DE FACTO STATELESS: THE MESKHETIAN TURKS
Parikrama Gupta, Research Assistant, Migration Policy, Research & Communications International Organization for Migration (Geneva, Switzerland)
This paper proposes to examine the present sociopolitical conditions of the Meskhetian Turks living in the Krasnodar Territory of the Russian Federation. As an ethnic minority in a country that has seen a rise in levels of xenophobia and racism against “the other,” the Meskhetian Turks have survived primarily as squatters, having been denied basic human rights in a land they have inhabited for years. By a description of their history, their unique link to the territories they occupy, and the various forms of discrimination they face, I hope to prove that the Meskhetian Turks are, in fact, a de facto stateless group suffering from grave violations of freedom and survival inflicted by a majority population.
The plight of the Meskhetian Turks is a topic worthy of discussion today, not only because ethno-religious conflict levels have increased significantly the world over during the past few decades, but also because human rights abuses against vulnerable groups such as refugees, migrant workers, and “foreigners” have escalated at an alarming rate. The need for international legal and physical safeguards for the Meskhetian Turks must be emphasized—if the hardships faced by vulnerable sections of society are not examined and reported, the global community remains unaware of the gravity of such situations, and no international/national efforts can be made to intervene and………………..