Adjarian Autonomous Republic
Colonized by Greek merchants in the 5th and 4th cent. BC, the region later came under Roman rule and after the 9th cent. AD was part of Georgia. The Turks conquered the area in the late 17th and early 18th cent. and introduced Islam. Acquired by Russia in 1878, the region became an autonomous republic of Georgia in 1921. In 1991 it became an autonomous republic of the newly independent state of Georgia. Subsequently, the region became increasingly independent of the Georgian central government, leading to a crisis (2004) in which Georgia reasserted its supremacy and forced Adjarian leader Aslan Abashidze into exile.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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