21.8 The Meskhetian Movement

No 21 : 11 September 1971

The Seventh National Assembly of the Turkic Association for the Defence of National Rights, formed by the Turkic people at present in exile, was held on 18 July 1971 at the Kirov state farm in the Srednechirchik district (Tashkent Region), Uzbek Republic.

Despite the opposition of the authorities, who had refused to make premises available and who had barred delegates from travelling to the appointed place because, it was alleged, of quarantine regulations, several hundred delegates attended from Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tadzhikistan and Kabardino-Balkaria.

The Assembly unanimously approved an appeal to L. I. Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party, N. V. Podgorny, Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet, and A. N. Kosygin, Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers (with copies to U Thant, UN General Secretary and to the Parliament, President, government and people of the Republic of Turkey). In this appeal “the Meskhetian Turks, exiled in 1944 to Central Asia, demand the opportunity to return to their homeland and to be re-united with their people”.

Besides this a protest was issued over the provocative actions of the authorities, who had tried to prevent the assembly from being held, was also approved. On the instructions of the assembly the protest was signed by Enver Odabashev, Chairman of COCL (Chief Organising Committee for Liberation), and Alles Izatov, first deputy chairman of COCL.

*

On 7 August the chairman of COCL, Enver (Enver Mishu-Oglu) Odabashev (b. 1912) was arrested. The article under which the charge has been brought is unknown. [17]

NOTE

[17. A Reuter dispatch of 10 October reported that Odabashev had been sentenced to two years in late September in Azerbaijan for allegedly having increased illegally the size of his garden plot.]