Ankara, Newspaper "Cumhuriyet"
February 8, 2000
On 11 July 1999, a Turkish newspaper "Cumhuriyet" published quasi-scientific article written by certain Nur Dolye on the issue of Abkhazia. The article is nothing else but provocative pasquinade replete with hatred of Georgia and its people.
A meeting between the Georgian and Abkhaz sides, which was mediated and fully supported by the Foreign Minister of Turkey-Mr. Ismail Cem took place 7-9 July 1999 and aimed at finding peaceful solutions to the conflict. After such an important meeting, publication of this kind of article is particularly lamentable. The author puts blame squarely on the Georgian people and Government. When He speaks about history in the region, he fails to mention about the sufferings of the Georgian people, inflicted by the Soviet regime and points out troubles befell only on ethnic Abkhazians as a result of Muslims forced exile (Muhajir) to Turkey. Such approach is scientifically absolutely groundless.
First of all, it should be noted that the destructive forces outside Georgia have artificially created the problem in Abkhazia (Georgia). This policy seeks to prevent Georgia from becoming fully-fledged democracy, its integration into the international community and Georgia's participation in the pipeline project- nicknamed "the project of the century". Nevertheless, the project implementation has gone so far, nothing is likely to stop it.
As far as Mohajirstvo is concerned, this tragedy, occurred in the 1860s, had its negative effect not only on the ethnic Abkhazs, but on the whole Islamic population of the mountainous Caucasus, as well as on the Georgian Muslims, who, by the way, outnumbered Abkhaz Muslim exiles two times. Therefore, the occupant Russian Empire, and not the occupied Georgia, should be held responsible for the tragedy.
According to the Article, after the Soviatisation of Abkhazia occurred, the latter joined the Soviet Union and enjoyed the same status as Georgia did, but in 1930, Stalin annulled the hitherto existing status of Abkhazia and subordinated it to Georgia. Understandably enough, Georgian origin of Stalin may misled the reader and incline them to believe the aforementioned allegations. It is True, the Abkhaz people had suffered a great deal under the Stalin regime, however, it should not be forgotten that other regions of Stalin's and Beria's homeland suffered as well, especially it is true when it comes to Georgian creative and scientific elite.
In July 1918, the Georgian Government and the Abkhazia Authorities signed a Treaty, which granted Abkhazia a wide autonomy and endorsed it as an integral part of Georgia. From 1918-1921, while the Democratic rule in Georgia, its external borders were internationally recognized and respected. Abkhazia was integral part of Georgia and like some other regions, had been granted the status of "Soviet Socialist" republic. The similar status has been granted to Stavropol, Tuapse, Ural and other regions.
The author discovers very interesting "fact". He claims that the President of Georgia, Mr. Shevardnadze, was captured by Abkhaz military commanders and later on set free upon the request of Mr. Ardzinba(?!). It is rather bizarre, is not it, that the world community failed to notice the President's imprisonment and that the very person, who brought disaster to 250 000 people, demonstrated unimaginable "humanity" and released President Shevardnadze?!.
The vast majority of the populations of Abkhazia are Christians. However, some newspapers, published in our country, regard the 1992-93 Georgian-Abkhaz conflict as an "Islam Jihad" (war for Islamic purity).
The article vividly fails to show concern what should be done by the conflicting sides to find peaceful means to the solution of the conflict.
Despite the extremely provocative and absolutely groundless information, there does not exist any serious problem in the relationships between the Georgian and Abkhaz people. The best proof of the aforementioned is the fact that after the policy of ethnic cleansing and exodus of thousands of Georgians from Abkhazia, many Abkhazs continue living peacefully in different regions of Georgia. That is a fact of life without any shadow of hypocrisy.
The Georgian and Abkhaz people want to restore their friendship and the Turkish Mass media is well positioned to play essential role in the process, including "Cumhuriyet".