Political participation and dialogue were the focus of FUEN’s Minorities in the Caucasus seminar

- Press releases

Initiating dialogue between national minorities and politics, promoting the culture, language, opportunities of minorities in the Caucasus were the main topics of the 3rd FUEN seminar Minorities in the Caucasus – Dialogue for a Stable Future. After being held in Flensburg in 2016 and 2017, this year’s seminar, entitled "Political Participation – Dialogue at Eye Level" was hosted in the period 10-12 December 2018, in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.

The seminar was attended by representatives of several minorities in Caucasus: Azerbaijanis in Georgia, Germans as well as Meskhetian Turks in Russia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, Qumuk Turks in Russia and Lezgins and Talyshs in Azerbaijan, NGOs from the fields of science, politics and business.

In his introduction FUEN Vice President Halit Habip Oglu said that the main objective of the seminar is to find solutions together with political representatives. “To find solutions, it is important to look for clues on the local level. Within that it is important to have a dialogue between parts” – he accentuated.

At the seminar, the representatives of Meskhetian Turks living in Georgia expressed the problems they face regarding the integration of Meskhetian Turks in Georgia. Meskhetian Turks who attended the meeting from Russia and Azerbaijan conveyed the problems of indigenous Meskhetian Turks in the process of their repatriation to their homeland. Koba Chopliani, coordinator of the Council of National Minorities under the auspices of the Public Defender of Georgia, and Makhir Darziyev, Azerbaijani MP at the Georgian Parliament articulated the current situation and needs of the minorities informed about the steps taken by the Georgian Government in this field.

In his concluding remarks FUEN President Loránt Vincze said that the discussions were productive and positive, „this is how dialogue should look like”. He thanked the representatives of the Georgian government and the public defender’s office for sharing their work and experience, and said that Georgia is an open state which cherishes the different nationalities, languages and the diversity of this country. He encouraged them to continue on this road, especially taking into account the European ambitions and perspectives of Georgia. „It is important that in this period you make new steps forward regarding the protection of national minorities, giving them the best framework” – he concluded.

Following to the evaluation and planning for 2019, the participants visited Marneuli, a region near Tbilisi where many members of the Azerbaijani minority live on the invitation of the Association of Azerbaijani Lawyers in Georgia.

Key Topics

  • Political Participation
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Linguistic Diversity
  • Solidarity with the Roma
  • European Citizens' Initiative
  • European Network
  • Forum of the European Minorities / House of Minorities


More photos at Flickr