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by Ilya Kartashov
Name: Ajarian (or 'Adzharian') Autonomous Republic
Status: Constituent part of Georgia.
Notes: The Ajarian ASSR was created in 1921, largely for political reasons. Firstly, it prevented the Georgians from exercising full control over the port of Batumi, and served to encourage supposedly pro-Communist elements amongst Ajaris (or 'Lazis') living on the Turkish side of the border.
According to Rudolf A.Mark - Die Völker der ehemaligen Sowjetunion:
The Ajar (selfname: Adzareli; Russ.: Adzarcy) are a Georgian ethnic group at the south east coast of the Black Sea. They became Christians in the IVth century and got part of the Kingdom of Georgia in the 1Xth century. Since the middle of the XVIth century they have been under the rule of the Turks, who Islamize the Ajar. The Ajar were integrated into the Russian Empire in 1878.
The language of the Ajar is an east Caucasian language.The writing language is Georgian. The Ajar are Sunni Muslims.
Jean-Patrick Fischer, 23 July 2004
Interfax Agency announced (20 July 2004, 22:20) that the Supreme Council (Parliament) of the Ajarian Autonomous Republic (Georgia) at the first session on Tuesday on 20 July 2004 had ratified a new flag of the autonomous republic. The flag has seven dark blue and white stripes, and in the upper corner the national flag of Georgia with the five red crosses. The dark blue strips symbolize the sea whereas the white stripes symbolize purity.
Mikhail Revnivtsev, 21 July 2004
Following the Rose Revolution and the overthrow of President Eduard Shevardnadze in November 2003 in Georgia, during which there was extensive use of the 'five-cross flag', which became official after the accession of the new President Mikhail Saakashvili, there was a nationalist movement toward unification of the diverse regions. During the subsequent May 2004 protests against their leader Aslan Abashidze, Ajarians also used the five-cross flag.
Abashidze was then overthrown in what many considered a 'Rose Revolution' of their own. Saakashvili was welcomed, and Ajaria was reunited with Georgia.
So it will hardly be surprising that Ajarians decided to place the five-cross flag in their canton.
Richard Knipel, 21 July 2004
An attempt of hoisting the so-called 'five- cross flag' failed in Gonio, while a group of certain forces were trying hard to reach the top of the Village Council of Gonio. The group members, quite a few though, besides the attempt of hoisting the flag, urged for the change of the Ajara Autonomous Republic Government. As was reported, the local population stymied the process, another version goes as law enforcers of the Ajara Autonomous Republic intervened with the gang of squabblers.
BatumiNews contacted for the comment press service of the Ajara Autonomous Republic Ministry of Interior. David Gergedava, chief of the press service ruled out any foray on behalf of the law enforcement structures. 'The squabble took place among the local population and the group which tried to hoist the flag of the Nationals'.
The population was compelled by the brute force of destabilizes. The camera belonging to Rustavi 2 was dispossessed temporarily, though the cameraman gained it back through the police assistance.
Johnny Andersson, 21 July 2004Mostbet