Turkey

Freedom House lists Abkhazia and South Ossetia as separate countries

Freedom House, Washington D.C. based democracy and human rights advocate has recently released its Freedom of Press in 2012 Findings. The report highlights key developments in global press freedom over the last year, including improvements in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and crackdowns in authoritarian states. The annual report includes findings in 197 countries and territories.

Media in Georgia, according to the report is partly free and out of all the countries it’s on 111st place, which makes it a leader in the region (Turkey is 117th, Armenia 149th, Azerbaijan and Russia 172nd).

Freedom House website gives separate findings and articles about each state. Interestingly, under the list of countries in Central and Eastern Europe/Eurasia Georgia’s breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Along with Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistria) are listed as separate countries.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia are Georgia’s disputed regions that are recognized independent by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, the rest of the world considers it as a part of Georgia. With more than 200,000 IDPs, the conflict is still unresolved and Georgia officially refers to these regions as “Occupied Territories”.

Tourism in Georgia [Statistics]

Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has released a detailed data about foreign visitors to Georgia. Tourists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Russia are leading the list and only 5% of visitors are from the EU. According to MIA, 1,793,449 foreign arrivals have been recorded in January-August, 2011 (2,031,695 people traveled to Georgia in 2010). Most of them were from Azerbaijan – 456,282, 455,611 from Turkey, 448,374 from Armenia and 176,090 from Russia.

2011* - Indicates number of tourists for the January-August period.

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Batumi Bike Festival 2010

On July 29 – August 1 Black Sea resort Batumi hosted the first international Bike festival in Georgia. The festival featured various events, including contests, Rock music concert, tour in mountainous Adjara and etc. More than 200 bikers from Georgia, Turkey and Armenia participated in the fest.

Check out rest of the photos @ http://morielli.livejournal.com/76715.html