(Hurriyet Newspaper, 28 April 2013)
Show us the way to go home...
Black Sea Turks, who were exiled to Central Asia
from the Batumi area of Georgia six months before
the end of the Second World War by the Soviet
Union government, want to return to Turkey. The
1,527 Turks have lived in exile in Kok-Jar village of Nokat
district in Kyrgyzstan's southern Osh province since
1944 and get along well with their Kyrgyz neighbors.
The Black Sea Turks keep the Turkish language, culture
and traditions alive among themselves and soothe their
homesickness with Turkish poems and folk songs. The
youth and the women know Istanbul Turkish very well.
By means of the dish antennas they have attached to their
rooves, they say they improve their Turkish by watching
Turkish soap operas and other TV programs.
The Turks earn a living by working in the animal-
breeding and agricuture sectors in Kok-Jar village.
They say they are happy in Kyrgyzstan but miss their
Turkish homeland. Muhammed Uzunoglu is the leader
of these Turks and he said he learned from his father
that between 40 and 50 percent of their population was
lost during and after the exile from Batumi.
Uzunoglu continued, saying that "they were expelled
because they were Turks and sent off in animal carts.
The trip was very difficult. Nearly half of them were
lost to hunger, cold and illness along the way. The
Russian soldiers insisted that the dead be left where
they died. No one knows whether they've been buried
Osh district toward the SW direction.