Thursday 22 May 2008

Circassians in Turkey give support to Abkhazia calling Georgia to peace

Circassian World, May 21, 2008, Ankara

As Georgian government raised her threats for war against Abkhazia and dispatched military troops to the border line, “The Friends of Abkhazia” assembled front of the Consulate General of Georgia in Istanbul and Embassy of Georgia in Ankara to warn Georgia “not to provoke war”.

Recently, Georgian Government’s raising her threats of military intervention against Abkhazia and dispatching military troops to the border line, generated war risk in the region again and also concerned the Abkhazian, Adyghean and other Circassian communities living in Turkey. After the first protest on May15th in front of Istanbul Consulate of Georgia, a second protest has been placed in Ankara.

“The Friends of Abkhazia” initiative issued a press statement and called for peace on 21th May 2008 in front of Embassy of Georgia in Ankara. The crowd, gathering around 12:00 am, urged Georgian Government to recognize Abkhazia’s independence and maintain good neighborhood with Abkhazia. In the press release, it was stated that:

“Georgia carried out an armed intervention to Abkhazia with the purpose of occupation on 14th August 1994. After severe battles, which started with Abkhazian people’s resistance and lasted for more than a year, this occupation attempt was repulsed and defeated. This war caused great suffering for both Abkhazian and Georgian people. Abkhazia is an independent country since 30th September 1993, which marks the end of this war. This independence is and will be protected and defended by Abkhazian people, sister Northern Caucasian people and millions of Abkhazian, Adyghean and other Circassian people living in the diaspora.”

In the statement, it was emphasized that a new military intervention from Georgia to Abkhazia will lead the region into a bigger war and a greater fire and it was pointed out that “Georgia must give up her ambitions to usurp Abkhazia’s historical, political and legal rights and abstain from adventures which will draw the region into conflict again. Georgian government must respect Abkhazia’s independence and acknowledge that this independence will be defended at all costs”.

Approximately 200 participants and leaders of Circassian associations and civilian initiative groups in Ankara and surrounding provinces accompanied the statement with Abkhazian flags, banners and slogans. It was remarked that Abkhazia is the legacy and sequel of a 5.000 year-old culture, a 1.500 year-old state and a 90 year-old republic. It was declared that:

“No one should doubt that we will protect this legacy to the end. Abkhazia is not alone today as it was not alone yesterday. Northern Caucasus, who witnessed wars, genocide and exile throughout her history, should now be a region of peace and stability. Georgian government should use her power and resources for her people’s welfare and improvement, instead of provoking war. It must be remembered that the political and military leaders of Georgia, who started the war with Abkhazia, were discharged because of the high prices that the Georgian people had to pay as a result of their wrong policies. We believe that Georgian people want peace and welfare and live alongside Abkhazian people and state as two allies and neighboring countries. With this firm belief, we are calling to the Georgian government: Learn from the past; turn your face to peace, not to war.

”The crowd dispersed with applause and slogans.

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