Meskhetian Turks return home after 69 years exile

24 Meskhetian Turks who were exiled from their native land of Akhaltsikhe, in present-day Georgia, have returned home after they were exiled by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin 69 years ago.

Meskhetian Turks return home after 69 years exile

World Bulletin / News Desk

Meskhetian Turks were among millions of ethnic Turks and Muslims who were forcibly uprooted from their homes in central Asia and the Caucuses during the reign of the former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Today, 69 years later, 24 surviving Meskhetian Turks have finally returned to Akhaltsikhe (Ahiska), their land of origin.

An association set up by Meskhetian Turks who fled to Kyrgyzstan organized a tour of Akhaltsikhe, along with the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA).

While visiting their old Armenian and Georgian neighbors in their old villages filled them with much joy, they said that seeing their old homes and mosques closed was heartbreaking.

Meskhetian Turks no longer live in Georgia, having spread out into various diasporas across the world. However, through cultural organizations and associations, they have maintained their spiritual links to Akhaltsikhe for generations.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Aralık 2013, 13:26