Prof. George Hewitt



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The Honorary Consul of the Republic of Abkhazia in the Great Britain George Hewitt has been awarded by the order of the Abkhaz Foreign Minister Viacheslav Chirikba with the medal “For Merit” for his contribution to the development of international cooperation and diplomatic activity.

Publication-date March 2013

Discordant Neighbours

A Reassessment of the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-South Ossetian Conflicts

The 2008 Georgian-Russian war focused the world’s attention on the Caucasus. South Ossetia and Abkhazia had been de facto independent since the early 1990s. However, Russia’s granting of recognition on 26 August 2008 changed regional dynamics.

The Caucasus is one of the most ethnically diverse areas on earth, and the conflicts examined here present their own complexities. This book sets the issues in their historical and political contexts and discusses potential future problems.

This volume is distinguished from others devoted to the same themes by the extensive use the author (a Georgian specialist) makes of Georgian sources, inaccessible to most commentators. His translated citations thus cast a unique and revealing light on the interethnic relations that have fuelled these conflicts.

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Meeting with Prof. B. George Hewitt
Circassian Community Centre (Istanbul)
Saturday 1 December 2012

Taking advantage of Prof. Hewitt’s presence in Istanbul for the Caucasian Linguistics Conference that was held at Bogaziçi University (29 November – 1 December), the Circassian Community Centre invited him to give a short talk at the Centre on the evening of Saturday 1 December. Prof. Hewitt spoke for some 35 minutes about his life and work, both as a Caucasian linguist and as Honorary Consul for Abkhazia in the UK. He spoke in English, and his interpreter was Zeynel Besleney. After the talk, there was a question-and-answer session. At the end of the evening, the community presented their guest with a commemorative plaque, a bouquet of flowers and bracelets decorated with the flag of Circassia for his daughters.

Prof. Hewitt’s first visit to Turkey took place in 1974, when he spent several weeks in the Circassian village of Demi Kapı (Balıkesir), where his hosts were the family of Cemal Cangül. At that time he collected materials on the Abzakh dialect not only from Cemal and his wife Shazia, but also from their daughter Hacer and neighbours Meral and Temel Kafa (plus several others, and, once back in Istanbul from Tevfik Esenç for Ubykh). Hacer and Meral, both now married with families of their own, were present at the meeting, allowing for some pleasurable 38 year-old reminiscing, with the youngest of Meral’s three children, Melih Barsbey, acting as interpreter.

The event was hugely enjoyable for the guest and deemed a great success by the community-members present.


More pictures can be seen at: 

Typology, Theory: Caucasus is a 3-day conference on the languages of the Caucasus to be held at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul on November 29–December 1, 2012, co-hosted by the French Research Institute (IFEA). We welcome contributions on the analysis of the languages of the area, including diachronic aspects, as well as papers discussing the challenges these languages present to theoretical frameworks in linguistics.

Conference: November 29–December 1, 2012

Invited Speakers:

George Hewitt (SOAS)
Maria Polinsky (Harvard University)

Organizing Committee:

Didar Akar
Gilles Authier
A. Sumru Özsoy
Balkız Öztürk
Markus A. Pöchtrager
Eser E. Taylan

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Professor George Hewitt told the Minister about his activities in the UK as the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Abkhazia. In addition, he reported on the completion of the book on the conflicts of Abkhazia and South Ossetia with Georgia. George Hewitt also informed the Minister that he has for several years supported the young researcher Metin Sonmez in maintaining the two English-language websites about Abkhazia.

During the meeting were discussed topics related to the course of the Geneva discussions and plans to intensify diplomatic efforts of Abkhazia in Western Europe.

Source: MFA of Abkhazia

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