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Kars-Akhalkalaki Initiative

Kars-Akhalkalaki Initiative, Integrating and Opening up Samtskhe-Javakheti The region of Javakheti is located in the southern part of Georgia, nested against the borders of Turkey and Armenia. The central parts of Javakheti (Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda) are almost entirely Armenian. The Armenians of Javakheti came originally from the province of Erzurum in the Ottoman Empire: the major settlement of Armenians in Javakheti region occurred after the war between the Russian and Ottoman empires in 1828-29. The area used to be a restricted border zone in the Soviet times. Fluency in Turkish is still noticeable.

The climate in Javakheti is extremely harsh. Akhalkalaki is situated at an altitude of approximately 1,700 metres above sea level and Ninotsminda is situated at an altitude of 1,950. Industry in the region has virtually ceased to function. The predominant resource of Javakheti remains agriculture, and its agricultural output is shaped by its mountainous terrain and harsh climate. Infrastructures are completely ruined and the area is virtually cut off from the rest of Georgia physically and economically. Employment reaches 95%, a large proportion of the male working population from Javakhetian villages migrate to Russia every year.

The 62nd Divisional Russian base located in Akhalakaki is the major employer. The perspective of the closure of the military base points out to the pressing need to create sources for income generation. The Samtskhe-Javakheti region has become an important issue for the Georgian government. A number of initiatives to further integrate this region into Georgia have been undertaken, including plans to start reconstruction of key road-links in the coming months, which will enhance the physical and economic links between Samtskhe-Javakheti and the rest of the country, supported by Millenium Challenge Georgia. The OSCE has been running the “Conflict Prevention and Integration Programme for Samtskhe-Javakheti” since April 2003.

TABDC is actively supporting the local initiative undertaken by political officials and business communities of Kars and Akhalkalaki aiming at bridging two bordering regions.

PRESS RELEASES

Turkish-Georgian Cross Border Interactions for Integrating South Caucasus

English Version
Russian Version

NEWS FROM THE PRESS

TURKISH GEORGIAN CROSS BORDER INTEREACTIONS FOR INTEGRATING SOUTH CAUCASUS
Georgia Today
KARS, AKHALKALAKI OPEN TRADE LINKS
The Messenger

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

ECMI report on Samtskhe-Javekheti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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