Historical Region

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.


Ancient tribes known as the Mushki (or Moschi) and Mosiniks (or Mossynoeci) were the first known inhabitants of the area of the modern Samtskhe-Javakheti region. Some scholars credit the Mosiniks with the invention of iron metallurgy.

Between the 2nd millennium BCE and the 4th century BCE, Meskheti was part of the Georgian Kingdom of Diaokhi. It was subsequently, until the 6th century, part of the Kingdom of Iberia.

During the 10th-15th centuries, this region was a part of the united Georgian Kingdom. In the 16th century it was the independent Principality of Meskheti until it was occupied and annexed by the Ottoman Empire.

In 1829-1917 the region was a part of Tbilisi Governorate (Tiflisskaia Gubernia), and then briefly (1918-1921) part of the Democratic Republic of Georgia. Between 1921-1990 it was a part of the Soviet Union, as the Georgian SSR.

Meskheti is now part of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, together with Javakheti and Tori.


Ethnic groups


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.

Meskhetian Turks

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


  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.


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

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