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Historical Region
Map highlighting the historical region of Meskheti in Georgia
Map highlighting the historical region of Meskheti in Georgia
Country  Georgia
Mkhare Samtskhe-Javakheti
Capital Akhaltsikhe

Meskheti (Georgian: მესხეთი), also known as Samtskhe (Georgian: სამცხე), is in a mountainous area of Moschia in southwestern Georgia.


The ancient tribes of Meskhi (or Moschi) and Mosiniks (or Mossynoeci) are the first known inhabitants of the area of modern Samtskhe-Javakheti region. Some scholars credit the Mosiniks with the invention of iron metallurgy In the 2nd millennium-4th century BC Meskheti was part of the Georgian Kingdom of Diaokhi, in the 4th century BC-6th century AD - part of the Kingdom of Iberia. In the 10th-15th centuries this region was a part of the united Georgian Kingdom. In the 16th century Meskheti was occupied and annexed by the Ottoman Empire. In 1829-1917 the region was a part of Tbilisi Governorate (Tiflisskaia Gubernia), in 1918-1921 part of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, and in 1921-1990 part of the Georgian SSR. Now part of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, together with Javakheti and Tori.


Ethnic groups[edit]


Meskhetians or Meskhs (Meskhi) are a subgroup of Georgians, the indigenous population of Meskheti. Meskhetians speak the Meskhetian dialect and are mainly Georgian Orthodox Christians in religion, while part of them are Catholics and Sunni Muslims.

Meskhetian Turks[edit]

Meskhetian Turks are the former Georgian inhabitants of the Meskheti region of Georgia along the border with Turkey. They were deported to Central Asia during November 15–25, 1944 by Joseph Stalin and settled within Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Of the 120,000 forcibly deported in cattle-trucks a total of 10,000 perished.[1] Today they are dispersed over a number of other countries of the former Soviet Union. There are 500,000 to 700,000 Meskhetian Turks in exile in Azerbaijan and Central Asia.[2][3] Most Meskhetian Turks are Sunni Hanafi Muslims and a minority Twelver Shiite Muslims.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brennan, Dan (5 April 2003). "Guram Mamulia". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Krauthamer, Ky. "Meskhetian Turks Bouncing From Exile to Exile". East of Center. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Trier, Tom; Andrei Khanzin (2008). The Meskhetian Turks at a Crossroads. European Center for Minority Issues. ISBN 9783825896287. 

External links[edit]


  • (Georgian) თაყაიშვილი ე., არქეოლოგიური ექსპედიცია კოლა-ოლთისში და ჩანგლში, ტფ., 1907;
  • (Georgian) ლომსაძე. შ., სამცხე ჯავახეთი (XVIII ს. შუაწლებიდან XIX საუკუნის შუა წლებამდე), თბ., 1975;
  • (Georgian) მუსხელიშვილი დ., ქსე, ტ. 6, გვ. 601-602, თბ., 1983
  • (Georgian) ნოზაძე ვ. საქართველოს აღდგენისათვის ბრძოლა მესხეთის გამო, თბილისი, 1989;

Coordinates: 41°35′N 43°16′E / 41.583°N 43.267°E / 41.583; 43.267