Abkhazia kids left out after Georgia intervention
ISTANBULA group of kids from autonomous Abkhazia invited to Turkey by state-run broadcaster TRT for April 23 Children’s Day celebrations, were upset about being left out of the program due to a diplomatic row with Georgia, daily Radikal reported yesterday.
As part of International Children’s Day celebrations, TRT invited autonomous Abkhazia through the Abkhaz Associations Federation in Turkey. Although the federation reminded the broadcaster that this might create a diplomatic issue with Georgia, and that Turkey did not have diplomatic relations with Abkhazia, TRT guaranteed that no diplomatic problems would occur. Georgia, however, objected to the recognition of Abkhazia.
The phrase “Republic of Abkhazia,” was changed as “Abkhazia Autonomous Republic – Georgia” on the guest list on the official website of TRT. Republican People’s Party Sakarya deputy Engin Özkoç, who is of Abkhaz origin, met with Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç about the problem, demanding a diplomatic solution. TRT eventually removed Abkhazia from the list. Özkoç plans to bring the subject to the parliamentary agenda. Meanwhile, the group of Abkhazian children is set to head to Turkey next week.
“The children in Abkhazia are determined to celebrate the festival with their fellow brothers and sisters in Turkey, regardless of the Foreign Ministry’s decision,” Özkoç said.