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Georgian Parliament Backs Meshketian Turks Repatriation


http://gdb.rferl.org/d1bad3e6-3c29-4abf-b777-92a158b2f460_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/d1bad3e6-3c29-4abf-b777-92a158b2f460_mw800_mh600.jpg (RFE/RL) June 22, 2007 -- Georgian lawmakers have given preliminary backing to legislation authorizing the repatriation of a largely Muslim minority who were deported en masse to Central Asia in the 1940s.


As a condition of joining the Council of Europe in 1999, Georgia agreed to guarantee the return by 2011 of the Meshketian Turks, an estimated 300,000 of whom are scattered in several former Soviet republics, most of them in Central Asia.


The government-backed legislation, which must go through two more readings, provides no financial assistance for resettlement.


(AP)

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