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Georgia’s MFA denies ‘gifting’ land to Turkey

By Messenger Staff
Friday, April 29
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia alleges that the report of Turkish media about the transfer of territory by Georgia to the Republic of Turkey is not true.

According to the Ministry’s statement, the demarcation and delimitation of the border between Georgia and Turkey was established in the 1970s during the Soviet era.

In 1992, the two sides recognized the previously agreed boundary line. Therefore, any kind of change of the boundary is ruled out today.

“As a result of natural changes, the border river Jakistskali changed its bed. Now efforts are underway at two border rivers - Jakistskali and Karzametistskali – to return the riverbeds to their original state. The restoration of the riverbeds is ongoing according to the 1973 border demarcation materials. The issue likely attracted the attention of the Turkish media after experts held another meeting on April 20, during which they visited the Jakistskali riverbed in the Turkish province of Ardahani”, says the statement.

'Turkey reclaims land from Georgia' read an article published by the Turkish Daily Sabah. According to the article, the Turkish and Georgian delegations met at the Turkgozu border crossing between the two countries and agreed upon a man-made change to a riverbed. The article then claimed that Georgia transferred 15 acres of land to Turkey.

The release of the statement online by Turkish media caused dissatisfaction and outrage amongst many social network users.

When the topic concerns such painful issues, it is important Georgia’s relevant bodies initially make statements and remove question marks, as lost minutes might cause some complications, even in international relations.

The issue of territories is a constant subject of discussion, as Georgia has struggled to keep control over its land since the dissolution of the USSR.

Georgia is still in talks to specify definite borders with Armenia and Azerbaijan.

For centuries Georgia has lost swathes of lands; currently 20 % of Georgian territory remains occupied by Russia, and each false statement concerning territories can trigger anger or irritation amongst the public.

Turkish Embassy in Tbilisi made a statement where it announced that Turkish side completely agrees with the position of Georgian Foreign Ministry.