Representatives of the Turkish ultranationalist Grey Wolves group visit Georgia under the guise of organizations human rights and advocacy organizations, says journalist and expert Iosif Zaalishvili.
“For example, the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) NGO presents itself as a human rights organization, but in reality it is a terrorist organization. In Georgia and Azerbaijan it is engaged in recruiting Muslims with a view to listing them in the ranks of the Grey Wolves in the future. The organization operates in Georgia, their webpage openly states that they transport humanitarian cargo to Adjara, Pankisi during Islamic holidays,” Zaalishvili told Gita Elibekyan, Public Radio’s Tbilisi correspondent.
According to him, the Turkish business, and almost interest-free mortgages are gradually changing Georgia. And this is a way for Pan-Turkish to expand to the country, the expert says.
“The Grey Wolves come here as investors, businessmen and benefactors and launch activity under the guise of humanitarian organizations,” Zaalishvili says.
He emphasizes that the Georgian authorities should be wary of threats coming from Turkey and notes that “democratic Georgia should not have such relations with a country that supports terrorism and is not worthy of NATO membership.”
Furthermore, he says, Georgia should cancel the visa-free travel with Turkey to keep the country away from terrorist activity.
Alexander Kvakhadze, an expert at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS) says the Grey Wolves are first of all trying to expand their influence in Turkic-speaking environment, and have become especially active in Azerbaijan. While Kvakhadze sees no Grey Wolves activity in Georgian business, he says “Turkey is actively working on the religious component in Georgia.”