitants of Meskheti (Georgia), along the border with Turkeymarker. They were deported to Central Asia during November 15-25 1944 by Joseph Stalin and settled within Kazakhstanmarker, Kyrgyzstanmarker, and Uzbekistanmarker. Of the 120,000 forcibly deported in cattle-trucks a total of 10,000 perished. Today they are dispersed over a number of other countries of the former Soviet Unionmarker.


During the rule of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922), Turkish settlers moved into Meskheti as part of the Turkish expansion. The resulting mix of Turkish and Meskheti populations became known as the Meskhetian Turk.

In May 1989 a pogrom of Meskhetian Turks occurred in the crowded and poor Fergana Valleymarker, Uzbekistanmarker as a result of growing ethnic tensions during the era of Glasnost. This triggered an evacuation of Meskhetian Turks from Uzbekistan.

In the 1990s, Georgia began to receive Meskhetian settlers, provided that they declared themselves to be of ethnic Georgian origin. One of the human rights campaigners on their behalf was Guram Mamulia. Their resettlement created tension among the Armenian population of Samtskhe-Javakhetimarker province. Azerbaijanmarker accepted a number of Meskhetians, but faced problems with refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh, and the government did not accept larger numbers. Turkeymarker, seen as their homeland by many Meskhetian Turks themselves, started a program of resettling Meskhetian immigrants in the underprivileged, Kurdish majority eastern regions of the country. This program was for fewer than 200 individuals, and fell short of expectations. The government of the Soviet Union encouraged Meskhetians to settle in selected oblasts of the Russian SSR, and most received Russian Federation citizenship in 1992. The legal status of those who moved to Krasnodar Krai, however, remained undetermined, and many were Stateless. Their presence caused tensions with the local Kuban Cossack population, who, according to human rights activists, in coordination with local authorities lead prosecutions of them. Russian authorities called the stateless Meskhetians "foreigners who have no right to remain in Russia" and play down reports about Cossack violence. To help resolve the situation, the International Organization for Migration implemented a program to resettle Meskhetian Turks from the Krasnodar Krai to the United Statesmarker between 2004 and 2007. In cooperation with the two governments (Russiamarker and the US), approximately 11,500 individuals departed.

Meskhetian Turkish Dialect

Meskhetian Turkish is not recognised as a separate language though ethnic Meskhetians refer to it as Ahıska Türkçäsi / Аҳыска Тÿркчäси using a variant of the Uzbek Cyrillic alphabet. For the most part, the Turkish alphabet is more widely accepted when writing, which would attempt to follow more closely with Turkish orthography and vocabulary. The majority of middle aged Meskhetian Turks received their secondary education in Uzbekistan and other former Soviet republics, therefore, when writing, the Uzbek alphabet or Kazakh alphabet, or a combination of the two is used. Meskhetian Turkish has no standardised orthography or standardised alphabet.

Meskhetian Turkish varies in severals way from Standard Turkish in pronunciation. Over the years, Meskhetian Turkish has picked up various sounds that are not represented in the Turkish alphabet. However, it should be noted that those differentiation at the dialect occurred after the exile in 1944. For instance, the sound [q] from Uzbek, represented by the letter q or қ in the word qabul etmäk or қабул етмäк and also the Uzbek pronunciation of the sound represented by ğ or ғ instead of the Turkish. In Meskhetian, there is a obvious distinction made between [æ] and [ɛ], as opposed to Turkish. In addition to /h/, Meskhetian also makes use of the sound /x/.

Аҳыска Тӱрклӓринин Алфавити

Аа Ӓӓ Бб Вв Гг Ғғ Дд Ее Жж Җҗ Зз

Ии Ыы Јј Кк Ққ Лл Мм Нн Оо Ӧӧ Пп

Рр Сс Тт Уу Ӱӱ Фф Хх Ҳҳ Чч Шш

Ahıska Türklärinin Alfaviti

Aa Ää Bb Cc Çç Dd Ee Ff Gg Ğğ

Hh Xx İi Iı Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Öö

Pp Qq Rr Ss Şş Tt Uu Üü Vv Yy Zz

  • халк or xalk - people, compare with Turkish halk
  • ҳӓрбир or härbir - everyone, compare with Turkish herbir
  • қaбул eтмӓк or eтмaх - qabul etmӓk or etmax - meaning accept, admit, receive, approve, compare with Turkish kabul etmek
  • чoх or çox - meaning very, compare with Turkish çok
  • ҳӓ or - meaning yes. Compare with Turkish evet or he or hä (rural dialect)
  • jox or yox - meaning no. Compare with Turkish yok or yox (rural dialect) or hayır
  • сaғoлун or sağolun - рaхмäт or raxmät (Uzbek origin) - meaning thank you, compare with Turkish teşekkür or sağolun

See also


  1. as retrieved on 29 April 2008 20:59:44 GMT
  2. Pål Kolstø, Andrei Edemsky (1995), Russians in the Former Soviet Republics, p. 224. Indiana University Press, ISBN 0253329175.
  3. Kathleen. Collins (2006), Clan Politics and Regime Transition in Central Asia, p. 2006. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521839505.
  4. J. Otto Pohl (1999), Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949, p. 18. Greenwood Press, ISBN 0313309213.


  • .


  • Robert Conquest, The Nation Killers: The Soviet Deportation of Nationalities (London: MacMillan, 1970) (ISBN 0-333-10575-3)

  • S. Enders Wimbush and Ronald Wixman, "The Meskhetian Turks: A New Voice in Central Asia," Canadian Slavonic Papers 27, Nos. 2 and 3 (Summer and Fall, 1975): 320-340

  • Alexander Nekrich, The Punished Peoples: The Deportation and Fate of Soviet Minorities at the End of the Second World War (New York: W. W. Norton, 1978) (ISBN 0-393-00068-0).
  • Emma Kh. Panesh and L.B. Ermolov (Translated by Kevin Tuite). Meskhetians. World Culture Encyclopedia. Accessed on September 1, 2007.

The leader of khsnaorganization Isa Ashrapov(Tavadze) is one of the person who played a big rule for helpig meskhetian students to get enrolled at Georgian universities during the the president of Edvard Shevardnadze period.He applied for government to take into considerations the Meskhetians youth education and government did it's best and gave many scholarship opportunities for Meskhetians.At that time not only education was free of charge but also the hostel and so on.The capacity of the hostel was about 800.The president appriciated the the deal of the Ksnas organization.It played one of the big rule in meskaetians youth education

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