Binali ALIEV

Binali Aliev, Ph.D. (Medicine), Tashkent, Uzbekistan

So far we have no complete and objective history of this much suffering nation while materials scattered in magazines and other publications do nothing to tell a true story of its ethnogenesis. Its nearly official (or completely official) name Meskhetian Turks gives distorted idea about their origin. Some people use derogative terms to describe them such as Kartuli tatreba, the Huns, Kipchaks or Bunturks. In fact, these terms were imposed on the Turkic-speaking Muslim people by Georgian scholars, ideologists of czarist colonialist policies.1

Individual publications on the subject that are few and far between do nothing to tell the truth about my peoples past. This tradition goes back to the personality cult and stagnation periods when any new information about the Meskhetian Turks was treated with caution and rejection.

Having looked into available contradictory information, I offer here my own idea about the Meskhetian Turks past and ethnic name. I have drawn on historical, linguistic, ethnographic, folklore and even anthropological materials. In fact, this is the only way leading to the correct answer to the question about the origin of the Meskhetian Turks (Meskhi) and their ethnonym.

I do not claim the final and ultimate truth; I know that I cannot raise and resolve all aspects of all questions. I am convinced that like any other author I have the right to interpret and describe the problem. It is hard to change the name of any ethnic group, therefore I suggest that the present name Meskhetian Turks should be preserved. I believe that the people themselves will find it hard to accept it without reservations: they prefer their own variant Akhyskha Tiurkliari (Akhyskha Turks). To borrow an aphorism from Albert Einstein one can say that it is easier to split the atom than to destroy a negative attitude to this name in the minds of the deported people.

* * *

The question of the origin of the Meskhi and of their life for many centuries in what is now Southern Georgia is far from being exhaustively studied. There is no doubt, however, that the process of their ethnic formation, as of other Turkic-speaking people in Meskhet-Javakhetia, is closely connected with the Georgian, Turkish, and Persian past. The peoples who lived there belonged to one ethnic branch called the Meskhi in the earliest sources.

According to ancient Greek geographer and historian Strabo (64/63 B.C.-A.D. 23/24) Meskhetia was composed of three parts. One of them belonged to the Karts (Kartvels), another, to the Ivers, and still another, to Armenians.2 From this it follows that Armenia, Meskhetia and Colchis met there. This place was crossed by the Meskheti Mountains by which Strabo probably meant one of the offshoots of the Smaller Caucasus. Several centuries before Strabo another ancient Greek historian Herodotus (between 490 and 480-c. 425 B.C.) mentioned the Meskhi as one of the tribes of the 19th satrapy. They were closely connected with the tribes living in Trebizond (Trabzon) and Thracia. One may conclude that they descended from the Meskhetian tribes of Asia Minor.3 The ethnonym the Pontic Meskhi used by the authors of classical antiquity completely coincided with the names of the Eastern and Western Mushki used by West Asian sources. This can be easily explained by the fact that the sources referred to the same people living at the Oriental fringe of the Mushki and Kartvelian area.4

Starting with Josephus Flavius (37-after A.D. 100) certain Oriental post-Hellenic authors who relied on the Hellenic and West Asian (including the Biblical) tradition point out that the Cappadocians were of the Moskh origin. They wrote that a certain Mosokh (Moskh, Meskh) was their leader. This explains why at the beginning they were called Mosokhens (Moskhens, Meskheneans) and then received the name of Cappadocians. There is another indication of their ancient origin: there was a city of Mazaka the name of which confirms that the people was also called this.

All earlier authors, including Flavius, used vocalization and inserted (o).5 Here we are obviously dealing with the term Moskhi (which from the linguistic point of view is the same as Mushki; Meskhi appeared later when Moskhi were equaled with Meskhi). K. Tseretelli believes that in the Late Greek Mocg(oi) meant the Greek term Moskhi.6 Relying on later sources the name of the Mushki (Meskhi) is associated with the northeastern fringe of Asia Minor. There is every ground to believe that the Mushki (Meskhi) that appeared at the same time in Northern Mesopotamia all moved toward Meskhetia.7

Mes(hi) is a Greek word that means patting ones head with a damp hand during a ritual ablution or a greeting touch by a close person.8 These gestures have survived among the Meskhi till our days. They mean: you are one of us. The word mes-eti is a collective noun that means a place where the Meskhi live. Famous Georgian historian and geographer Prince Vakhushti Bagrationi, who lived in the eighteenth century, used these words in his description of Southern Georgia.9 The word Samtskhe (sam-tskhe) means the country of the Meskhi.10 The word has another meaning: sami is three in Georgian, tsikhe means a fortress. Together they refer to three fortresses: Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe, and Adigeni.

One is tempted to ask: who were the Meskhi? Whence did they come? What makes their everyday life, language, traditions, customs, and culture different from the Caucasian ethnic family? Are they Turks or just Turkized part of Southern Georgia? There is any number of wrong hypotheses, often malicious, about this mysterious people and its origins born by insufficient linguistic and ethnic data about it. Starting with the second century A.D. the people have been using an interesting phonetic transcription of the Turkish tongue. Its everyday life, customs, traditions, and culture differ from those of its neighbors. People who are genuinely interested in the Meskhi normally ask the same question: Are the Meskhi (Meskhetian Turks) pagans or are they the remnants of an ancient Turkic-speaking ethnos or were they assimilated by the Turks?11

Historical facts indicate that since the ancient time Meskhetia has been peopled with the Hatti, Meskhi and tribes of Karts (Kartvels in Georgian). (In Turkish kart means firm, veli means son, together they mean Sons of the Karts.) The latter spoke one of the Caucasian languages. It is commonly believed that the ancient Meskhetian civilization was created by Turkic-speaking ethnic elementsso far, there is no common opinion about their ethnic affiliation. The Hatti called themselves Hatti, the Meskhi, Meskhi. They looked very much alike: strongly-built, short, with round faces and large aquiline (or straight) noses, closely shaven heads and faces and large whiskers. This large ethnic group gave the name of Meskhetia to Southern Georgia.12

There was another people that had been living in Meskhetia for many centuries: Persians of ancient Iran. They were Zoroastrians (the religion that probably appeared in the first millennium B.C.). Iran was the first power to conquer Asia Minor (including Meskhetia) in the sixth century B.C. There the Iranian tribes that later became assimilated by the Turkic-speaking ancestors of the Meskhor-Kartlar left a huge amount of lexical, grammatical, and syntactic Iranian elements. The same can be said about other cultural spheres.13

Early in the seventh century Meskhetia was conquered by Arabs who remained there until 885. The local population was actively assimilated by the conquerors.14 Today, not less than 40 percent of the spoken word stock are Arabic borrowings. This should not be taken to mean that the Arabs played a special role in the ethnic origins of the Meskhetian Turks. This testifies that Islam, enlightenment and literature were the instruments of Arabic influence: a great number of borrowings belong to the written language, many of them came together with the Arabic script.15

The language of the Meskhetian Turks holds a special place among the other Turkic languages: for a long time they were exposed to varied ethnic influences. Their country was a crossroads of caravan routes along the Black Sea coast and regularly attracted conquerors. The Turkic element, however, prevailed in the Samtskhe-Saatobago Princedom and the Akhaltsikhe Pashalik that survived for 300 years. There is a Meskhetian proverb that describes the country the grave of many tribes and a mountain of the languages of the friendship of peoples.16

Caucasian ethnic elements predominate in the ethnic origins of the Meskhetian Turks; there are no purely Turkish facial features among them. In fact, the people is a blend of the Hatti, Phrygian, Lydian, Persian, Georgian, Armenian, Kurdish, Hazara, and Hellenic elements. However, they are nothing like them where their upbringing and language are concerned. It was their ancestors (Hatti) who used the term Caucasus for the first time. Aeschylus in his Prometheus Bound was the first to use it in a work of literature.17 The word kaz in the Turkic language means a goose, the word kav, proud. Together they mean proud as a goose. The Turks also borrowed many elements of material and spiritual culture from the peoples they conquered. Turkish assimilation knew no compromises: a former Christian was accepted while a gavur (non-Muslim) was rejected outright. Mixed marriages the children of which spoke Turkic languages were another assimilation vehicle.

Language is the key feature of any ethnoses yet their linguistic classification cannot be regarded as decisive. Indeed, today the Meskhetian Turks speak Russian and all Central Asian languages. The Azeris, Mulsim Meskhi and the Urums (Greeks living in the Tsalka District, Southern Georgia) speak very close languages that differ in their local dialects. The Meskhi and Urums, and Turks in Turkey and the Crimean Tartars speak the same languages but their cultures, customs and ways of life differ. The people lived in the mountains where they practiced agriculture, mainly cattle breeding. The Urums were Christians but were assimilated by the Meskhetian Turks.

They belonged to different ethnoses and should be classified according to how they identified themselves.18 An individual or a group of people are free to refer themselves to any ethnos but this will not make them physically and culturally part of it. Indeed, such an approach would have distorted histories of many nations. Today, the Meskhetian Turks speak territorial dialects of the Turkish language stamped with their own tongue and tongues of their neighbors. Their language took shape in the second-sixth centuries by developing from the spoken language of the Hatti, Meskhi and Karts under the influence of the Turkish substratum.19

The Turkish language the Meskhi speak today is based on the Anatolian dialect of Turkish with numerous elements of the Persian, Arabic, and Georgian languages that can be explained by historical circumstances. The poets born in Meskhetia employed dialectical elements close to the Azerbaijanian language; folk poets (ashykhlars) who reflected the interests of the nation in their epic poems (dastans) and small satirical verses (koshma) used the Meskhetian-Turkish dialect. They could not writetherefore their poems belong to folklore.

After many years of research Georgian specialists in Turkic studies concluded that the Turkic-speaking Muslim Meskhi who lived until 14 November, 1944 in Meskhet-Javakhetia spoke the Akhaltsikhe, or Meskhetian dialect of the Turkish language that belonged to the Eastern Anatolian group of dialects.20

Linguistic studies, names of tribes and ethnic specifics that can be still observed allow a conclusion that ethnographically the Meskhetian Turks are far removed from the Huns, Kipchaks, Oghuz, Ephthalites and others and that they got their name by chance.

The Turkic-speaking Meskhi were a settled people though in summer part of the family went up to the mountains together with the cattle.

They wore Caucasian-style dress that testifies to cultural ties of long standing. The details are especially interesting: like all other Caucasian people they wore very specific shirts that were never tucked in into trousers. In summer, they wore homemade chokha sharvali, in winter, a fur coat called kurk or arkhalukh. They wore flat round sheepskin or cloth hats (kabalakh). Footwear was called chorabok (warm woolen socks) and charukh (sandals made of raw ox-hide).

Women were dressed like Armenian, Azeri or Georgian women dressed themselves. They wore shirts with jackets over them or brightly colored wadded high-necked dresses (zubuns, or fustan in Greek) with narrow sleeves and waists and wide along the sides. The dresses are normally worn with wide bloomers (tuman). Married women and unmarried girls had to wear a shal tavshali (a woolen headdress; from shalwoolen and tavhead or headdress in Georgian). Women wore a lachak (a headdress made of high-quality cheesecloth) and a katkha with gold coin-like pendants (pipanur).

Objects of everyday use and funereal objects as well as things that came down from the Bronze Age (Middle and Late), the early Iron Age and the Middle Ages found by archeologists at Akhaltsikhe and across Meskhetia make it possible to conclude that the cattle breeding and land tilling tribes had come there in hoary antiquity and later.

Soviet historian Dmitry Eremeev admitted that certain Turkic-speaking tribes had lived in Asia Minor even before the Turkish people was formed. He wrote: One has to admit that there is some truth in the thesis of an autochthonous nature of the Turkic-speaking people. To a certain extent they descended from the population of Meskhetia. He wrote further: As early as the third and fourth centuries numerous Turkish tribes were always neighbors of the peoples of Asia Minor, the Caucasus and the Balkans. They actively penetrated these areas.21 It should be noted that all conquerors who came to Meskhet-Javakhetia left their traces there, yet there is no reason to look at them as ancestors of the Muslim Meskhi (Meskhetian Turks).

From this it follows that the people we know today under the name of Meskhi, Muslim Karts- Meskhi (Meskhetian Turks) are direct descendants of the Meskhi, the core of whom were Turkic-speaking tribes (starting with the second-third centuries B.C.).22

Early in the sixteenth century Georgia finally disintegrated into the Karthli. Kakhetian and Imeretian states and an administrative unit Samtskhe. It was at that time that it became an arena of struggle between two Turkic powers: Sunni Ottoman Turkey and Shiite Azeri Safavid state.

In 1516, Meskhetia (Samtskhe) became part of the Safavid state. In 1555, this was registered in a treaty with the Porte signed in the city of Amasia. In 1578, after another war, it became a Turkish possession.23

Early in the seventeenth century this much-suffering land passed to the Safavids several times. After 1639, under a treaty with Iran, the Ottoman Turks entrenched themselves there and formed the Childir (Akhaltsikhe) Pashalik (state) with an Ottoman system of administrative relations. It was at that time that certain local Georgians (the nobles in the first place) became Muslims and partly accepted Turkish customs. Vakhushti Bagrationi wrote that having occupied Meskhetia the Ottoman Turks at first did not demand that the local people should abandon Christianity. After the death of Manuchar (1624), the last Christian ruler of Samtskhe, under a Muslim ruler Safar Pasha the noble osmanly of Meskhetia adopted Islam. Vakhushti further wrote: The nobles were Muslims while their wives and maids remained Christians.24

The Ottoman period was of decisive importance for consolidating varied Turkic tribes and peoples into an ethnos speaking the Turkish language and having Turkish culture.

In 1828, Russia and Turkey started a war. Soon after that, on 15 August, 1829 Russian troops under General Ivan Paskevich captured Meskhetia. During the war over half of the local Sunni Meskhi fled to the eastern parts of the Porte to escape genocide of the Russian army. As soon as the Akhaltsikhe Pashalik was annexed by Russia, the officials deported local Muslims. In 1828 Commander of the Russian army Paskevich ordered to move them all to Turkey. Later, under Art 13 of the Adrianople treaty between Russia and Turkey of September 1829 it was suggested that within 18 months the local people be moved to Turkey.25

One hundred thousand were deported at that time. In 1829-1831 Russian authorities moved over 30 thousand Armenians to the vacated lands.26 The first population census carried out in the Russian Empire in 1897 showed that the total population of Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki uezds (Tiflis gubernia) was 141.5 thousand of whom there were 43.3 thousands (31 percent) of Muslims: Turks, Kurds, Terekeme, Khemshilis. In 1916, on the eve of the revolution, there were 172 thousand living there; there were 76 thousand Armenians (previously moved from Turkey) in Akhalkalaki uezd.27

World War I and the political turmoil of 1917-1920 changed the ethnic context in the area once more: the majority of the villages were destroyed by Armenians and the nationalistically minded Georgians, which cost many Muslims their lives.

On 13 April, 1918, 40 Turkic delegates from Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki uezds took part in the Batumi peace conference. Their representative demanded that the uezds be reunited with Turkey to restore the situation that existed prior to 1829. The delegates insisted that if they remain within Georgia the unique ethnos will be threatened with losing, in the not so distant future, not only the national connection with Turkey but also their language and religion. This is very probable because the Georgians are actively moving in this direction since the beginning of the revolution.28

On 14 July, 1918 the Muslim population of Meskhet-Javakhetia carried out a referendum in which they voted for joining Turkey. Several months later (on 29 October, 1918) when the Ottoman Empire fell apart the people of Meskhet-Javakhetia set up a provisional government under Omar Faiq-bek. Kars became the capital of the newly formed republic of Akhyskha. Very soon the Muslim Meskhi united with the Azeris of Nakhichevan and formed the Arazo-Meskhi Republic to repulse the pressing Georgian and Armenian troops.29

In spring 1919, after fierce fighting Georgians occupied the best part of Meskhetia; many civilians were killed, even more people fled to Turkey. The Muslim leader Omar Faiq-bek had to go into hiding in Azerbaijan. In February 1921 Soviet power came to Georgiathis opened another chain of catastrophes in the lives of those Muslims who had stayed behind in Meskhet-Javakhetia. The Adzhars, Abkhaz and Ossets, who were also Muslims, became autonomous. The Meskhi were denied this rightthe new power told them to emigrate to Turkey.

The Meskhetian Muslims were the first in the Soviet Union who experienced the nationalities policy of the Georgian communists: between 1920 and 1937 nearly all intellectuals (there were few of them) were repressed.

The first Soviet population census of 1926 demonstrated the following: there were 68.3 thousand Muslims in the Akhaltsikhe District, they made up about 40 percent of the districts total population. (It should be noted that the number of Meskhi Muslims was deliberately understated.)

On the eve of World War II, according to the 1939 census, there were 55 thousand Meskhi Muslims in the Adigeni District, 75 thousand in the Akhaltsikhe District, 25 thousand in the Akhalkalaki District, 30 thousand in the Aspindza District, and 15 thousand in the Bogdanovka District. Of this number 65 thousand served in the Soviet Army. In 1944, over 200 thousand people were deported from Meskhetia. (The figures had been taken in 1981 from the Akhaltsikhe city archives. Later when the repressed Muslims demanded to be returned to their historical homeland the archives were destroyed.30)

Information that Marat Baratashvili supplies in his Pravovoe polozhenie meskhov-repatriantov v Gruzii (Legal Status of Repatriated Meskhi in Georgia) is false: there were no Meskhi at that time; there were people of various ethnic affiliations (Turks, Kurds, Khemshilis, Terekemes) to whom this term was applied.

On 24 July, 1944 Beria sent a letter to Stalin in which he suggested that the situation along the Soviet border in Georgia should be improved by resettling Muslims from the Akhaltsikhe, Adigeni, Aspindza, Akhalkalaki, Bogdanovka districts and villages in the Adzharian S.S.R. Beria said that he had discussed the project with the Georgian leaders.31

Then came the blackest day in the history of the Turks, Kurds, Khemshilis, and Terekemes of Meskhetia. Under a special resolution by the U.S.S.R. Defense Committee (No. 5279 ce 5 of 31 July, 1944) signed by Stalin the Meskhetian Turks were deported from five districts and Adzharia. On 14 November, 1944, 265 thousand (35,000 households) were moved to Central Asia.32

They spent a month traveling in appalling conditions and trying to adjust themselves to new, no less appalling, situation. This cost numerous lives: over 56 percent of children, old people and men crippled by the war died of illnesses, hunger, and cold. At the same time over 65 thousands of Meskhetian Turks were fighting at the front; 12 of them were awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union orders. Those who came back (over 16 thousand), many of them gravely wounded and crippled, did not find their homes and their families. The orders and medals they earned in battles were taken away together with other documents. All were deported to Central Asia.

According to the U.S.S.R. Ministry of the Interior, in January 1953 (several months before Stalins death) there were 86,663 deported from Georgia living in Central Asia. They were mainly Turks, Kurds and Khemshilis.33 The figures were doctored.

In 1956 curfew was lifted yet the nation was not rehabilitated and could not go back to their old homes in Meskhetia. The Decree of the U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet signed by Kliment Voroshilov said: The lifting of limitations from the peoples enumerated in the decree does not involve the return of their property confiscated in the process of deportation; this does not give them the right to go back to the places where they were repressed.34 After that the Meskhetian Turks started fighting for their rights and return home. However, the ban on their coming back was not lifted.

In May-June 1989, there was a wave of riots in the Ferghana Valley that caused another deportation of the Akhyskha Turks: 74 thousand Turks left Uzbekistan. About 15.5 thousands of them settled in Kazakhstan, 16 thousand, in Russia, over 40 thousand, in Azerbaijan.35 The ban on return home was lifted by the First Congress of the U.S.S.R. Peoples Deputies on 14 November, 1989, after 45 years of deportation, yet there are still obstacles. Today, we all are concerned with the fact that the Meskhetian Turks are gradually losing their culture and native tongue; they are scattered across the world and have nothing to call their own; many family ties have been disrupted. So far, Georgia has not removed the black spots in its history: this sovereign country has not yet passed a single decision on the state level that would allow the Meskhetian Turks (Meskhi) come back to their native land.

This is what happened to the Meskhetian TurksI regret to say that few of them knew their genuine history. Generation after generation are duped with falsified history: everything that the people could be proud of was either destroyed or ascribed to Georgians. Time has come for the Georgian leaders to address the issue and resolve the problem according to the international legal norms. The wounds that are still aching should be healed.

1 See: Entsiklopedicheskiy slovar Granata, Vol. 41, Part VII, p. 58.

2 See: Strabo, Geographica XI, 2, 18.

3 See: V.V. Latyshev, Izvestia drevnikh pisatelei grecheskikh i latinskikh o skifii Kavkaza, Vols. 1-2, St. Petersburg, Issues 2-3, 1890-1893-1906.

4 See: A.A. Nemirovskiy, Kappadokiitsy i Kappadokia: k formirovaniu etnopoliticheskoi karty drevnei Anatolii, Vostok. Afroaziatskoe obshchestvo: istoria i sovremennost, No. 6, 1999, pp. 8-11.

5 See: G. Gozalishvili, Dva etiuda iz istorii Ponta i Kappadokii, Tbilisi, 1967, pp. 45-57.

6 About the history of the term Moskhi and an analysis of the names of Mushki-Moskhi see: K. Tseretelli, Soobshchenia AN Gruz. SSR, XVI, No. 2, 1954, pp. 111-118.

7 See: E. Cavaigane, Meshiphrygiens, Journal Asiatique, T.EE, XLI, 1953, p. 140.

8 See: Bolshoi turetsko-russkii slovar, 2nd ed., Moscow, 1998, p. 619.

9 See: Vakhushti, Opisanie Tsarstva Gruzinskogo, Tbilisi, 1941, p. 121.

10 See: Istochniki gruzinskoi letopisi. Tri khroniki, translated by E.S. Takaishvili, in: Sbornik materialov dlia opisaniia mestnostei i plemen Kavkaza, Issue 28, Tiflis, 1900, pp. 1-44.

11 See: Sh.V. Lomsadze, Iuzhnaia Gruzia. Samtskhe-Javakheti s serediny XVIII po 50-e gody XIX veka. Synopsis of a doctorate thesis, Tbilisi, 1973.

12 See: I.N. Kazbek, Tri mesiatsa v Turetskoi Gruzii, Book 8, Issue 1, ZKIRGO, 1876, pp. 99, 125.

13 See: Ibidem.

14 See: A.N. Baskakov, Tiurkskie iazyki, Moscow, 1960, pp. 41-60.

15 See: D.E. Eremeev, Etnogenez turok, Moscow, 1971, pp. 230-233.

16 B. Aliev, Yyldyz, No. 6, 1986.

17 See: Bolshaia sovetskaia entsiklopedia, Vol. 11, p. 113.

18 A.A. Shennikov, O poniatii etnograficheskiy kompleks, in: Doklady otdelenii i komissii Geograficheskogo obshchestva SSSR, Issue 3, Etnografia, Leningrad, 1967, p. 40.

19 See: S.S. Jikia, K nazvaniam mesiatsev v meskhetinskom dialekte turetskogo iazyka, Voprosy tiurkologii (60th anniversary of M.Sh. Shiraliev, Academician of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijanian SSR), Baku, 1971.

20 See: V.E. Gudashvili, Osobennosti turetskogo govora naselenia Tsialkovskogo raiona, Trudy IIaL AN Gruz. SSR, Oriental Studies series, 1, 1954.

21 D.E. Eremeev, op. cit., pp. 21-23.

22 See: Ibid., pp. 21-22, 53, 58-60.

23 See: O. Efendiev, Azerbaidzhanskoe gosudarstvo Sefevidov v XVI veke, Baku, 1981, pp. 63, 105.

24 Vakhushti Bagrationi, Istoria tsarstva Gruzinskogo, translated by N.T. Nakashidze, Tbilisi, 1976, pp. 208-213.

25 See: Dogovory Rossii s Vostokom. Politicheskie i torgovye, St. Petersburg, 1869, pp. 78-79.

26 See: Sh.V. Lomsadze, op. cit., p. 29.

27 See: M. Baratashvili, Pravovoe polozhenie meskhov-repatriantov v Gruzii, Tbilisi, 1998, p. 8.

28 Quoted from: A. Iunusov, Tsentralnaia Azia i Kavkaz, No. 1 (2), 1999, p. 169.

29 See: A. Gajyly, Na chuzhbine (etnicheskaia kultura meskhetinskikh turok), Baku, 1992, pp. 17-18 (in Azerbaijanian).

30 See: A.G. Osipov, Osnovnye napravlenia izmenenii v samosoznanii i kulture Akhaltsikhskikh (meskhetinskikh) turok (20-e gg. XIX v.-90-e gg. XX v.). Synopsis of a candidate thesis, Moscow, 1993, p. 14.

31 See: N.F. Bugai, Turki-meskhetintsy: dolgii put k reabilitatsii. Collection of documents, Moscow, 1994, p. 13.

32 See: Ibid., pp. 13-14, 38, 45, 60.

33 See: Ibid., pp. 24, 38-45, 67.

34 See: Ibid., p. 92.

35 See: A. Iunusov, Akhaltsikhe (Meskhetinskie) turki: dvazhdy deportirovannye, Vostok. Afroaziatskoe obshchestvo: istoria i sovremennost, No. 6, 1999, p. 41.

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