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Adjarian Autonomous Republic

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Autonomous region in Georgia, bordering Turkey on the south. Estimated population 382,600 (1990), 1,160 sq mi (3,000 sq km).

Mountainous and forested, the Adjaria has a subtropical climate, and there are many health resorts, especially along the Black Sea coast.

Tobacco, tea, citrus fruits, and avocados are leading crops; livestock raising is also important. Industries include tea packing, tobacco processing, fruit and fish canning, oil refining, and shipbuilding.

The Adzhars, a mainly Muslim people of the South Caucasian linguistic family, constitute the bulk of the population; the remainder are Georgians, Armenians, Russians, and Greeks.

Colonised by Greek merchants in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, the region later came under Roman rule and after the 9th century AD was part of Georgia.

The Turks conquered Adzharistan in the late 17th and early 18th centuries 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.

The Adjarian AR has an elected Supreme Council of 110 deputies.

The capital and principal city is Batumi.

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