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Georgia on the verge of full-scale Turkish expansion

Georgia on the verge of full-scale Turkish expansion

Radical forces in Turkey claim that Ajaria allegedly has been originally Turkish territory which Georgia occupied 100 years ago.

Georgia's foreign policy is based on three major points: U.S. opinion, Azerbaijan and Turkey's moves, and anti-Russian statements. Also, the latters sometimes seem to reflect Saakashvili's personal dislike after the disgraceful August 2008 rather than actual attitude of the Georgian society.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Despite statements of the West and protection of Georgia by U.S. and NATO, Tbilisi has to admit that both the war and the defeat came as logical ending of the reckless scheme which in fact cooled down certain forces in Caucasus. Indeed, this cooling down was true for some forces and for a while only. In this context, a really unexpected statement of Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vasadze published in the Ukrainian Zerkalo Nedeli weekly is worth mentioning.

Vashadze commented on Nagorno Karabakh conflict, resolution of which involves increasingly large number of volunteer mediators recently. When asked about Tbilisi's moves in case of resumption of hostilities in Nagorno Karabakh, he said: “God forbid there is a new war; it will bury the sovereignty and independence of all three Southern Caucasus states.” Vashadze expressed hope that efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group will settle the issue soon. “However, a third force is actively working to prevent the Minsk Group from achieving any progress and maintain tensions at the contact line as long as possible,” he added.

“A third force” voiced by Georgian political figures is definitely Russia, but never U.S., EU or NATO. However, prior to advises and attempts to squeeze into negotiation process over Karabakh, Georgia'd better mind its own conflicts. After losing Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Tbilisi risks losing Ajaria as well, due to its behavior.

According to opposition MP Jondi Bagaturia (“Georgian Troupe”), over the past two years the Georgian authorities granted citizenship to 25000 Turks living in Ajaria. “These radical forces may come to power in Turkey during elections; following it, we will see repetition of what happened in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This is a move the current government went for quite deliberately, since the current legislation entitles these 25000 Turks with dual citizenship for voting in our parliamentary elections due in October,” Bagaturia explained. The opposition leader believes these new 25000 Georgian citizens will vote for the ruling United National Movement party expressing their gratitude.

According to the MP, radical forces in Turkey claim that Ajaria allegedly has been originally Turkish territory which Georgia occupied 100 years ago.

It should be noted that the issue relates to Moscow-Kars agreement dating back to 1921 entitling Turkish troops to enter Ajaria. According to the agreement, Turkey and Russia reserved the right for interference in Ajaria and Nakhichevan, autonomies in Georgia and Azerbaijan, respectively, in case of military intervention of other states in these regions.

“Treacherous silence of our government with regard to this propaganda is disgraceful and dangerous, because these radical forces may come to power in Turkey during elections, and then we'll face the same thing that happened in Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” Bagaturia said stressing that Turkish troops may invade Ajaria in future under the pretext of protecting their citizens.

Concerns of sober Georgian politicians are not groundless. Turkey is now actively settling in Ajaria, and one cannot but notice abundance of Turkish flags and companies here. Also, putting up flags is very popular in Turkey, and their increasingly large number in Batumi should have caused concerns in Georgia; however, Mikheil Saakashvili just refuses to see his country becoming a Turkish province. Meanwhile, this is quite likely to happen.

Karine Ter-Sahakian
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