MASSACRES BY ARMENIANS IN AZERBAIJAN
The massacres committed by the Armenians towards the Turkish people were not limited to Anatolia, but continued in the Caucasius and in the Azerbaijan, as well. The following, information is from the documents from Prof. Fahrettin M. Kirzioglu.
� In August 1919, Armenians attacked the 45 villages around Nahcivan and Serür with their military troops; and opened fire from armoured wagons to the villages along the railroad.
Towards the end of May 1920, the Armenians expelled by force the people of the Islam village named Karadagli, near Uluhanli in Erivan, pillaged their goods and obliged them to emigrate.
On the night of May 23 � 24, 1920 more than 300 Armenian cavalrymen surrounded the Cebecali village, 5 km to the north of Uluhanli, gathered all the men, and bayoneted all of them.
On the night of June 27, 1920, the Armenians who raided the Hacibayram and Haberbegli Villages in Erivan, pillaged the goods and belongings of the people, and killed a lot of them. A small minority who could survive from the raid, were drowned in the Aras River while they were passing the river towards the south, upon the attacking of Armenians.
500 Moslems carrying the passsports issued by the Azerbaijan Ambassador in Erivan and going to Gence, by train, to reach Azerbaijan and other places were forced to get off the train near Gümrü and all of them were murdered.
On April 6, 1920, the Armenians attacked with regular troops comprising several military branches, the Islam villages in the Zengezor, Ordubad, Vedi regions, and they performed all kinds of atrocities and conducted all kinds of violence to the most disgusting limits.
The Armenians attacked the Islam people of the Hacaparak village, which is 15 minutes away from the city of Erivan, on the night of April 16, 1920 and attempted to murder all the people. 6 men, who could not flee from this atrocity, were killed by strokes of daggers. The chastity and then women and girls were spoiled or they were killed or burned. All of the homes were pillaged. �
The atrocities of the Armenians towards the Azerbaijani people were not limited to those committed in Azerbaijan, but also continued in the USSR / CCCP era and also during the period of the Armenian Republic period, which was founded after the scattering of the USSR. Assoc. Prof. Yasin Aslan, exhibits important documents on this subject, in his book named � Ermenistan Tarihi Yol Ayiriminda / Armenia in Historical Cross � Road �.
Armenians had demonstrations on February 13, 1988 in Hankendin (Stepanakert), the Administrative center of Nagorno Karabakh. The demonstrators demanded that Nagorno Karabakh be taken from Azerbaijan and given to Armenia. After this, the chain of demands started to extending beyond this. On February 18, 1988 the first Azerbaijani began to come to Baku. They were packed in buses and they were sent back. But, they started to come back again after a short while. This time the emigrants took shelter in Sumgayit, instead of Baku, but some events took place there, followed by others. 180.000 � 200.000 Azerbaijani people were forced to get out of Armenia. Approximately, same number of Armenians were also made to leave Azerbaijan. In short, more than one million Azerbaijani people were made to fall into position of emigrants.
In fact, the events that started in 1988 in fact, form the last link in the chain of exile. The Azerbaijanis living in Armenia, were exiled from their historical lands several times, some of which were in the USSR / CCCP era in 1945. Arutunyan, the President of the Armenian Communist Party, wrote a letter, to Stalin for the giving of Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia. Stalin, in turn, sent a letter to Mir Cefer Bagirov, the President of Azerbaijan Communist Party Bagirov, in his reply to Stalin stated that Susa, whose population is composed of Azerbaijani people, should stay with Azerbaijan, and that Azerbaijani people also land demands from Armenians. Such an approach helped the closing of this artificial problem at that time.
However, the Council of Ministers of the former Soviet Union with the decision no 4088 dated December 23, 1947 decided to exile the Turks living in Armenia, to the Kura � Aras Plain, under the name of � Azerbaijani �. Two and a half months later, the very same Council of Ministers, provided the application of the previous decision by their new decision No. 754, dated March 10, 1948 with the signature of Stalin. After the decision, the Azerbaijanis; living in Armenia were sent out of those places, and this process continued until Stalin�s death. In this period, more than 150.000 Azerbaijanis were expelled from their lands where their ancestors had lived for many years.
At the beginning of the century, the exile of the Azerbaijanis living in Armenia was realised in various ways. In 1927, Azerbaijanis formed the 70 % of the population living in Erivan. In those years, 130.000 Azerbaijanis were expelled and close to 100.000 Armenians were brought in their places from Middle Eastern countries. This process also continued in later years. According to the Armenian historians, out of the 2.000 of the 2.300 villages in Armenia, were Azerbaijani villages. After 1936, the Armenian authorities started to change and cancel the Azerbaijani place names and also in 1991, Armenian names were given to 90 Azerbaijani villages, in accordance with the order of Levon Ter � Petrosyan, the President of Armenia. The changing of place names started in 1960s and 1970s under the presidency of Hovannes Bagdarasyan, the Deputy President of Armenian Supreme Soviet.
At the end of expelling and immigration acts conducted, which continued for two centuries, 1.500.000 Azerbaijani Turks were expelled from their historical homelands in Armenia and were forced to immigrate by several pretexts. In 1988, the expulsion process was completed.
At present, there is not even one single Azerbaijani in Armenia. In 1988, the Armenians made up 88.6 % of the population. The Armenian land was 9.000 km2 at the beginning of the century. Now it has reached 29.8 km2, due to the adoption of Azerbaijani lands. This figure does not include the lands invaded by the Armenians in the recent times.
It has to be accepted that the pressure of the Russian � Armenian pair over Azerbaijan has been increased / intensified. Azerbaijan is almost about to turn into Lebanon soon. The danger of the land being broken up has not yet been avoided. The Armenians are still keeping control over the Lacin Corridor, which connect the Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia. 20 % of the Azerbaijani lands are under invasion of Armenia. On the other hand, Armenia has declared / announced in May 1992, that it has founded a �Kurdish Republic� in, in Lacin � Kelbecer Region.
Azatamart Newspaper and Azadlig (Freedom) Radio, which are the publication organs of the opposition in Armenia, published the sensational declaration of Eduart Oganisyan, the Ex � President of The Armenian Service, The President of Russian � Armenian Relations Organization, and one of the leaders of the Tashnaksutyun Party. In his declaration, Oganisyan, stated that Armenian Government had signed a secret agreement with Russia, for unification with Russia. However, this fact is being kept as secret.
Armenia wants to play a specific role in the region for herself. Alode at the articles published in the Russian and Armenian press is sufficient to find out the kind of role what Armenia wants to play.
The article named � Turan, in Lieu Of Soviet Union? � in Issue No. 1993 / 4 of the Nas Sovremennik (Muasirimiz) Magazine, written by 1963 born Artur Gevarkyan, one of the staff of Armenian Pedagogy Institute, Philosophy and Politology Department, attracts attention from many respects. Gevarkyan, who defends the revival of the �Third Rome� even more forcefully than a Russian, summarised his views related with the subject in the following way:
�Armenia is the supporter of Russia in the Caucasia, and is her natural and historical ally. The Armenians obstruct the (Turan) road of the Panturkists who is a member of the horrible trio composed also of Anglo-Saxons and Zionists. The only salvation of Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Serbia, and other Christian nations is to revive the �Third Rome�.
Some Russian authorities defend that the Caucasia must be taken into a circle of fire, in order to prevent it from the effect of other countries. In such a situation, those states that are closely interested in the region, like Turkey and Iran, will not be able to penetrate into the region, by cutting through the circle of fire. A good example to this is the article of Vadim Simbursky in one of the April 1994 issues of Segodnaya newspaper. Simbursky�s views are as follows:
�The only region that forms a direct threat to the interests of Russia, is Caucasia. The existence of small empires in Caucasia like � Azerbaijan � and � Georgia � that would like to stay as national states is suitable to the interests of Russia. There are reformist powers that would work to protect the interests of Russia in the region. For this reason, the �Stabilised Instability� in the region must be preserved. As a matter of fact, such a situation is being realized in the region for years, and this prevents the free movement of Turkey and Iran. The continuing of conflicts in the region at low level is suitable for the interests of Russia. Because; such a situation would contribute the formation of the circle of fire that would hinder the penetration of Turkey to the region.
While Russia is behaving in such a way in the west of the Caspian Sea, it should protect stability in the east of the Caspian Sea, because; the Kazakhstan is semi-Russian region, it should be transformed into a security belt that protects the southern borders of Russia.
Odenburg, will be open to the expansion of the Central Asia. For this reason, Russia should do her best to transform Kazakhistan and other Central Eastern countries into an internal security belt. �
Vazgen Manukyan, who was the Armenian Minister of Defence in between the years 1992 � 1993, and is now one of the unofficial leaders of the opposition, stated, in his interview with the Nezavisimaya newspaper in April 1994 that the time had come for Nagorno Karabakh to form a federal state in Azerbaijan.
The proposal of the Armenian Andronik Migranyan, the political consultant of Russian President Yeltsin and Member of Presidential Congress, is interesting from many aspects. Migranyan proposed the transformation of Azerbaijan and Georgia into a Federal State, in an article in one of the January 1994 issues of Nezavisimaya newspaper. He claimed that Azerbaijan and Georgia, when transformed into a federal state would not be able to live without Moscow. Migranyan also stated that Armenia should also be transformed into a peace and stability element in the southern border of Russia.
Levon ªirinyan had also put forth before the same proposal in his comment in the Azatamart newspaper. In another article ªirinyan mentioned that Nahcivan should also be given back to Armenia. It is possible to extend the chain of examples. These examples clearly indicate from which centers the events are being directed.
Those who prevent Turkish � Armenian rapprochement are those who clearly make propaganda against Turkey, Tashnaksutyun Party and some secret organisations that gathered under its roof, pro � Moscow ones, consultants like Ambatsumov (Ambartsumyan), Migranyan and Kurginyan, who gathered previously around Gorbachev, then around Yeltsin and Armenian people who have duties at several levels of the Russian Government and especially the Armenian Diaspora.
The news published on December 7, 1993 by the Tashnaksutyun Party to provoke the people and to create panic among them is a good example to this. Basing news on foreign sources and especially on the French Intelligence Organization, Tashnaksutyun Party News Center informed that the Turkish Army would make a rocket attack on many targets in Armenia, inclusive of the Medzamor Nuclear Electric Power Plant. According to the news, Turkey would use the excuse of the existence of PKK terrorists in Armenia, make its attacks legitimate. According to Bagrat Sadoyiyan, the President of the News Center, Turkey would make such attacks from the lands of Nahcivan.
There are numerous articles against Turkey published in the Russian and the Armenian press. In these articles the aim is to frighten the public opinion, by the Turkish Factor�. Expressions such as �The Awakening Giant �, � The Awakening Lion �, � The Death Angel Of The Soviet Empire �, � The Ottoman Soul is Being Revived � and � One Of The Two Pillars Of The Empire of the Future� are being frequently used. Andronik, the Armenian politiologist expressed the following about such articles:
�Armenia, Russia and Iran may prevent the unification of Turkey with Azerbaijan and Central Asia. Armenia and Iran should transform into a factor that hinder the unification of the Turks.�
Armenia has plays an important role in the foreign policy of Russia for the last few centuries. Armenia has taken up the role of an outpost in the forefront of Russia in the Turkish � Moslem World. However, for the last few years Russian Nationalists have been mentioning that the friendly relations with the Turkish World are necessary, and they have been condemning the aggressions of Armenia against Azerbaijan. Some Russian Nationalists now see Armenia as a burden on the shoulders of Russia.
According to Moscow newspapers, Russia pays the 57 % of the Armenian budget. It is not possible for Armenia to continue a wide front war without foreign aid. Resul Guliyev, The President Of The Azerbaijan National Assembly, expressed in his interview with the Russian TV that Armenia would not be able to continue the war for another five years without foreign aid. According to Guliyev, Armenia is in such a position that it cannot buy even a single tank. The supporters of Armenia are the Armenians who live in emigration, some western states and some countries that are the members of CIS / Commonwealth of Independent States.
Moskovskiya Novosti newspaper mentioned in its issue no. 1992 / 13, that �with the withdrawal of Russia from the region, the stability in the Caucasia will be broken up and the influence of Turkey will accelerate.�
The report of the Gorbachov Fund on Nagorno Karabakh, sheds lighten does not the subject from another point of view, and putforth that a large state as Russia does not need Armenia from many aspects. Armenia is nothing more than a voluntarily ally to Russia. The following statements in the report attract the attention: � The historical past of the Russian � Armenian relations, obliges Russia to support Armenia. �
Armenians are aware of this and they are searching for ways of making maximum use of the existing medium. Levon ªirinyan expressed his views in his article published in Azatamart newspaper in Armenia as follows:
�With no doubt, Russia will be the most powerful state in the Caucasus, in the future. Until now, many states, including USA, did not attempt to defy the interests of Russia in the region. Russia�s losing of the Eastern Europe and the strategic interests of Russia in the south make Russia get closer to Armenia. The mission of Armenia is to observe carefully the political manoeuvres of Russia in Caucasus, and to seek the ways of making maximum use of them. It is a necessity to accept co-operation within the framework of CIS / Commonwealth of Independent States and in the form of bilateral relations. Otherwise, another country or another partner will take the place of weak and parasitic Armenia. �
For more than 70 years, the policy of Armenia on Turkey, depended on the campaign to make the Western World believe that the Turks have killed 1.5 million Armenians and to take back the lands that were left to Turkey by the 1921 Treaty in the north-west part of Turkey. Apart from this, the programs of all political parties in Armenia, include the principles of taking back the lands left to Turkey and obliging Turkey to apologize for the Armenians killed during the Ottoman State era. As it is known, the �Armenian Secret Army�, shortly known as ASALA founded for the Salvation of Armenia, have killed 45 Turkish diplomats and the members of their families between the years 1974 � 1985, for future purposes.
With the coming into power of the Armenian General National Movement under the leadership of Ter � Petrosyan, in 1990, important changes started to happen in the policy of Armenia about Turkey. Within the framework of the attempts at separating from the Soviet Union, Armenia entered into the process of developing economic and commercial relations with Turkey and Iran. This new approach also found its expression in the Independence Declaration that was announced in August 1990. Although in the Independence Declaration, it was repeated that genocide be recognised by the international public opinion, no claims of land were made.
The scattering of the Soviet Union has jeopardised the sensitive Turkey � Armenia rapprochement. Turkey�s being the first country to recognising of the independence of Azerbaijan, also affected the developing relations in the negative manner.
An Armenian Government delegation came to Turkey in November 1992. Turkey put forward four conditions for enabling the development of the relations between the two countries:
1. Armenia should recognise the existing borders between Turkey and Armenia,
2. Armenia should stop its campaign towards the recognition of the genocide in 1915 in the international public opinion,
3. Armenia should refrain from intervening in the internal affairs of Turkey (Here especially the and provided to PKK have been considered),
4. Armenia should accept the cease-fire in Nagorno Karabakh with the conditions demanded by Azerbaijan.
The parties have reached an agreement on the first three items; and the Ministers of Energy of Turkey and Armenia signed a protocol on giving electricity to Armenia. The infringement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey at that time, to explain the contents of the protocol and its importance, could not convince the leaders in Azerbaijan and the opposition in Turkey. Therefore, Turkey gave up the application of the agreement. This development was a great blow onto the Government of Armenia who suffered an energy shortage. As it is known, Armenia obtains 96% of her energy needs from abroad. Armenia obtained 80% of her natural gas needs from Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan stopped supplying natural gas to Armenia in fall of 1991. Due to this reason Armenia started to procure natural gas from Turkmenistan. The natural gas pipeline passes through the region in Georgia with its old name Borcali, now called Marneuli, where Azerbaijanis lived. At least 10 sabotages were done in 1995 to this pipeline.
Turkey�s permission to the aeroplanes going to Armenia to pass through her air corridors has been evaluated as an attempt to balance the aid given to Azerbaijan in order not to take the world public opinion against her.
While the world public opinion was busy with the attack of Russia on Chechen States, Levon Ter Petrosyan, the Armenian President, who led the Armenian General National Movement, and who left Nagorno Karabakh Committee, started a large scale political cleansing campaign in the country for the first time after the large operation that was realised by Gorbachov in 1988 against the Nagorno Karabakh Commitee. As it is known, Gorbachov had ordered the capture of the 11 members of the Nagorno Karabakh Committee, including Ter � Petrosyan.
Ter-Petrosyan had temporarily forbid with a single order the activities of Dasnaksütyün Party, known as Armenia Revolutionary Federation on December 28, 1994 with a single order. Apart from this, he closed down several organisations and newspapers connected to the Tashnaksutyun Party.
Ter-Petrosyan, in this TV speech that he made after the political cleansing infringement, expressed that the Tashnaksutyun Party smuggled heroine, committed political murders, and housed the terrorist organisation called DRO. He also added that DRO formed a threat to the security of the Armenian State and that it conducted spying in the field of armed forces.
These attempts of Ter-Petrosyan had not been a surprise, because; he was fighting against Tashnaksutyun Party for long time. For example, in June 1992 he exiled Hrair Marukyanagain to Greece where he was back from emigration.
Babken Ararktsiyan, the speaker of the Parliament, while evaluating the political cleansing infringements of Ter-Petrosyan stated that the recent events and the demonstrations realised under the leadership of Tashnaksutyun Party were aimed at spoiling the political stability in the country.
The Constitution Court, declaring that no political party is entitled to open branches abroad and told that foreigners could not be placed in their leader teams has temporarily banned the activities of Tashnaksutyun Party. Even though the party leaders were Armenian, many of them are citizens of other countries. Double citizenship is not allowed in Armenia until now. Tashnaksutyun Party has members that live in many countries of the world, and it has branches in countries where Armenians live collectively. The center of the party is in Athens.
Tashnaksutyun Party is not the only party that returned to Armenia after the scattering / disintegration of Soviet Union. � Rankavar Azatakan � (Liberal Democrats) also returned to the country. This party follows a more moderate line. Tashnaksutyun is nationalistic and opposes the government in many aspects.
Tashnaksutyun Party, whose activities are banned, was previously thought of participating in the elections as a part of a block formed of left wing parties. This subject block had unified organisations and institutions like the Nagorno Karabakh the Armenia Group, Intellectual Union, Constitution Rights Union and Heritage Movement under its roof. But, The Central Election Committee did not allow the left union to participate in the elections. On the other hand, the participation of the Monarchist Party and Armenian Women Party in the election also was hindered.
Ter-Petrosyan participated in the elections together with �Republican Block� that he formed by taking 5 political parties with him. Even though the ratio of participation in the elections was around 55 %, The Republican Block had 114 parliamentarians and hence formed the majority. While the ªamiram Women�s Organisation was taking the second rank, the Armenian Communist Party could not achieve the success that was expected from it. While Gagik Hartunyan was explaining the defeat of the extreme nationalistic block and the communists, he expressed that they lacked a good program and their egoist behaviour affected the election results. However, the public opinion researches that were conducted before the elections showed that the communists would take at least the 20 % of the votes.
Armenia is now living one of the most difficult periods of her history. It is in the effort of passing through a very dangerous narrow bottleneck. The people live in poverty. The minimum retirement pension is less than one dollar. According to the State Statistics Department data, the average salary is equal to 2.5 dollars. On the other hand, the data of the Central Election Department, about to 1991 and 1994 elections, indicate that the population has decreased by 30 % within the last three years. In other words, approximately 1 million Armenians have left the country since 1993. The Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh are fleeing from there. The number of Armenians who going to Russia and the west increased in a fast way. According to the words of Georg Pogosyan, the President of the Sociology Research Center of Armenian Sciences Academy, the 70 % of the population of Armenia are potential emigrants. The research show that the Armenians do not leave their countries just because of cold and hunger. There are specific social and political reasons for this. The Armenian newspapers published the results of a sociological research made among the Armenians who recently left the country in the years 1993 � 1994. Armenians, who were consulted, said that 45 % left their country due to the arbitrary behaviour of the police and similar organisations, 24 % left due to socio � economic reasons and 12 % left due to no possibility for making free trade.
The war Armenia conduct in some regions of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan and the embargo related to this imposed by Turkey and Azerbaijan upon Armenia influenced the life in Armenia in the negative way.
Armenia is in the effort of developing her relations with her neighbours, especially with Russia and Iran, including the idea of open to the sea over Georgia. The Russian � Armenian co-operation is being exhibited in almost all fields. From these points of view, The Russian � Armenian rapprochement is rather attracting attentions.
In spite of the termination of the � Cold War � era, the geopolitical war is still continuing. Parallel to the weakening of Russia, and together with the coming of the western petroleum companies to the region and with the strengthening of the regional nationalist feelings, a special international system is being formed especially in the Caspian region.
It is not a coincidence that Grachov, the Russian Minister of Defence, visited Armenia and Georgia, instead of the front line, when the Russian Army attacked the strategic Argun, ªali and Gudarmes regions of Chechenya. Grachov both visited the Russian Army units in the these republics and also negotiated the matters of military co-operation with the leaders of the countries. We have to remember that Russia also made use of her bases in Armenia and Georgia for her attacks on to Chechenya. The agreement for the use of the bases in Armenia by Russia was signed in March 1995.
In spite of the fact that the antipathy in Russia against Caucasian people has increased, the Russian Government and even some extreme racist organizations and nationalistic Russian organizations still see Armenia as a very important ally. The extreme rightist Russian Organizations, are evaluating Armenia as an anti-Turkish and anti � Moslem trench. For Russia, Armenia is a tool to keep Turkey far away from Caucasia and sustain the pressure on Azerbaijan.
Armenia should take the first step to solve the problems that irritate its neighbours, beginning with Turkey and Azerbaijan. The armed Armenian gangs should leave the Azerbaijan lands, which are under invasion and the Nagorno Karabakh problem, should be solved within the framework of integrity of Azerbaijan lands. The existing situation, has exceeded the boundaries of � Self � Determination � right of Nagorno Karabakh. Armenians consider at the Nagorno Karabakh as their own lands, and they have even started to mention �Third Armenia�. The article of Levon ªirinyan, in Azatamart newspaper is a good example to this. ªirinyan, who seems quite confident in himself, states that the Armenian Plain and in the neighbouring region, he adds that twenty million Kurds are sticking to the �National State� proceeding in this direction, from now on nobody can disregard their rights and the future is pregnant to more fearful / violent events. It is not difficult to understand from which source ªirinyan is fed. It is not possible to reach a result by confusing minds with such articles. Now, is the time to wake up and act sensibly in order to save the nation from the severe situation that it is now in. The historical experiences show that policies based on grudge and hatred have collapsed and will also collapse in future. For this reason, the latest developments in the region and the general situation in Armenia, show that the time has come for Erivan to act with common sense and to take courageous steps in order to maintain stability in the region.
Turkey, who is located at the focus point of the world, is an element of stability in the region. This is not an empty claim. While the mentioning the contributions of the countries especially Iran that have a close interest in Caucasus and the Central Asia, Pravda stresses specifically the reality of Turkey. According to Pravda, Turkey is the most suitable model for the republics of Caucasus and Central Asian countries, with her serious investment possibilities modern technology and secular system. The advancing of Turkey towards these targets, will contribute to peace and stability not only in the country but also outside the boundaries of the country. Especially after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, several western countries are accepting that Turkey plays an important role in the region, within the new geo-political medium that has been formed.
According to the Financial Times newspaper, the Western European contries see Turkey as a trade and political center, in the East Mediterranean, and a stability factor in the Caucasus and Middle Asia. All European countries and the United States of America are evaluating Turkey, as the �Regional Power� and �Secular Democratic Model�. According to Financial Times newspaper, Turkey is a great element of stability in the region which extends from the Middle East to the Central Asia and from the Balkans to Caucassia.
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