Georgian Minorities: Greeks

Figure 1.--Tgese two boys were Pontus Greeks. The cabinet card porterait was taken in the 1900s when Georgia was part of the Tsarist Empire before World War I. The boys wear matching sailor suits with wide-brimmed sailor hats.

We notice a small Greek minority in in Georgia. Greeks are found in many Black Sea ports (Georgia, Turkey, the Ukraine, and Romania). The Greek presence in Georgia is of ancient origins. There is evidence of Greeks in western Georgia (ancient Colchis) (7th century BC). This was part of the Old Greek Diaspora. The Greeks were seafarers and spread throughout the Meditrarranean and Black Sea. The current Greek minority represents about 2 percent of the Georgian population. There are both Turkish and Hellenic speaking Greeks andcare found principally in the Tsalka and Tetritskaro regions. There are Greek settlements in Abkhazia and Adjara who refer to themselves as 'Ponto Greeks'. They are centered on the port of Poti (Mingrelian/Faş). It is located near the site of the ancient Greek colony of Phasis. The city in the 20th century became a major port city and industrial center. A majority of Geiorgian Greeks are Orthodox Christians, but there are a smaller number of sunnit Greeks. Since the implosion of the Soviet Union and Georgian independence, quite a number of the Greek minority has returned to Greece.


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Created: 7:38 AM 8/2/2011
Last updated: 7:38 AM 8/2/2011