100th anniversary of Lazi's genocide

100th anniversary of Lazi's genocide

100 years ago, during the First World War, a major winter offensive operation of the Russian army began on the Caucasian front, which was called the Erzerum campaign. After those events, the front line advanced approximately 300-400 kilometers to the south and west and the Russian army occupied Erzurum, Rize, Trabzon as well as a huge part of the territories between these cities.

As KavkazPlus writes, January 10 became a tragic date in the history of Georgian people. Dozens of villages, inhabited by Georgian-Muslims (mostly by Laz people), in were the zone of Russian occupation. And if civilian population usually didn't suffer due to the actions of Russian army, the same can't be said about the actions of Armenian militants, who moved right behind Russian army.

After the Erzurum and Trabzon operations, trying to "clear the way to the sea" for the so-called "great Armenia", Armenian militants rushed to destroy Turkish and Georgian villages ,located between the plateaus of Eastern Turkey and the Black Sea coast. At the same time, they justified their savage cruelty before Russian and Western allies against peaceful Muslim population by "retaliation" for the alleged "atrocities committed against Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915".

Indeed, there are a lot of documents that testify that the Ottoman Empire is not to blame for what happened to Armenians. Individual issues during deportation of Armenians from the front zone to Syria can't be compared the atrocities Armenians did, to what they did with non-Armenian population after they were given such opportunity under the protection of Russian bayonets.

Today, more and more terrible evidence of Armenian atrocities in the East of Turkey in 1916-1918 are being revealed. At the same time, not only peaceful Turkish population, but also representatives of other peoples, in particular Circassians, Arabs and Muslim Georgians (Lazi, Ajarians and others) suffered from Armenian terror, carried out by Armenian militants.

The last statements should be remembered by all Georgian patriots, who recently, for some reason, started to play along with Armenian anti-Turkish propaganda. According to ethnographers, Georgian language and its dialects (in particular Lazi dialect) were much more common in Turkey 100-110 years ago than today. However, unfortunately, many villages of Georgian Muslims no longer exist. They were destroyed during the First World War by Armenian militants along with their neighbors - Turks and Kurds.

But there's another thing Georgians should remember. If Turkish and Kurdish population mainly lived "in open areas", which, while could easily be founded, allowed to detect danger and thus they had more chances to quickly evacuate from the danger of Armenian militants. In addition, they also had more chances to expect protection from Russian military command. At the same time, Laz people and other Muslim Georgians, who lived in a mountainous wooded remote areas, couldn't evacuate or find protection. Especially if Armenian militants ambushed them on mountain roads, "intercepting" dozens of refugees. Armenians also unexpectedly attacked villages, hidden in mountain forests, surrounding them from all sides.

Similar tactics were used by Armenian militants even before, in 1915, against rebellious Adjarians. Armenians destroyed their villages. During Soviet period, these facts were deliberately hushed up, and corresponding documents were destroyed in order to save the face of this particular myth "about friendship between Armenian and Georgian peoples." But it really was a genocide of a unique Georgian ethnic community.

The fate of ethnographic groups of Georgians living in the south and southwest of Adjara was even more terrible. Many of them simply didn't survive genocide, carried out Armenian terrorists. After all, people of Adjara were always protected, even if poorly, by the Russian Empire, and could complain about Russians. Laz people were subjects of the Ottoman Empire for the most part, but Armenian militants knew no restrictions.

Later, during the Abkhaz war of 1992-1993, Armenian militants repeated their genocide against Georgian ethnos. Thanks to Armenian genocide, the number of Laz-Megrelians sub-ethnos residents of Georgia in the 20th century was reduced by half. Thousands of Laz people and Megrelians perished and hundreds of thousands became refugees.

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