Kurds in Georgia

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Georgian Kurds
Kurd Woman.png
Total population
13,770 (2014 census).[1][2]
0.48%
Regions with significant populations
Batumi, Meskheti, Javakheti, Adjara,[1] Rustavi,[3] and Abkhazia.[4]
Languages
Kurdish (Kurmanji), Georgian, Russian
Religion
Predominately Yazidism
Minority: Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Iranian peoples

The Kurds in Georgia form a major part of the historically significant Kurdish population in the post-Soviet space, and are members of the eponymous ethnic group that are citizens of Georgia. In the 20th century, most Kurds fled religious persecution in the Ottoman Empire to the Russian Empire.[5] The return of their Kurdish surnames needs effort according to a Kurdish activist in Georgia.[6] The Kurds also have their own schools, school books and a printing press in Georgia. Illiteracy among them disappeared in the early 1900s.[3] Kurds in Georgia are politically neutral; however, in 1999 they staged a huge demonstration in Tbilisi, demanding the release of the founder of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, Abdullah Öcalan.[7] Kurds in Georgia today use Cyrillic script. Earlier, in the 1920s, they used the Latin script.[8]

Yazidis are recognized as ethnic Kurds in Georgia.[9]

History[edit]

The first Kurds came to Georgia during the reign of George III in the 12th century.[10] Kurdish tribes appeared in Georgia in the 16th century in the city of Mtskheta. During the 18th century, Kurds arrived in Tbilisi to get assistance from King Erekle II of the Kingdom of Kakheti during the Kurdish liberation in Turkey.[11] When Russia and Iran signed the Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828, Kurds got the opportunity to work in Georgia.[10] Most Kurds left Van and Kars for Georgia in 1918 after Turkey oppressed them politically and religiously.[11] The Kurds of Georgia also became victims of Stalin's purges in 1944.[12][13] Between 1979 and 1989, the Kurdish population in Georgia increased 30%.[5] When Georgia became independent, the Kurdish population in Georgia decreased.[10]

The Yazidi population in Georgia has been dwindling since the 1990s, mostly due to economic migration to neighboring Russia, Western Europe and North America. According to a census carried out in 1989, there were over 30,000 Yazidis in Georgia; according to the 2002 census, however, only around 18,000 Yazidis remained in Georgia. Today they number around 12,000 (by ethnicity, approx. 8,500 by religion) according to the most recent national census, including recent refugees from Sinjar in Iraq, who fled to Georgia following persecution by ISIL.[14][15][16]

On 16 June 2015, Yazidis celebrated the opening of the Sultan Ezid Temple and cultural centre, named after Sultan Ezid in Varketili, a suburb of Tbilisi. This is the third such temple in the world after those in Kurdistan Region and Armenia.[14]

Similarity to Georgian people[edit]

David Comas and colleagues found that mitochondrial sequence pools in Georgians and Kurds are similar, despite their different linguistic and prehistoric backgrounds. Both populations present mtDNA lineages that clearly belong to the Western Eurasian gene pool.[17]

Demographics[edit]

Kurdish population in Georgia (1926-2014)
Kurdish 1926[18] 1939[19][20] 1959[21][22] 1970[23][24] 1979[25][26] 1989[27][28] 2002[29][30] 2014[31]
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
Georgia 5,428 0.4% 12,915 0.4% 16,212 0.4% 20,690 0.4% 25,688 0.5% 33,331 0.6% 20,843 0.5% 13,770 0.4%
Tbilisi 2,611 1% 12,935 1.9% 18,409 2.1% 23,413 2.2% 30,304 2.4% 17,116 1.6% 12,570 1.1%
Kakheti 838 0.2% 1,107 0.3% 495 0.1% 528 0.2%
Kvemo Kartli 1,050 0.2% 1,413 0.2% 463 0.1% 453 0.1%
Adjara 1,745 2.6% 4,212 2.1% 123 0.1% 138 0% 140 0% 197 0.1% 76 0% 81 0%
Mtskheta-Mtianeti 67 0.1% 78 0.1% 96 0.1% 74 0.1%
Guria 65 0% 99 0.1% 23 0% 17 0%
Imereti 75 0% 54 0% 56 0% 6 0%
Shida Kartli 3 0% 28 0% 1 0% 4 0%
Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti 17 0% 8 0% 2 0% 1 0%
Samtskhe-Javakheti 4 0% 13 0% 1 0% 1 0%
 Abkhazia 11 0% 5 0% 23 0% 16 0% 29 0%
 South Ossetia 9 0% 2 0% 1 0% (2015 census)[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Human Rights situation of the Yezidi minority in the Transcaucasus" (PDF). United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. p. 18.
  2. ^ "Ethnic Groups of Georgia: Census 2002 (Total/Percentage)" (PDF). EcmiCausasus. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (1 August 1998). "Georgia: Treatment of the Kurds, in particular of Yezidi Kurds". Refworld: The leader in Refugee Decision Support. Retrieved 5 November 2011. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ "Ethno-demographic history of Abkhazia, 1886 - 1989" (PDF). Abkhaz World. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  5. ^ a b James Minahan (1998). Miniature empires: a historical dictionary of the newly independent states. p. 320. ISBN 0-313-30610-9. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Discrimination of Kurd-Yezids in Georgia". Human Rights in Georgia. Humanrights.ge. 15 October 2004. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  7. ^ Prime-News news agency (23 February 1999). "Georgia: Tbilisi Kurds stage protest action, demand Ocalan's release". BBC Monitoring (via News Library). Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  8. ^ Manana Kock Kobaidz. "Minority identity and identity maintenance in Georgia" (PDF). Retrieved 5 November 2011. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ "მრავალეთნიკური საქართველო (მოკლე ცნობარი) - საქართველოს ქურთები" (in Georgian). The National Parliamentary Library of Georgia. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  10. ^ a b c "The Yezidi Kurds and Assyrians of Georgia The Problem of Diasporas and Integration into Contemporary Society" (PDF). Journal of the Central Asia & the Caucasus, Center for Social and Political Studies. Retrieved 5 November 2011. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ a b "Kurds in Georgia". Georgian Genealogy. Georgian Genealogy. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  12. ^ Hist.ru. ПАРТИЗАНЫ НА ПОВОДКЕ. Hist.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  13. ^ David McDowall (2005). A modern history of the Kurds. p. 527. ISBN 1-85043-416-6. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Yazidi temple, third in the world, opened in Tbilisi". DFWatch. 2015-06-19. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  15. ^ "Yazidis in Tbilisi call on the world to stop ISIS". Democracy & Freedom Watch.
  16. ^ ""The Yezidis of Georgia – On the Verge of Extinction?" von Jenny Thomsen". Archived from the original on 2018-02-04. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  17. ^ Comas D, Calafell F, Bendukidze N, Fañanás L, Bertranpetit J (May 2000). "Georgian and kurd mtDNA sequence analysis shows a lack of correlation between languages and female genetic lineages". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 112 (1): 5–16. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1096-8644(200005)112:1<5::AID-AJPA2>3.0.CO;2-Z. PMID 10766939.
  18. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1926 года. Национальный состав населения по регионам республик СССР". Demoscope.ru. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1939 года. Национальный состав населения районов, городов и крупных сел союзных республик СССР". Demoscope.ru. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1939 г. Распределение городского и сельского населения областей союзных республик по национальности и полу". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1959 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР". Demoscope.ru. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1959 года. Городское и сельское население областей республик СССР (кроме РСФСР) по полу и национальности". Demoscope.ru. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  23. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1970 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР". Demoscope.ru. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  24. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1970 года. Городское и сельское население областей республик СССР (кроме РСФСР) по полу и национальности". Demoscope.ru. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1979 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР". Demoscope.ru. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  26. ^ "Ethnic composition: 1979 census". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  27. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР". Demoscope.ru. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  28. ^ "Ethnic composition: 1989 census". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  29. ^ "Ethnic Composition of the Population of Georgia (2002 Census)" (PDF). Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  30. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года". Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  31. ^ "Ethnic groups of Georgia - map". CSEM. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  32. ^ "4.5. Национальности или их самоназвания по самоопределению населения По республике южная осетия" (PDF) (in Russian). p. 128. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.

External links[edit]