EDUCATIONAL RESULTS OF AN EXILE: THE AHISKA TURKS

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İkram Çınar

Abstract

The forced resettlement of an ethnic group at the hands of the state where it has citizenship leads to many losses and traumas in that group. Losses in cultural, sociological, economic and psychological aspects are the immediately noticeable losses. Less conspicuous than these, yet very important in terms of society and the individual, are losses related to education. 
The restrictions imposed by a state on the way of life of a certain ethnic group, and the education policy implemented on that group, may prevent the use of the right to education, which is one of the fundamental human rights. This study focuses on the educational consequences of the exiling from their homeland of the Ahıska Turks (or Meskhetian Turks) who lived in the Ahıska (Samtskhe) region of Georgia at the time of the Soviet Union, in the year 1944. This study was designed in accordance with qualitative research techniques. A descriptive case study design was chosen. It is concluded that the exiled Ahıska Turks suffered losses in terms of education due to their exile and its consequences. These losses are placed in four groups, namely, losses stemming from leaving the community devoid of intellectuals, losses due to literacy becoming more difficult, losses originating from being forced into agricultural labour, and losses due to exposure to ethnic discrimination. 

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