Тҟəарчал, ტყვარჩელი, Ткуарчал/Ткварчели
Tqwarchal, Tqvarcheli, Tkuarchal/Tkvarcheli
Aerial view of the town
location of Tkvarcheli within Abkhazia
|de facto state||Abkhazia[note 1]|
|Time zone||MSK (UTC+3)|
Tkvarcheli (Abkhaz: Тҟəарчал, Tqwarchal; Georgian: ტყვარჩელი, Tqvarcheli; Russian: Ткуарчал or Ткварчели, Tkuarchal or Tkvarcheli) is a town in Abkhazia,[note 1] Georgia. It is situated on the river Ghalidzga (Aaldzga) and a railroad connects it with Ochamchira.
Tkvarcheli was given town-status on 9 April 1942  as coal-mining (that had started in its vicinity in 1935) grew in importance during the World War II as the major coal mines of Donbass were temporarily lost to the Germans.
During the War in Abkhazia (1992-3), Tkvarcheli withheld, through Russian humanitarian and military aid, an uneasy siege by the Georgian forces. Since 1995 it is the centre of the newly formed Tquarchal District. On 27 September 2008, President Sergei Bagapsh awarded it the honorary title of Hero City.
|This section requires expansion. (January 2009)|
Coal-mining has been the town's main industry ever since although now the Soviet mines are closed and coal is quarried only by the Abkhaz-Turkish Tamsaş company using the open pit method. Tamsaş's tax payments account for 75% of the Tkvarcheli district's budget, however the company was criticised for neglecting environmental requirements. Construction of a new cement plant is planned now, its output to be used for the Olympic construction projects in Sochi. Georgia regards all this investment as illegal, in clear violation of the 1996 CIS restrictions and has arrested several vessels, loaded with coal from Tkvarcheli, in its territorial waters, a measure that has reportedly brought Tamsaş to the verge of bankruptcy.
The town's population was 21,744 in 1989. The three main ethnic groups were Abkhaz (42.3%), Russians (24.5%) and Georgians (23.4%). As a result of the War in Abkhazia the town's industries all but stopped and its population decreased greatly and was between 7,000 and 8,000 in 2004 according to some sources and only 4,800 according to others. At the time of the 2003 census, its population was 4,786. By the time of the 2011 census, it had increased to 5,013. Of these, 66.5% were Abkhaz, 16.0% Georgian, 9.7% Russian, 1.4% Mingrelian, 1.3% Ukrainian, 1.1% Armenian, 0.4% Greek and 0.1% Svan.
- Abkhazia's status is disputed. It considers itself to be an independent state, but this is recognised by only a few other countries. The Georgian government and most of the world's other states consider Abkhazia de jure a part of Georgia's territory. In Georgia's official subdivision it is an autonomous republic, whose government sits in exile in Tbilisi.
- "Городу-Герою Ткуарчал исполняется 70 лет". Apsnypress. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- The Turkish Tamsas Can Resume Mining in Abkhazia If It Complies with Environmental Requirements 09/11/2006 18:00, Official site of the President of Abkhazia
- Ткуарчал отметил 65-летний юбилей 20/04/2007 18:13, Official site of the President of Abkhazia
- Abkhazia Today. The International Crisis Group Europe Report N°176, 15 September 2006. Retrieved on September 30, 2007. Free registration needed to view full report
- Abkhaz MP: Georgia’s Sea Seizure Pose Threat to Abkhaz Coal Industry. Civil Georgia. October 26, 2007.
- Abkhazia census statistics(Russian)
- Отчет миссии ПРООН по изучению возможностей Гальского района и смежных с ним территорий Абхазии, Грузия, Апрель 2004
- Абхазия - город Ткварчели
- 2011 Census results
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