World Bulletin / News Desk
Meskhetian Turks living in the U.S. on Saturday conduced a ceremony in front of the White House to commemorate the 72 years of exile from their homeland in Georgia.
The head of the Ahiska Turkish American Council, an umbrella organization that represents Meskhetian Turkish American organizations in U.S., said during the commemoration was a way to not to forget his ancestors were exiled to nine different countries.
Aydin Memedov added that the group would send a letter to Congress that explains the circumstances of the exile in which people were deported in railcars.
Meskhetian Turks, also known as Ahiska Turks, were expelled in 1944 from the Meskheti region in Georgia by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, in an attempt to remove Turks from the shores of the Black Sea.
The group faced discrimination and human rights abuses before and after deportation. Those who migrated to Ukraine in 1990 settled in shantytowns used by seasonal workers.
The majority of the Meskhetian Turks in Ukraine fled from their homes during the 2014 conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in the eastern region of Ukraine.
More than 6,000 people have lost their lives, and 1.4 million people have been internally displaced in the conflict, according to the UN.