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Georgia (country)
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Georgia (country)

Georgia (საქართველო Sakartvelo in Georgian), known from 1990 to 1995 as the Republic of Georgia, is a country to the east of the Black Sea in the south Caucasus. A former republic of the Soviet Union, it shares borders with Russia in the north and Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan in the south.

საქართველო
Sakartvelo
(In Detail) ()
National motto:  
Official language Georgian
Capital and
largest city
Tbilisi
Capital's coordinates 41° 43' N, 44° 48' E
President Mikhail Saakashvili
Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania
Speaker of the Parliament Nino Burjanadze
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 118th
69,700 km²
Negligible
Population
- Total (July 2004 est)
- Density
Ranked 111th
4,693,892
67/km²
Independence
 
From Soviet Union
9 April 1991
Currency Lari (GEL)
Time zone UTC +3 (DST +4)
National anthem Dideba zetsit kurtheuls
Internet TLD .ge
Calling Code 995

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Subdivisions
4 Origin of the name
5 Former Flag
6 Geography
7 Economy
8 Demographics
9 Culture
10 Miscellaneous topics
11 External links and references

History

Main article: History of Georgia

Georgia was taken over by the Russian Tsarist Empire on September 12, 1801. After the Russian Revolution it declared independence on May 26, 1918 during the Russian Civil War. In February 25, 1921 the Democratic Republic of Georgia was occupied by Soviet Russia and was incorporated into a Transcaucasian Federative Soviet Socialist Republic uniting Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The TFSSR was disaggregated into its component elements in 1936 and Georgia became the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.

During the perestroika reforms of the late 1980s, Georgia developed a vigorous multiparty system that strongly favoured independence. The country staged the first democratic multiparty elections in the Soviet Union on October 28, 1990. Shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union on April 9, 1991, Georgia declared independence again. Several areas, including Abkhazia and South Ossetia, quickly became embroiled in separatist disputes that led to civil wars and widespread inter-ethnic violence. The Georgian government still does not control large parts of its territory and an uneasy ceasefire prevails in Abkhazia.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Georgia See also Foreign relations of Georgia

Following a crisis involving allegations of ballot fraud in the 2003 parliamentary elections, Eduard Shevardnadze resigned as President on November 23, 2003. The interim president was the speaker of the outgoing parliament (whose replacement was annulled), Nino Burjanadze. On January 4, 2004 Mikhail Saakashvili, leader of the National Movement - Democrats (NMD) (former United National Movement) won the country's presidential election and was inaugurated on January 25. Fresh parliamentary elections were held on March 28 where NMD secured the vast majority of the seats (with ca. 75% of the votes) with only one other party reaching the 7% threshold (the Rightist Opposition with ca. 7.5%). The vote is believed to have been one of the freest ever held in independent Georgia although a surge of tension between the central government and the Ajarian leader Aslan Abashidze injured the elections in this region.
The tension between the Georgian government and that of Ajaria grew increasingly after the elections until late April. Climaxing on May 1 when Abashidze responded to military maneuvers held by Georgia near the region with having the three bridges connecting Ajaria and the rest of Georgia over the Choloki River blown up. On May 5 Abashidze was forced to flee Georgia as mass demonstrations in Batumi called for his resignation and Russia increased their pressure by deploying Security Council secretary Igor Ivanov.

Subdivisions

Main article: Subdivisions of Georgia

Georgia is divided into 53 provinces, 11 cities and 2 autonomous republics.

Autonomous republics: Abkhazia, Ajaria.
Cities: Chiatura, Batumi, Gori, Kutaisi, Poti, Rustavi, Sokhumi, Tbilisi, Tkibuli, Tskaltubo, Tskhinvali
Provinces: Districts of Abasha, Adigeni, Akhalgora, Akhaltsikhe, Akhmeta, Ambrolauri, Aspindza, Baghdati, Bolnisi, Borjomi, Chkhorotsku, Chokhatauri, Dedoplistskaro, Dmanisi, Dusheti, Gardabani, Gurjaani, Java, Kareli, Kaspi, Kharagauli, Khashuri, Khobi, Khoni, Lagodekhi, Lanchkhuti, Lentekhi, Marneuli, Martvili, Mestia, Mtskheta, Ninotsminda, Oni, Ozurgeti, Kazbegi, Kvareli, Sachkhere, Sagarejo, Samtredia, Senaki, Sighnagi,Telavi, Terjola, Tetritskaro, Tianeti, Tsageri, Tsalenjikha, Tsalka, Vani, Zestaponi, Zugdidi

Origin of the name

Georgians call themselves Kartvelebi, their land Sakartvelo, and their language Kartuli. These names are derived from a pagan god called Kartlos, said to be the father of all Georgians. The foreign name Georgia, used throughout Western Europe, is mistakenly believed to come from the country's patron saint, St. George. Another theory purports that the name comes from the Greek γεωργός (geōrgós, farmer) and γεωργία (geōrgía, farming), because when the Greeks came to Georgia they saw the Georgians working the land, however this is clearly a belated folk etymology. The term is actually derived from Arabic Jurj, which in turn comes from Persian Gurj.

The Classical world knew the inhabitants of eastern Georgia as Iberians, from the Caucasian kingdom of Iberia — thus confusing the geographers of antiquity, who thought this name applied only to the inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). [1]

Gurj, the Persian designation for the Georgians, is also the source of Turkish Gürci (pronounced "Gürdji") and Russian Gruzin. The name of the country is Gurjestan in Persian, Gürcistan in Turkish, and Gruzija in Russian. The Persian name is probably related to the Armenian words for Georgian and Georgia, respectively Vir and Vrastan. (There are other instances in which a Persian word-initial gu- is derived from an earlier wi- or wa-.) Thus, both the Persian and the Armenian words appear to be related to the name Iberia, with loss of the initial i- and substitution of w or v for the b of Iberia.

There is also, in all likelihood, an etymological connection between the name Iberia and the historic province of Georgia called Imereti.

Former Flag

In use from 1991 to January 25, 2004. Also previously used from 1918 to 1921. For more information, see Flag of Georgia (country).

Geography

Main article: Geography of Georgia

In the north, Georgia has a 723km common border with Russia, specifically with the Northern Caucasus federal district. The following Russian republics/subdivisions - from west to east - border Georgia: Krasnodar Krai, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia-Alania, Ingushetia, Chechnya, Dagestan.

Main cities:

Economy

Main article: Economy of Georgia

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Georgia

Culture

Main article:
Culture of Georgia See also Georgian language

Miscellaneous topics

External links and references


[ Edit {}] Countries in Southwest Asia
Afghanistan | Armenia | Azerbaijan | Bahrain | Cyprus | Egypt¹ | Gaza Strip | Georgia | Iran | Iraq | Israel | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria | Turkey² | United Arab Emirates | West Bank | Yemen