The Nagorno Karabakh conflict became as one of the most tragic conflicts in the history of XX century and affected the destiny of millions. This conflict provoked in 1988 retains still its hostile status because the Armenian side believes that the conflict is the antagonistic one and runs by its own rule “either all or nothing”. Backstage-minded events which were out of the public limelight have paved the way to the open and precedent like phase of the conflict. This hidden and latent part of the story has been unfolding in long lasting activities of some Armenian public figures in the Soviet Union and the Armenian Diaspora abroad. The Armenian side has cared for years to deteriorate the hostile situation by having pondering on the ethnocratic nature of its plot. The ethnocratism has been intended to enable the realization of the Armenian goals at the expense of other peoples. It aimed the following irredentist idea – to attach the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (established in 1923) of the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic to the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. First patterns of the irredentist idea (so-called “miatsum”) formed for many years have got its shape during mass rallies in Yerevan in Autumn 1987 where the public demands to subordinate NKAO (Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast) to the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic have been explicitly announced. In this light, the conflict has gradually passed to the phase of incidents. The process had some inner dynamics: it was known by the velocity of events which have logically led to the bloodbath, the tragedy for many people who were odd to the idea of the territorial expansion.
The activities of the Armenian ethnocrats have been supported by A.Aganbekyan, the academician in his scandalous interview given to L’Humanite newspaper in November 1987. It became the ominous sign which demonstrated that some part of the Soviet elite of Armenian origin is openly ignoring the official norms of peoples’ coexistence in the Soviet Union. While “Ochag” book written by the ethnocrat Z.Balayan and published in Armenian in 1985 in both Armenian and Russian languages was a mere monumental detail deplored by the society, Aganbekyan’s statement signaled an open passage to the systematic actions and declarations.
In November 1987, the conflict gets the massive character: the campaign to oust Azerbaijanis from the Kaphan district of the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic is being launched. For the first time since 1920 in South Caucasus, innocent people are put on sufferings due to their ethnic background. In the end of January 1988, no any single Azerbaijan has been left in Kaphan region. In November – December 1988, the same destiny awaited also other Azerbaijanis living in other regions of Armenia. In this regard, the massive exodus of people in large numbers is starting in 1988-1990 with the exact same mutual direction – Azerbaijanis are leaving for Azerbaijan and Armenians are heading back to Armenia. The ethnically colored panorama, which could allow in the past to talk about the mutual influence on the living style and culture, is drastically fading out.Read More
First picketing on Karabakh issue has been organized in NKAO’s oblast Center in February 13, 1988. Starting from February 16 till March 2, 1988, public rallies are being held in NKAO. The reply came immediately – the public picketing is held in Baku on February 19. The idea to struggle is propelled extensively in both Azerbaijani and Armenian societies by creating environment to sanction the actions of “the front type” persons. This chain called as the politically inexperienced masses and leaders of public rallies is defining the shapes of the policy in 80-90 years of XX century. It is indeed in the beginning of 1988, the drastic rise of opposition gets its full swing because the Armenian ethnocrats are succeeding in replacing the social discontent by the nationalist one and to spearhead the public opinion towards illusions and non-tolerance.
In February 20, 1988, the Oblast Soviet of the People’s Deputies of NKAO – regarded as the stronghold of ethnocrats and criminals – has voted for its attachment to Armenia. The special public structure called “The Committee for Reunification of NKAO with the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic” and destined to tear down the State integrity of the Union’s Republic came to light on March 2. In March 5, it got registered under the name of “Groong”. The irredentist nature of the conflict has been reflected in the establishment of “Karabakh” Committee in Yerevan. In February 21, 1988, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union takes the decision on “The Events in Nagorno Karabakh”, which qualifies the decree of the Oblast’s Soviet as the action “provoked by the nationalistic elements”. Moscow is adopting another decree “On Measures to speed up the Social and Economic Development of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic in 1988 -1995” on March 24, 1988.
In June 14, 1988, the Supreme Soviet of Armenia gives “its consent to include” NKAO in the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. Immediately, the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan takes the opposite decision on June 17, 1988: NKAO remains within the Republic. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of USSR adopts the logical decision on the impossibility of changing the national and territorial compositions of the Azerbaijani SSR and the Armenian SSR on July 18, 1988 taking into account the destructive character of any other step. In this case, the Supreme Soviet of USSR is guided by (the Article 78) of the Soviet Constitution which stipulates that “the territory of the Union’s Republic cannot be changed without its own consent”. During this pre-war phase of the conflict and subsequently, the moral truth was on the Azerbaijani side which defended the status quo – the administrative territorial composition which did not impede at all the comprehensive development of the Azerbaijani and Armenian peoples. It has to be underlined that main indicators of the NKAO’s social development have dominated the average Republic level of the Azerbaijani SSR and the Armenian SSR.
The Azerbaijani political elite based its position on the protectionist and State interests, but its human potential was not adequate to the complexity of the situation. The absence of Heydar Aliyev, the statesman who had the experience in ruling the multinational society, had a huge and direct impact of the conflict unfolding and its subsequent phases.
As the overall weakening of the State machine of USSR became faster, all measures destined to calm down the Azerbaijani and the Armenian communities in NKAO were doomed to failure. In this context, the activities of the Committee of the Special Administration (CSA) (existed from January 12 to November 28, 1989) became also ineffective. The situation was further exacerbated by still going on Cold War between USSR and USA. The US Senate passed the resolution entitled “the US assistance in peaceful regulation of the Nagorno Karabakh dispute at the basis of the desire of the people of the Soviet Armenia” on July 19, 1989. In November 19, 1989, the US Senate expresses its wish “to assist the fair resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in the course of bilateral talks with the Soviet Union, which would really reflect the aspirations of the people of that Oblast”. The rights advocating movement formed in USSR and in particular, “The Memorial” organization are unilaterally defending the Armenian separatists saying rightly that this choice is something more meaningful than the tacit domination.
In December 1, 1989, the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR has taken the unprecedented decision “On the Reunification of the Armenian SSR and Nagorno Karabakh”. In January 9, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of Armenia has included the plan on the social and economic development of NKAO in the Republican plan for 1990. NKAO held the parliamentary elections to send its representatives to the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR on May 20, 1990. This series of events have left no doubt in irredentist position of Armenia which was subsequently just masked. In May 1990, the Armenian All National Movement has won the parliamentary elections in Armenia. Ascension of separatists to power meant the only thing: to wage an aggressive war with the ideas like “reunification” and “people’s self-determination right”. In fact, the military ethnocratic circles have acceded to power in Armenia, which advocated the only forceful way of the problem resolution.
The decision “On the Reunification of the Armenian SSR and Nagorno Karabakh” taken on December 1, 1989 had very serious consequences to the relations between peoples by stirring up the cold war between Azerbaijani and Armenia, and accordingly, the rise of mass hatred towards aggressors. It leads openly to the qualitative enlargement of the zone of conflict and its general expansion. After known January events of 1990 in Baku, the Kremlin profile and President Gorbachev’s image became negative indices in the country.
Heydar Aliyev’s revealing speech made in Moscow on January 20 has ensured the combination of sound intellectual grounds for the society which were directed to sort out from the crisis of the Azerbaijani Statehood. January Events in Baku have been marked by the passage of the Azerbaijani elite to a new political and philosophical position – the deteriorating conflict became the catalyst in formatting new program goals. The failure of the authorities of the Azerbaijani SSR in January 1990 has signaled the inadequacy of the policy based upon the class internationalism in large Imperial space. A new ideological paradigm was destined to ensure the transition of Azerbaijan to the National State. But newly formed leaders of Azerbaijan were late in passing to a new policy. They have made mistakes in temporal measuring of events. Meanwhile, Heydar Aliyev was also in forced isolation. This was the man with already proved political drive who could feel the timeliness and the space. He was able to analyze the course of events before actions and understand that every of the planned step should rely upon the tough subjective will of the State.
The Republican Organizing Committee for NKAO created at the basis of the decree of the Supreme Soviet of USSR was helpless – it is well seen today – because it has been linked to the weakening possibilities of the overall Union’s system, which was objectively interested in self-survival. Nevertheless, starting from January 25, 1990, the Organizing Committee has strived in its every step the political-legal and psychological basis of NKAO by helping the population to get rid of the ethnic intolerance feelings. Its activities became definitely idle in the aftermath of the August events of 1991 which have completely discredited the all Union’s Statehood. Hypocrisy and duplicity of the Gorbachev’s policy were seen as the elements “to build” a new political reality. It was far from promising any relieving prospective to the Azerbaijani nation. In September 2, 1991, “The Nagorno Karabakh Republic” (NKR) has been declared within boundaries of NKAO and the Shaumyan region of the Azerbaijani SSR. As a reply measure, Azerbaijan has taken the decision on November 23, 1991 which repealed the autonomous status of Nagorno Karabakh. But, in November 27, 1991, the latest creature of Gorbachev – so-called “The State Council of USSR” has deemed this decision of Azerbaijan as the anti-Constitutional. In December 10, 1991, the referendum masterminded earlier was held in “NKR” to vote for the independence of the Armenian community. The Independence Declaration of the mono-ethnic “Nagorno Karabakh Republic” has been adopted on January 6, 1992. After having adopted these decisions, the Armenian separatists have provoked the transition from the cold war to the full scale military operations accompanied by the mass perishing of absolutely innocent Azerbaijanis and Armenians who became the hostages of the Yerevan aggressive aspirations.
During military campaign of 1992 and 1993, Armenia has occupied 20 percent of the Azerbaijani territory. “As an outcome of the war, more than one million of people have been subjected to the ethnic cleansing by Armenia”. Mr.Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has underlined the following: “The occupation of the territory of the sovereign State with its internationally recognized boundaries – our territorial integrity is recognized by the United Nations… has been left out of due attention of the international community… All of these facts are the ever seen injustice which lasts over long years”.
In 1993, the Azerbaijani nation has personally experienced the need for building strong basis of the State, human potential in quality of professional staff worked for life and in particular, the creative minded leader. This Nation got the historic Fortune: all of this was in its hands. In order to attain this level, there was a need for the will of people which Aristotle used to call as the Entelechy – to transit from the potential into the factual.
Heydar Aliyev’s comeback on June 15, 1993 has turned a new page in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. In 1993, Heydar Aliyev has paved the way towards a new Azerbaijani Statehood. In this context, the Nagorno Karabakh problem has been considered only through the following prism: “The Territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is not and will never be the topic of negotiations… Azerbaijan will not retreat from this position in any single step. This means that in territorial integrity of Azerbaijan … there will be no compromise”. These words are reflecting the continuation of the political course of Heydar Aliyev realized by Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
In 1993, Heydar Aliyev has factually been left in front of the very grave consequences caused by objective and subjective reasons. He concluded that the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh problem envisages the synthetic approach and the necessary consideration of many factors in internal and external policies. In particular, it meant the beginning of the formation of the regular mighty army, the creation of the stable authorities, the restoration and reformation of economy, the signature of oil contract and definitely, the consolidation of the nation. Heydar Aliyev used to say: “I needed two and a half years to establish order”. In 1993-1994, Heydar Aliyev has been acknowledging that he used “to spend 80 percent of his long working day” for solving this problem.
In May 5, 1994, Bishkek Protocol on ceasefire has been signed. In the result of the Armenian aggression, the following seven regions have fallen under the occupation – Kelbajar, Lachin, Kubatly, Zanghilan, Agdam and Fizuli. Almost one million of people have become refugees and internally displaced persons.
The escalation of the armed conflict in 1993 has brought the UN Security Council to the decision to adopt 4 resolutions in 1993: April 30, July 29, October 14 and November 12, 1993. These resolutions confirm the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and use the following wording – “The Nagorno Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan” which is incorporated into the texts of UN General Assembly annual resolutions “On Co-operation between the Organization of the United Nations and the Organization for the Security and the Co-operation in Europe”.
The decisions taken in OSCE framework are based upon the UN Security Council resolutions, the legal-normative basis and the mechanism of the negotiation process. Already, in 1992, Foreign Ministers of CSCE have expressed their concern about the extending armed conflict in Nagorno Karabakh at the additional Helsinki meeting and their desire to convene the special conference in Minsk. During CSCE Budapest Summit held in 1994, the adherence to the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council has been confirmed by the participants. They have also decided to pass to the active actions of CSCE in relation to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. At the same time, heads of States and governments have inducted the CSCE Chairman-in-office to nominate the co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference in order to forge the common and consistent basis for talks as well as to ensure the full coordination of all mediation and negotiation activities. Heads of States and governments have also expressed their political readiness to allocate multinational forces of CSCE to maintain peace as both sides will reach the political agreement on stopping the armed conflict.
While heads of CIS States have been signing the Memorandum on Maintaining the peace and stability in the Commonwealth of Independent States in 1995, Armenian has refused to endorse 7th and 8th Items of the document which stipulate the following: “The participating States will undertake in their own territories measures to prevent any pattern of separatism, nationalism, chauvinism and fascism, and they are also committed neither to support the separatist movements in the territories on the territories of other participating States and any separatist regimes nor to extend them economic, financial, military and other assistance”.
In December 2-3, 1996, Armenia is blocking the Final Declaration in OSCE Lisbon Summit which recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
Mediators of OSCE Minsk Group are presenting a new plan for peaceful settlement on September 20-24, 1997. In accordance with this plan, “Nagorno Karabakh is the State and territorial entity within Azerbaijan”. In November 1998, OSCE Minsk Group proposes the idea of the so-called “common State” rejected by Azerbaijan. Final documents of OSCE Istanbul Summit held in November 1999 do not contain a direct reference to the principle of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan in relation to the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict has been also considered in the Council of Europe. In 1997, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has adopted the resolution “On the Conflicts in the South Caucasus” which stipulates that the political settlement of the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh must be the topic of talks taking into account, in particular, the principles of inviolability of the State borders and the large autonomy status for Nagorno Karabakh.
In April 25, 1999, the President of Azerbaijan and Armenia – Heydar Aliyev and Robert Kocharian are holding the first bilateral meeting in Washington. They meet again in Paris on January 26 and March 4-5, 2001 and later on, in Key West on April 3-7, 2001.
In 2006, OSCE Minsk Group has proposed to hold in future the referendum to define the status of Nagorno Karabakh with the condition to withdraw the Armenian troops from the Azerbaijan lands which are currently under occupation.
It should be noted that such meetings were also held between Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Robert Kocharian starting from their first talks in Geneva on December 11, 2003.
Such order of events demonstrates the radical difference either in the nature of steps made by Azerbaijan and Armenia – two States of the South Caucasus, or in their conceptual approach to the conflict resolution.
The Statehood building culture of Azerbaijan has been representing and still represents the synergy of knowledge, abilities and experience of peoples lived in Azerbaijan for centuries. The Azerbaijani political, e.g. civil nation has been forming in the course of XX century. “The State becomes richer if it is populated by many peoples because every of these peoples bring its own contribution to the world culture and civilization”. This formula of Heydar Aliyev is reflecting the quintessence nature of the modern Azerbaijani Statehood. These are the political and psychological as well as ideological-cultural origins of the policies of the modern Azerbaijani State.
The modern Republic of Azerbaijan regards the existence of a people as the result of the civil and political self-determination of the peoples in Azerbaijan. In this main sense, the problem of “the ethnic self-determination further up to the separation” within one nation is considered as the false problem. The ethnocratic nationalism used as a tool to breakdown the national States is groundless in its main argument. The ethnos within the nation-State cannot be the political-legal entity. It can enjoy only being as the cultural and historical entity. The modern nation-States are multiethnic. The State where the many ethnos communities are not united into the political nation under the common national interest and supra-ethnic ideology can exist only in critical situation, if possible. This is the general political philosophy of the Azerbaijani State that can be applied to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
The future of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is not the direct continuation of the current state of affairs. It is mainly linked to the fact that the events in the diplomatic history after the signature of ceasefire are valued at the basis of the only moral criteria formulated by Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan: “Of course, we are happy to gain the diplomatic success… But if our lands are still under occupation, it means that all these results do not enjoy the principal importance. They will be only meaningful as the Azerbaijani lands will be liberated from the occupational forces and our fellow citizens will go back to their native homes. Our compatriots must come back to the occupied lands – territories adjacent to Nagorno Karabakh and the Nagorno Karabakh itself”.
Criteria of evaluating the diplomatic efforts are reflected in the practice and the incontestable achievements of the Azerbaijani State which are extrapolated rightly in the overall might of the country. “Our largest compromise is our commitment to the peace talks. But we have to create a new situation using these possibilities. I want to reaffirm that the strengthening of the military potential is not leading to the automatic restoration of war. This is the very last option. We have to be ready for it. Every country must be ready, including our country which is in the state of war with its occupied lands. At the same time, I am convinced that we will be able to exert a strong pressure on Armenia by using all political, economic, diplomatic and regional factors. This is already felt by anyone.” – says Mr. I.Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The Nagorno Karabakh problem will be solved in favor of the citizens of the multinational Azerbaijan. Our country was and will be the common house of all its residing peoples.
|Day of the Shehids||January 20|
|Day of Khojali||February 26|
|Genocide of Azerbaijanis||March 31|
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 31
Genocide and deportation of Azerbaijanis
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 31Baku, Azerbaijan, March 31 March 31 is marked as the Day of Genocide of the Azerbaijanis. After the Republic of Azerbaijan regained its independence, it has become possible to renew the objective picture of the past history of Azerbaijani people. The truth, which for many years was kept back, is getting disclosed and misinterpreted events are getting their real assessment. Numerous acts of genocide committed against Azerbaijani people, which for many years did not receive their deserved political and legal assessment, are one of the lesser known pages of the country's history. The Gulustan and Turkmenchay agreements signed in 1813 and 1828 provided the legal ground for the partition of the nation of Azerbaijanand division of its historical lands. The occupation of the lands continued the national tragedy of Azerbaijan people. Within a short period of time, mass settlement of Armenians began on Azerbaijan's territories. The occupation of Azerbaijani territories became an integral part of the genocide. Armenians moved to Irevan, Nakhchivan and Karabakh khanates and achieved establishing their administrative territorial unit of "Armenian region", despite their minority as compared to Azerbaijanis residing in the same area. This artificial separation provided political reasons for removal and annihilation of Azerbaijanis in their native lands. This was followed by propaganda of the establishment of the "Great Armenia". In order to ensure the exculpation of the idea to establish this fictitious state in the territory of Azerbaijan, a wide-scale program, aimed at the falsification of the national history of Armenians, was started. The distortion of Azerbaijan's history and the whole Caucasus formed an integral part of this program. Inspired by the idea of the establishment of "Great Armenia", Armenian invaders, in 1905-1907, started to openly conduct hostile actions against the nation of Azerbaijan on a mass scale. Armenians started their atrocious acts in Baku and further spread them through the rest of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani settlements in the currentterritory of Armenia. Hundreds of settlements were razed to the ground and thousands of Azerbaijanis were savagely killed. The organizers of this savagery were creating an unfavourable image of Azerbaijani people, to hide the truth and prevent these happenings from correct political and legal evaluation. Armenians got use of the World War I, Russian revolutions in February and October of 1917, and managed to accomplish their ideas under the plea of the Bolshevism. The implementation of a cruel plan of cleansing the population of Azerbaijani provinces started with the Baku commune under the plea of fighting against counter-revolutionary elements in March of 1918. Armenian crimes have secured themselves an everlasting place in the memory of Azerbaijani people. Thousands of civilians were murdered for the only reason of being Azerbaijanis. Armenians destroyed dwelling houses and burnt people alive. Most ofBaku was turned into ruins with national architectural sights, schools, hospitals, mosques and other monuments destroyed. The genocide of Azerbaijanis was particularly cruel in Baku, Shamakhi, Guba, Karabakh, Zangazur, Nakhchivan, Lenkaran and other regions. Many civilians in those areas were killed, the villages were burned to ashes and national monuments were razed to the ground. After the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), the closest attention was paid to the March 1918 events. The Council of Ministers issued a decree on July 15, 1918, to establish an extraordinary committee for the investigation of those tragic events. The committee investigated the first stage of the March 1918 genocide; the brutal acts in Shamakhi and the cruel crimes in Irevan province. A special department was established under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to notify the community about the truth. The ADR declared March31 a mourning day twice - in 1919 and 1920. It was the first attempt in the history to give a political assessment to genocide against the people of Azerbaijan and to the occupation of the country's lands, which went on for over a century. But the fall of the ADR did not allow this process to end. In 1920, Armenians got use of the coming of the Soviet power into the South Caucasus, and declared the annexation of Zangazur and other regions of Azerbaijan to the Armenian Soviet Republic. Armenians later started to utilize newer means to strengthen their policy, aimed at the deportation of Azerbaijani people from these territories. For this purpose, Armenians used the December 23, 1947 decree of the Soviet Council of Ministers "On removal of collective farmers and other Azerbaijani population from the Armenian Soviet Republic to the Kura-Araz lowlands of the Azerbaijan Soviet Republic". During 1948-1953, they finally achieved the purpose of mass deportation of Azerbaijani people from their historical lands, at the state level. In early 1950s, Armenian nationalists with the help of their defenders began to conduct a cruel aggressive campaign against the nation ofAzerbaijan. In regular published books, magazines and newspapers in former Soviet Union, the attempts were made to prove that Azerbaijani national culture, classic heritage and architectural monuments belong to Armenians. At the same time, Armenians strengthened their efforts to create a negative image about Azerbaijani people worldwide. In order to create the image of "a long-suffering oppressed Armenian nation", the Armenians deliberately distorted the events which took part in this region in the beginning of the 20th century. They called themselves the victims of the genocide, which they in reality conducted against Azerbaijani people. Persecution of Azerbaijanis in Irevan, where the main population consisted of Azerbaijanis and from the other parts of Armenian SSR, led to their mass proscription. Armenians violated the rights of Azerbaijani people, created the obstacles to get the education in native language and exerted a strong pressure upon them. The historical names of Azerbaijani villages were changed within a previously unforeseen process in the history of toponymy, when ancient names were replaced with the modern ones. The trumped-up Armenian history was raised at the state political level in order to bring up younger generations of Armenians in the spirit of chauvinism. Brought up in the manner of Azerbaijani literature and culture, which served to great humanism ideals, the young generation of Azerbaijanis was persecuted by the followers of Armenia's extremist ideology. The claims against the Azerbaijani national spirit, honour and dignity, created an ideological platform for the political and military aggression. Azerbaijani genocide, which was not given a correct political and legal evaluation, led to distortion of historical facts in the Soviet media and misleading of the communities by Armenians. The leadership ofAzerbaijan did not pay the sufficient attention to anti-Azerbaijani propaganda, which raised and intensified among the Soviet regime in mid-80s. The deportation of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis from their historical lands at the first stage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 1988, also did not receive a correct political assessment in Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh was taken from Azerbaijan's control and annexed to the Armenian SSR at the basis of an unconstitutional decree of ArmenianRepublic and under assistance of the Moscow-led Special Administration Committee. This fact caused a serious dissatisfaction in Azerbaijan and forced it to begin important political activities. Even though the aggressive policy aimed at the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan, was strongly criticized at numerous rallies held in Azerbaijan, the political leadership still did not give up its passive and contemplative position. In January, 1990 the Soviet troops were brought to Baku in order to prevent further development of the national liberation movement. Hundreds of Azerbaijani people were killed and injured, as the result. In February, 1992 Armenians accomplished unforeseen brutalities inAzerbaijan's small town of Khojaly. The Khojaly genocide saw thousands of Azerbaijanis murdered and taken as war prisoners. Khojaly itself was razed to the ground. The adventurous policy of Armenian nationalists and separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh, forced over one million of Azerbaijani nationals from their homelands. Today, they live in tent camps. Roughly 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories were occupied by Armenian armed forces, and thousands of Azerbaijani citizens got injured and became martyrs. The tragedies, which took place in Azerbaijan in the 19th-20th centuries and resulted in occupation of Azerbaijani lands, formed the consecutive stages of Armenia's purposeful policy against the Azerbaijani people. Efforts were made to give a political assessment to only one of those events - the March 1918 massacre. The successor of the ADR - theRepublic of Azerbaijan - considers it a historical duty to ensure a logical continuation to unfulfilled political decrees and political evaluation to the genocide.
Khojaly was Azerbaijani town situated within administrative borders of Nagorno Karabakh region of the country, on the road Agdam – Shusha, Khankendi (Stepanakert) — Askeran near the only airport of the region. Its population constituted over 7 thousand people. Because of its communication advantage of harboring the civil airport just before the start of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict it had become shelter for refugees. Meskhetian Turks who fled the bloody inter-ethnic clashes in Central Asia as well as Azerbaijani refugees deported from Armenia came to Khojaly.
In February 1992, an unprecedented genocide was committed against the Azerbaijani population in Khojaly. This bloody tragedy, which became known as the Khojaly genocide, involved the extermination or capture of the thousands of Azerbaijanis; the town was razed to the ground. Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 the Armenian armed forces with the help of the infantry guards regiment No. 366 of the former USSR implemented the seizure of Khojaly - a small town situated in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan with the total area of 0.94 sq. km. and the population before the conflict of 23,757.
The inhabitants of Khojaly remained in the town before the tragic night (about 2500 people) and tried to leave their houses after the beginning of the assault in the hope to find the way to the nearest place populated by the Azerbaijanis. But these plans have failed. Invaders destroyed Khojaly and with particular brutality implemented carnage over its peaceful population.
Brutal annihilation of hundreds of blameless in- habitants of Khojaly was one of the most heinous crimes during the armed conflict in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Armenian armed forces and foreign military units spared virtually none of those who had been unable to flee Khojaly and the surrounding area. As a result, 613 persons were killed, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly people. 1,275 inhabitants were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 persons remains un- known to this day. In the course of the tragedy 487 inhabitants of Khojaly were severely maimed, including 76 children not yet of age. 8 families were completely wiped out, 25 children lost both parents, and 130 children one of their parents. Of those who perished, 56 persons were killed with especial cruelty: by burning alive, scalping, beheading, gouging out of eyes, and bayoneting of pregnant women in the abdomen.
Armenian officials deny their responsibility for the crimes committed during the conflict, including against the population of Khojaly, airily falsifying facts and sharing own interpretations of them, which deviate not only from reality but also from elementary logic. Nevertheless, even the subtlest propaganda will never manage to disprove the facts that speak of a situation diametrically opposite to that represented by the Armenian side.
Apart from the considerable information in possession of the law-enforcement agencies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the responsibility of Armenia is documented also by numerous independent sources and eyewitnesses of this tragedy.
The Khojaly genocide is among the most tragic human tragedies of XX century like Khatyn, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Songmi. The tragedy happened at the end of the century was not only against the people of Azerbaijan, but it is one of the gravest crimes against humanity. Iinternational conventions adopted in the world, universal laws, repeatedly condemned tragedies like the tragedy of Khojaly genocide and stated its unacceptability. Azerbaijan has taken decisive steps in many international organizations, parliaments of the world for international political and legal assessment of this crime against humanity committed in Khojaly by Republic of Armenia.
"Justice for Khojaly" campaign
The world's second largest international organization in terms of its membership, the Organization of Islamic Conference (Note: on 28th June of 2011 by the decision of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of member-countries the name of the organization has been changed to Islamic Cooperation Organization (ICO) has repeatedly condemned aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan Republic and expressed solidarity with the people of Azerbaijan in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In 2004, the Organization of Islamic Conference established the Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation. Forum also applied to the International Youth Movement, in the autumn of 2007 at "Youth stands for Alliance of Civilizations" Initiative, which was founded within the framework of "Alliance of Civilizations" and offered via its partners, international organizations to raise international awareness about provocative actions of the regime that shed a blood of the peaceful Azerbaijanis. These ideas were in the proposal that the Nagorno-Garabagh conflict should be considered as a conflict that can lead to potentially worsening of the relations between civilizations. The proposal also stated that the policies of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, who came to power in Armenia, may lead to the serious violation of the stability in the South Caucasus region which plays important role in world's energy security policy.
At 6th session of the Board of Directors of the ICO Youth Forum in Kuwait in April 2008, the Head of Heydar Aliyev Foundation's Representation in Russia Leyla Aliyeva was elected as the first general Coordinator of the Forum on the issues of intercultural and dialogue among civilizations. It played significant role in drawing attention by the ICO Youth Forum on the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia. As a result of a two-day meeting of experts organized by of ICO and ISESCO in the same year in Istanbul on May 17 the ICO Youth Forum, the campaign initiated by Leyla Aliyeva, the "Justice for Khojaly – Liberation for Karabagh" supported by ICO experts and it was decided to mark 26th of February as the Day of tragedy the victims of humanitarian disasters in the countries of the ICO. In addition, it was agreed to submit to the meeting of the ICO ministers a proposal on inclusion of the Khojaly genocide in textbooks on Islamic countries.
At Kampala (Uganda), at ministerial conference of ICO member countries the initiative of General Coordinator for the Alliance of civilizations of the Youth Forum Leyla Aliyeva "Justice for Khojaly - Freedom to Garabagh" was approved. At the 35th session ICO foreign ministers conference the special resolution was adopted. Support of the resolution by the foreign ministers of 57 countries led to the establishment of political and legal framework in the world for the implementation of this campaign.
According to the resolution, Day of Memory of victims of humanitarian tragedies was established at the ICO member-states. The resolution states that besides the approval of list of tragedies, including Khojaly tragedy, the campaigns should be carried out for dissemination of right information on humanitarian disasters faced by the peoples of the Muslim countries in the twentieth century, about aggressions and ethnic cleansing.
Upon the initiative of Leyla Aliyeva, General Coordinator for Intercultural Dialogue of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) member-body of the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation “Justice for Khojaly" international information campaign announced on May 8, 2008 has been started . The first event within the framework of the campaign was the exhibition of the photographs taken by children in connection with the Khojaly tragedy and photos of a foreign country's youth in Istanbul, in "Taksim" metro station. In May 2009 at the 36the ministerial conference of Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the ICO held in Damascus, Syria the ministers fully supported the campaign carried out by the Youth Forum on the "Justice for Khojaly - Freedom to Garabagh" and it was included in the final resolution, and members-countries were called to participate actively in this campaign.
In 2011 the Parliamentary Unions of the Organization of Islamic Conference (PU OIC) adopted declaration in support of the international campaign initiated by Leyla Aliyeva "Justice for Khojaly”. At the 13-th session of the Council of ICO Council of Parliaments held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital Abu Dhabi, the Abu-Dhabi declaration adopted by member states calls for recognition the Khojaly tragedy as a crime committed against humanity. This was a result of the initiative of the Youth Forum of OIC “On Cooperation between YF of ICO and Parliamentary Unions of ICO”. It was noted in item 3 of the resolution that PU of ICO member- parliaments recognize massacre in town of Khojaly of the Republic of Azerbaijan committed by Armenian armed forces against the peaceful Azerbaijani population as a crime against humanity. The member states call to assess the crime at the national level.
There is a direct call to the parliament-members of organization and this, in turn, can lead to legal and political recognition of the tragedy at the national level.
On January 30, 2012, at the 7th session of the Parliamentary Union of Islamic Cooperation Organization member states (PU ICO) held in Indonesian Palembang city traditionally adopted a resolution "On aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan" a special item was added on the initiative of the Youth Forum of ICO. The paragraph devoted to Khojaly tragedy, stated that the parliaments of the conference member-countries calledrecognition of Khojaly genocide that took place on February 26, 1992 as genocide committed by the armed forces of Armenia against the peaceful Azerbaijani population in accordance with the nature of the mass extermination, and demanded to bring to those responsible to justice.
The campaign makes use of a variety of communication tools and resources to reach out globally and deliver its message, particularly through the media, Internet and live events. Events organized within the framework of the campaign are designed to demonstrate strong opposition to massacres, ethnic cleansing and racial, ethnic or religious discrimination, express solidarity with the victims of the Khojaly Genocide and to underline the need for a fight against impunity for the crimes committed against Azerbaijani civilians in Khojaly.
To date, more than 120,000 people and 115 organisations have joined this campaign, which functions successfully in dozens of countries. Social networks, exhibitions, rallies, contests, conferences, seminars and similar activities are other effective tools promoting its goals.
Genocide and deportation of Azerbaijanis
At the beginning of the XIX century the tsarist Russia (after conclusion of the Gulustan treaty in 1813 and Turkmenchay treaty in 1828 between Iran and Russia on the division of the territory of Azerbaijan) began to implement its plan of the establishment of the Armenian state which was intended to serve as a buffer zone within the lands of Azerbaijan. Peter the I who was pondering over the outlines of his future empire 300 years ago, sent his messengers to the south: 'We must try to wave and resettle them [Armenians] into our lands, so that they could be a shelter of Russia.'
For this purpose, in the first half of the XIX century about 300 thousands of Armenian residents of Iran and Turkey were resettled into Azerbaijan and located in the regions of Iravan (today's Yerevan), Daghlig Garabagh (Mountainous Garabag or Daglig Garabag), Nakhchivan, Zengezur, Daralayaz, Ordubad, Vedibasar and other regions.
Inspite of resettlement of Armenians to the territories of Azerbaijan the number of Azerbaijani population lived here prevailed that of Armenians. For instance, in 1886 Armenians lived only in 81 of 326 villages located in the Zangezur gaza (a kind of territorial division) of the Ganja province. 66 percents of Iravan gaza population were Azerbaijani and only 34 percent were Armenian. To achieve the superiority of Armenians in those regions the policy of extermination was applied to the Azerbaijanis. For this purpose tsarist Russia armed Armenians in secret and formed military groups.
Mass expulsion of Azerbaijanis from the territories of present Armenia and Daghlig Garabagh, violence and barbarism toward the peaceful population became particularly evident in the beginning of the XX century especially in 1905-1907 with the help of and under the patronage of the Russian government. Hundreds of villages were burnt in the provinces of Zangezur, Iravan, Nakhichevan, Ordubad, Gazakh and Karabakh of Azerbaijan, all from child to an old were cruelly killed.
Events of 1918-1920, the March extermination
In March of 1918, Russian Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin appointed Stepan Shaumyan as a special commissar of the Caucasus and dispatched him to Baku. Screened by the fact that they wanted to come to power in Bali, the Bolsheviks created favorable condition for secret purpose of armed forces of Armenian dashnaks. Mass extermination of the Azerbaijanis began on March 31 in Baku. As to Stepan Shaumyan's confession, 6000 armed soldiers of the Council of Baku and an armed 3-4 thousand-member group of 'Dashnaksutun' of party also participated in the extermination of peaceful Azerbaijanis.
During three days of the extermination, armed Armenians with the help of the Bolsheviks suddenly attacked districts where the Azerbaijanis lived and killed everyone. Kulner, a German witness of those terrible days described the Baku events in 1925 as following: 'Armenians rushed into Moslem (Azerbaijani) districts and killed, cut everyone into pieces with swords, pricked with bayonet. After several days of the extermination, 87 corpses of Azerbaijanis were found in the hollow with their ears and noses cut off, their bellies torn, privy parts cut. Armenaians had no mercy either on children or on the old'.
About 2 million of the Azerbaijanis were murdered and forcefully dismissed from their lands during two exterminations held at the beginning of the XX century (1905-1907, 19018-1920).
On March extermination one found in a part of Baku 57 women corpses with their ears and noses cut and bellies torn. We may count another terrible facts: nailing of alive young women to the walls, burning of the city hospital with 2000 people escaped from Armenian occupation. To shoot down survived people Armenians placed machine-guns at definite places beforehand.
On the basis of memories of Ovanes Apresyan, an active Armenian officer taking active part in the xtermination of the Azerbaijanis in Iravan province, Sharur-Dereleyez, Surmeli, Gars and other regions, an American agronomist Leonard Ramsden Hartwill created his book 'Such a man could be'. In his talk with the author of the book Ovanes Apresyan noted that Armenians achieved their aims with the help of the English and Russia and during March extermination in Baku they killed twenty five thousands of the Azerbaijanis.
Dashnaks conducted extermination of the Azerbaijanis not only in Baku, but in Shamakhi, Guba, Iravan, Zangazur, Karabakh, Nаkhchivan, Gars as well.
On March-April of 1918 eight thousands of peaceful population of Shamakhi were killed and many of cultural monuments including the Juma mosque, were burnt and destroyed.
28 villages of the gaza Javanshir and 17 villages of the gaza Jabrail were totally burnt and the population exterminated.
On April 19 of 1918 three thousands survivals of Azerbaijanis, commonly consisted of women, children and the old people were surrounded near Gumru and were killed.
Armed groups of Armenians burnt several villages of the gaza Nakhchivan, destroyed 115 Azerbaijani villages in the gaza Zangazur, 3257 men, 2276 women and 1296 children were murdered. Totally about this zone 10068 Azerbaijanis were killed or invalided, 50000 Azerbaijanis turned into refugees.
135 000 Azerbaijanis lived in 199 villages of Iravan province were murdered, the villages were destroyed. Later the armed groups of Armenia moved in Karabakh, and during 1918-1920 murdered people and destroyed 150 villages in the mountainous part of Karabakh. (the government of the ADR, based on the materials of Commission on Special Investigation)
In May 1920 more than 12 000 Azerbaijanis were murdered in Ganja by the armenians and the XI Red Army.
Deportation of Azerbaijanis from Armenia in 1948-1953
While the Soviet-Iranian relations were focused in Tehran conference in 1943, Armenian Diaspora asked V.Molotov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of USSR to deport to the USSR Armenians living in Iran. Molotov informs I.Stalin, the chairman of CC CP of the USSR about this matter which had later been approved. Basing on this fact G. Aroutyunov, the secretary of the Central Committee of the Armenia Communist Party strived for taking of the decision about forceful deportation of Azerbaijanis on the pretext of migration to Armenia of Armenians living abroad.
In December 23 of 1947 the Soviet of the Ministries of the USSR took the decision a 'About deportation of collective-farmers and other Azerbaijanis from Armenia SSR to Kur-Araz lowland in Azerbaijan SSR'.
On the next deportation ruled by Stalin in 1948-1953 the matter focused by the Armenians was to vacate economically, socially and morally strong and strategic areas of Azerbaijan. The first stage in this process was the vacation Azerbaijanis first from the territories near around Iravan city (today's Yerevan) and then from the center of the regions, surrounding villages and the settlements.
Part of the deported population liven on the mountainous part of Armenia, so to get used to the climate of the Kur-Araz lowland was very difficult for them. That was why many of 10 thousands of migrated to the Kur-Araz people died.
On the other hand, no Azerbaijani deported from Armenia was permitted to pass to the territory of Daghlig Garabagh. This territory was in planned form cleaned from the Azerbaijanis in the way of realization of the idea of 'The Great Armenia' and thus in 1949 under the name of the inner migration 132 families (549 individuals) were deported from Daghlig Garabagh to Khanlar region of Azerbaijan.
At the same time the names of Azerbaijan places of settlement were changed, the centers of education and culture were closed, the regions were joined. In 1947-1953 the names of 60 places of the settlement of Azerbaijanis was changed. But generally, hundreds of places of Turkish settlement were changed by Armenians during 1921-1988.
in the process of the deportation the Armenians used the trick: they kept small quantity of Azerbaijanis in the region and the cities. Those remained in minority were once and for all deported from the country in the next stage of the plan-the total vacation of Armenia of the Azerbaijanis.
Deportation of the Azerbaijanis from Armenia in 1988-1989
Since the January of 1988 the policy of 'Armenia without Turkish' had been realized in planned form. Under the guardianship of USSR the government of Armenia, the committees of 'Karabakh' and 'Krunk', the members of the church of Ichmiadzin participated in thousands of bloody actions in the process of the deportation of the Azerbaijanis.
185 places of the settlement in Armenia were vacated, more that 250 000 Azerbaijanis and 18 000 Kurds were forcefully deported from their houses and 217 Azerbaijanis were murdered by the Armenians in the result of ethnical clearance. 49 of them froze in the mountains when they tries to escape, 35 were killed under torture, 115 were burnt and 16 were shut, 10 could not bare the torture and died of infarct, 2 were murdered by the doctors in the hospitals, the rest were drown, hanged, killed under electricity, other heads were cut off.
Yagub Mahudov, Karim Shukurov Garabagh - Real history, facts, documents, Baku-2005;