Abkhazia, is located in North Caucasus, Black Sea’s North coast and covers an area of 8600 km². Coucasus Mountains separates Abkhazia from the land of Circassia which is part of the Russian Federation, at the North and northeast. Georgia is located in the east of Abkhazia. It is surrounded by Black Sea in the south and southwest.
The territory of Abkhazia is the oldest passage of the Silk Road which opens to the sea and it is rich in coal basin and precious marble. Natural beauties of Abkhazia’s attracts many tourists and is the main source of income of the country. It is said that Abkhazia is one of the places that definitely needs to be seen before one dies.
Through the eyes of the photographer;
In 2009, I went to Circassia to improve my project that I had been working on and to took photos on the route of the Circassian exile. In the meadows where horses run, I have tasted cheese, bread and Lihn wine along with the Caucasian hospitality.
The Black Sea is lying in front of me and the Caucasus Mountains at the back… Orange and mimosa trees in the foothills of the mountains … A Green, lush country. The time flows differently here. It is quieter ND more spacious. Maybe that is the reason why people live longer here. I see traces of the war in the buildings, women in mourn wearing black pass by me. These people, going in the forest to cut trees, who belong to a culture which makes them wrap their axes into cloth to prevent them from scaring the trees, these trees, these birds, this sea, they are looking as if they are saying “let there be no war”
A Brief History;
The name of the Republic of Abkhazia, is derived from the region’s people: the Abkhazian and it’s capital is Sukhum.
The Soviet Union began to unravel in the late 1980s. In the process of Georgia’s gaining independence, the relationship between Georgia and Abkhaz was getting tense. Georgia declared its independence in 1991 and the Democratic Republic of Georgia announced that they would reuse the constitution of 1921. After Georgia 's unilateral decision, despite of all the demands of Abkhazia, this meant the abolition of the autonomy of Abkhazia.
The Abkhazian parliament convened and by taking the majority of the votes, declared independence in 23 July 1992. Following this decision, Georgian troops entered Abkhazia and the Georgian government took control of much of the region, and the parliament shut down.
After the invasion of Abkhazia by the Georgian armed forces, Abkhazians entered a great war for their independence. Chechens, Cossacks, Ossetians , Adygeans , Kabardinos and volunteers from Turkey took sides with the Abkhazians at this war. The war ended with the Abkhazians conquering Sukhumi in 27 September 1993. After the war, the Republic of Abkhazia was founded in 1994.
Relations tensed again with the intervention of the pro-US government sending troops in Georgia in the Kodori valley in 2006. Georgia's invasion of South Ossetia caused a new war in the region in 2008. The Russian forces have repelled Georgia’s forces and Russia has recognized the independence of the South Ossetia Republic and the Abkhazia Republic. A new power balance took over the stage in the region with this decision.
Russia announced that they recognized the independence of the Republic of Abkhazia in 2008. However, Turkey sees the region as an autonomous part of Georgia. Organizations such as the European Union, the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe also recognize Abkhazia as part of Georgia .