Georgian opposition slams government for granting Turks citizenship
From online dispatches
A view of Batumi, the capital of Ajaria. Hürriyet photo
A Georgian opposition deputy has accused the country's government of granting citizenship to around 25,000 Turks in a move to secure votes in coming elections.
Jondi Bagaturia of the Georgian Troupe said 25,000 Turks who were granted dual citizenship had the right to vote in the coming elections in Georgia due in October and believed they would vote for the ruling United National Movement party to "express their gratitude," according to a report by PanArmenian.net.
Bagaturia said the Turks who were granted Georgian citizenship were living in the country's Ajaria Autonomous Republic, which presented a risk that the region might break away in a "repetition of what happened in Abkhazia and South Ossetia."
According to Bagaturia, radical forces in Turkey claimed Ajaria was originally under Turkish rule and that Georgia occupied it 100 years ago. "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, adding that Turkish troops could invade Ajaria under the pretext of protecting its citizens.