Upon accession to the Council of Europe in 1999, Georgia undertook the commitment to adopt, within two years, a legal framework permitting the repatriation and integration, including the right to Georgian nationality, for the Meskhetian Turks deported from their homeland, to launch the process of repatriation and integration within three years and complete the process within twelve years (Parliamentary Assembly Opinion 209 (1999)).
However, the implementation of this commitment has been substantially delayed. Among 5 841 eligible applications concerning around 10 000 individuals, approximately 1 700 repatriate statuses and 412 conditional citizenships have been granted. Of those, only a few have actually been repatriated to date.
Numerous legal, technical and administrative requirements for applications have rendered compliance difficult: the deadline imposed for the receipt of applications; conditions for granting Georgian citizenship; the practices disregarding family unity during the evaluation process; and the absence of a strategy of preparation and support for the reintegration process or for any financial commitment are among the main reasons behind the failure for repatriation.
In Resolution 2015 (2014) on the functioning of democratic institutions in Georgia, the Assembly took note of the long delays in granting citizenship to those who had received repatriate status; and considered that the repatriation programme had mostly focused on providing a legal repatriate status to the eligible applicants and not on facilitating the actual repatriation itself.
The Assembly resolves to closely follow the issue and recommends that the Committee of Ministers keep the full restoration of the legitimate rights of the deported Meskhetian Turks among its priorities, closely monitor the ongoing repatriation process, ask the relevant bodies to present a report and provide all the necessary advice and assistance to the Georgian authorities in order to ensure, without further delay, the completion of the repatriation and integration of all deported Meskhetian Turks who wish to be repatriated, including access to citizenship.