Ajarian identity and the regime of Aslan Abashidze
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This thesis analyzes the Autonomous Republic of Ajaria: the Ajarian people, their history, and the nature of the current administration under Aslan Abashidze. Emphasis is given to a historical consideration of the self identity of the Ajarians, within the wider comext of Georgian nationalism and national identity. The phenomenon of Aslan Abashidze's rule is treated at length, with special attention given to the relationship of the Abashidze regime with Russian border troops stationed within the republic. Abashidze's relations with the central government in Tbilisi, and with Turkey are also examined.