Georgia on My Mind | The Armenian Mirror-Spectator
The region is plagued by many complex problems, because of the rivalry between regional and world powers. One of those problems is the Ottoman dream of Pan-Turkism, which has been checked by the existence of two Christian nations, Armenia and Georgia, blocking the eastward thrust of Turkish nationalist powers.
In recent years, however, it has become apparent that Georgia’s leaders do not consider Pan-Turkism an existential threat to their country, choosing instead short-term political accommodations with Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Successive Georgian governments have consistently voted with Turkey and Azerbaijan at the UN. But above all, they have been sanguine in supporting any economic plan which intends to isolate Armenia. For example, Tbilisi governments have joined rail and pipeline networks which bypass Armenia.
That is why we have considered Georgia as a friendly foe. But recently, the Economist weekly has used another word which suits better the two nations’ relationship, “frenemies.”
L’Arménie se sent de plus en plus isolée au milieu de ses voisins turcs ou en voie de turquisation.
Ce qui nous amène tout naturellement à l’#Adjarie.
Another region of concern for Armenians in Georgia is Ajaria, which became the Ajarian Autonomous Republic after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Ajaria is a vital economic link for Armenia, which is already under a crippling blockade by Turkey. Most unofficial trade and tourism between Armenia and Turkey crosses through Ajaria. The region was under Turkish rule for a while and the Georgians were forced to adopt the Moslem religion. By the time of independence, Ajarians had mostly converted back to Christianity. Today, the Turkish influence is so great that 70 percent of the population has adhered to Islam.
In his quest to turn Ajaria into a tourist destination, Saakashvili opened the floodgates to Turkish economic penetration. Parallel to that economic drive, he offered citizenship to anyone who applied for it. Already, 25,000 Turkish citizens have received Georgian citizenship and they have taken white collar jobs in and around Batumi, unlike Europe, where the Turks are mostly unskilled laborers.
Et un rappel sur les (Turcs) #Meskhètes au passage en Djavahkétie.
The Armenian problem for them is not new. At one point, the government intended to resettle in Javakhk the Meskhetian Turks, who had been expelled by Stalin, in order to create ethnic tensions.
La Géorgie est devenue en 1999 membre du Conseil de l’Europe, à la condition de régler la question du rapatriement des Meskhètes avant 2011. Peu de choses ont été entreprises depuis, la Géorgie se plaignant de difficultés prioritaires difficilement gérables, comme les déplacés d’Abkhazie, la crise économique ou les tensions avec les Arméniens de Djavakhétie. En juin 2007, une loi a été adoptée par le Parlement géorgien, donnant la possibilité aux candidats au rapatriement de revenir en Géorgie, sous couvert d’acceptation par les instances géorgiennes. Les conditions sont draconiennes et le délai accordé très court (un an entre janvier 2008 et décembre 2009). Cette loi n’a pas fait l’unanimité et divise la classe politique comme la population, toujours sous-informée et hostile aux Meskhètes.