The problems of Samtskhe-Javakheti


Nationality, language, lack of knowledge of the law

The problems of Samtskhe-Javakheti were the main theme of a journalistic outing to Samtskhe-Javakheti region in November 2010. The expedition was attended by eight representatives of various media outlets.

This region includes Borjomi, Adigeni, Aspindza, Akhaltsikhe, Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda regions.  Two of them – Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda – are inhabited mainly by ethnic Armenians, who make up 40 percent of the inhabitants of the entire region.

These two districts and their remote villages were in the focus of attention of the journalistic mission.  Of particular interest were the Muslim families, who, on the orders of Stalin, were exiled from the region during World War II, and who are single-handedly returning to the region, which creates legal problems due to  ethnic identity and language.

Representatives of ethnic minorities of Samtskhe-Javakheti either do not know the Georgian language at all, or speak it to a degree that is clearly insufficient for full integration.  Therefore, the local population does not actually turn to Georgian-language media resources.

Mission participants:

Maia Tsiklauri, Liberali magazine
Malkhaz Chkadua, Interpressnews agency
Magda Lekiashvili, 24 Saati newspaper
David Kanchashvili, Netgazeti online newspaper
Eka Basilaia, Resonansi newspaper
Nino Mikiashvili, news agency