Turkey to grant citizenship to Ahıska Turks in the US
ANTALYA- Anadolu Agency
Turkey will grant citizenship to Meskhetian Turks, also known as Ahıska Turks, who are already U.S. citizens, foreign minister said on March 11.
"Turkey will offer double-citizenship to the Ahıska Turks who are already U.S. citizens and living in the U.S.," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said at an event in the Mediterranean branch of World Union of Ahıska Turks in Antalya.
Turkey will coordinate with the World Ahıska Turks Association during the process, he added.
Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey also granted citizenship to Ahıska Turks living in Turkey.
Some 92,307 Ahıska Turks were expelled from Georgia's Meskheti region by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1944, according to the World Ahıska Turks Association.
During nearly 40 days of deportation period from homeland to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, around 13,000 Ahıska Turks lost their lives due to hunger, cold weather and diseases, the association said.
Turkey has voluntarily accepted thousands of Meskhetian Turks upon President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's instruction.
Around half a million of Ahıska Turks live in Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, the U.S. and Ukraine.