Ukraine's Meskhetian Turks in Turkey protection plea

A Turkish minority living in eastern Urkaine called for Turkey's protection.

Ukraine's Meskhetian Turks in Turkey protection plea

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Turkish-speaking minority living in Ukraine's eastern regions wants Turkey to protect them from the ongoing political crisis in eastern Ukraine, a community representative told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

Nebican Basatov said the 2,000 Ahiska (Meskhetian) Turks living in Slaviansk are being oppressed by both pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine supporters.

Basatov said both sides put pressure on Ahiska Turks in Ukraine to take sides and they are worried about the future consequences.

"Ahiska Turks want to migrate to Turkey and need help. They want to keep their culture alive and ensure their life safety," he added.

Ahiska Turks are originally from a part of southern Georgia close to Turkey's border. Expelled by Joseph Stalin from their homeland in 1944, they faced discrimination and human rights abuses pre- and post-deportation. Those who migrated to Ukraine in 1990 settled in shanty towns used by seasonal workers.

There are also tens of thousands of Ahiska Turks living throughout former Soviet territories and in Turkey. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Mayıs 2014, 13:09