Some Turks have been treated badly in Russia since Stalin

24/12/2015

Some Turks have been treated badly in Russia since Stalin. In 1940-s he exiled Ahiska Turks from thier motherland in South Georgia. Since then they have been facing discrimination, prejudice and violence. «One exhibition story. Deportation which never ends» is a documentary about people, whose motherland was taken away from them – Ahiska Turks. No one in seventy years has dared to try and correct Stalin’s fateful mistake – cruel and inhuman deportation of these people. The Ahiska Turks are still not wanted in Russia.

The tragic history of Ahiska Turks was a subject of a photo exhibition held in Moscow and Southern Russian regions. Russian authorities took quite a number of measures to prevent the exhibition by threatening its organizers, spying on them, trying to arrest them and exerting pressure on its attendees. Meanwhile those who managed to visit the exhibition sadly concluded they have always been facing a presumption of guilt in Russia, which shows in numerous violations of their rights.

In a country where nationalism and racism is rampant, it is difficult to imagine that one ethnic minority might suffer more than the rest. But in Russia there is one ethnic minority that is abused more than most – the Meskhetian Turks.  

Imagine the worst possible confrontation with Russian bureaucracy… then multiply it by 200 … 1000 per cent. You are shouted at several times a day, told that your child should not stay at school until Year 11 (18-years-old), but should leave after Year 9 (16-years-old), as the teachers consider he will probably spoil the school’s results in the Single State Exam.  

If you imagine the worst possible confrontation with Russian bureaucracy, then multiply it by 200 … 1000 per cent.

Or you apply for a job. At the interview you are rudely told that, although you have the right qualifications, you are not going to be taken on because there is an unwritten agreement that Turks are not to be employed. Or, you are in the street at 10pm and someone tells you that you shouldn’t be out, because you’re not Russian and you should ‘know your place.’ 

24/12/2015
Dmitry Florin

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