Istanbul – The Caucasian Foundation joined today members of the Abkhazian Diaspora of in their reaction against and criticism of action by the Turkish Foreign Ministry to block an official visit of Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh to the country.
Bagapsh intended his visit to cover a period of seven days in a bid to embrace welcome from Abkhazians in , a country that already hosts millions of Caucasian people.
İsmail Tunçbilek, Chair Person of the Caucasian Foundation, spoke about Vladislav Ardzinba, who was elected the first president of Abkhazia after it won its independence in 1992, because he was, like President Bagapsh, refused entry on his first trip abroad to the capital city Ankara of Turkey. “Abkhazia has once again been let down,” Tunçbilek said.
Tunçbilek expressed disappointment at decision by current officials not to take the chance and compensate for the serious mistake of a former Turkish government:
“The Turkish foreign ministry expressed refusal to meet with the Abkhazian president well before his trip was planned. This cannot be tolerated. It also hurt us sentimentally to know that Bagapsh was blocked in his attempts only to be here with the Abkhazian Diaspora. The Turkish foreign ministry seems to lose its chance to have a say in solving the question between Abkhazia and Georgia when it turned a blind eye to its own citizens of Caucasian descent. This also added weight to the claims that takes sides with the Georgian government at the expense of losing its impartiality. Besides, the Turkish government threw Abkhazia into isolation over again as a country that suffered years of blockage in its international trade after it was defeated in the 1992-1993 wars.
In short, Bagapsh was definitely not take his trip in a bid to throw into crisis or clash. He only wanted to see, contact, listen to and embrace the Abkhazians as they are unable to go back to their homeland due to years of embargoing. However, he was even stopped from doing so. In the end, it is a shame on the part of the Turkish government not to allow Bagapsh to take his trip to whereas the government seemingly supports efforts to earn a central role to play in its region.
As members of the Caucasian Foundation, we protest and find it difficult to tolerate a refusal of this kind to allow a peaceful leader of state to be in . (Agency