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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Georgians in Turkey - refuges of the old war

At the end of Russian-Turkish War (1877-1878) thousands of Muslim Georgians had to flee from their motherland. They wished to find "a new hope" in Turkey. Georgians wanted to choose the places similar to Georgia in weather, woodland, river valleys and natural features. According to villagers in 1880s their ancestors were led to that side of Hayriye By Imam Haci Mehmet Efendi Kochaoghli, Husein Ada Xinkiladze also took a great part in establishing the village.

Watch traditional ethnic dances of Georgians from Hayriye in Turkey:

About 250 Georgian Muhagirs lefi their houses near Artvin, from other sources villages of Machaxela: Chukuneti, Chxutuneti, kirkiteti, Xinkileti, Kirnati and etc and travelled to Turkey. Hayriye (Machaxela, “Small Moscow”) is situated in Marmara Region, Province of Bursa. It is located in the foothills of the Uludao range, that‘s why it was called a “Mountain Village”.

The mode of life, cultural-economic structure of old and present Hayriye are quite different. Other villagers call Hayriye “Kiiciik Moskova” (Small Moscow), “Communists”. We suppose that economic development, European experience, knowledge and desire of innovation can be considered to be its main reasons.

Since the 1960s, many inhabitants of Hayriye went as migrant workers to Germany and Austria. They still keep their ancestral homes in Hayriye where they return to in the summer. (During the 1950s and 1960s the number of permanent occupants was over 1,000; since the 1970s, the number steadily decreased due to emigration to Germany and Austria .) The older people still speak the Georgian language.

Based on research essay by Nino Okrostsvaridze “For the question of history of Turkish Georgians in Hayriye” published in Amirani Magazine 2010-01-27
To read complete essay in Georgian please follow the link