Azerbaijan, Baku / corr. Trend I.Alizadeh / Ibrahim Burhan, the chairman of the 'Vatan' Society working with Turks who settled down in Azerbaijan, has stated that the Ahiska Turks intend to come back to Georgia. He was commenting on the latest decision of the Georgian Parliament in this connection.
Georgian parliament adopted the draft law providing for bringing back the people, who were displaced from Georgia by the Soviet Union, to their motherland. The draft law was adopted in the first reading and will come in force in 2008. A poll revealed that the Ahiska Turks do not resist returning back to Georgia.
The project stipulates forming of the Repatriation Fund within six months after the project comes into effect. The Fund will include donor-countries and organizations. At the same time the Georgian Government will take measures on resolving of problems regarding housing problems of Ahiska Turks.
Burhanov noted that the Turks wanted to come back to their historical lands, not to any region of Georgia. The work in this direction has already begun. "I think that the implementation of the Law will meet difficulties, because there are forces in Georgia which oppose returning of Turks to their lands. We hope that the Government will render assistance to us in this direction," Burhanov added.
In 1940, in compliance with the decree issued by Iosif Stalin, the head of the former Soviet Union, the Ahiska Turks were exiled to Siberia and Kazakhstan. Presently, some 400,000 Ahiska Turks are residing in the world, with 70,000 of them in Azerbaijan. While joining the Council of Europe Georgia undertook obligations to return the Turks to their motherland.