25th Anniversary of Fergana Pogroms.


2050

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Ahiska Turkish American Community Center Photo Exhibit
Thursday, February 27, 2014, 5:00pm
2360 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC

2049

The Ahiska Turkish American Community Center (ATACC), will be hosting a photo exhibit on February 27, 2014 in Washington D.C. to commemorate and marks the 10th Anniversary of Immigration to the United States from Russia, the 25th Anniversary of Fergana Pogroms, and a look back at of more than 70 years of Wholesale Deportation of their community from Soviet Georgia.

The photo exhibit will give viewers a look back at history, as the Ahiska community commemorates an unforgettable day for all Ahiska Turks – November 14, 1944, when Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin ordered an across-the-board deportation of all Ahiska Turks from their ancestral lands in the Ahiska (Meskheti) region of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic into Central Asia. During the deportation, forty percent (40%) of the entire Ahiska Turkish nation perished. The legacy of the deportation continues to affect the Ahiskas around the world today. Virtually none of those who were deported were able to return to their ancestral lands. Close to 80,000 Ahiska Turks remain in Russia.

The Ahiska Turks still regularly face severe discrimination and persecution in many areas of their lives by the Russian authorities due in part to their culture and their religion. Not only are the Ahiska Turks mistreated by top Russian authorities and the government, but they are also persecuted by paramilitary groups in the Southern Region of Russia. Back in 2003, the State Department selected Ahiska Turks as a group, for P-2 visa processing. This was largely due to the special humanitarian concerns facing the Ahiska Turks living in Russia that still exist to this day. Over the next few years, thousands of Ahiska Turks resettled the United States. Today, Ahiska Turkish Community Leaders and Community Centers around the country have revitalized an effort to reestablish the P-2 visa processing status for the Ahiska Turks living the Southern Regions of Russia.

The exhibit will be held on February 27, 2014 at 5pm at the 2360 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington D.C. It will be attended by several members of Congress and staff as well as Human Rights activists and journalists from the United States and other countries around the world.

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