Garabakh problem

Garabakh problem

These terrible events must get their 
political and legal assessment as 
the crime against the entire humanity.

Heydar Aliyev

Garabakh is one of the ancient regions of Azerbaijan. The name of this inseparable part of Azerbaijan consists of two different Azerbaijani words: "gara" (black) and "bag" (garden). The combination of these two words is as ancient as the nation of Azerbaijan. The association of these two combined words with the definite part of Azerbaijan in every part of the world is an oracle. The word Garabakh given by the Azerbaijan nation to a part of their native lands was used for the first time 1,300 years ago (in the 7th century)!?. At first, Garabakh was used as a historical-geographical definition, but it later transformed to cover a larger geographical area. By the way, this aspect is very typical for Azerbaijan: Nakhchivan city - Nakhchivan region, Sheki city - Shaki region, Ganja city - Ganja region, Lenkoran city- Lenkoran region and etc.

Here is a little historical review.

Albania that established simultaneously with Atropatena existed in the 4-8th centuries B.C and played a great role in the history of Azerbaijan of nearly 1200 years. Albania covered the entire territory of Garabakh and it did everything possible to hold this region in its hands and reached its aim with few exceptions. Likewise Garabakh belonged to Azerbaijani Albania state, the ethnic communities residing there-uti, sovdey, qargar and others were also Albanian tribes.

In period of the ruling of Kharezmshah Djelaleddin, that ruined Atabeys state weakened by the first intervention of Mongolians (1220-1222). Garabakh was controlled by him (1225-1231).

In the period of the second intervention of Mongolians and the completion of Azerbaijan's occupation (1231-1239) Garabakh like other lands of Azerbaijan was a part of the Mongolian khaganate (1239-1256) and later of Hulakues (Elkhanies ) state (1256-1357). The information of this period of Garabakh's history is much wider and well studied.

The Kurekchay agreement, that reflected the reality, is the most reliable document which proved that Garabakh, including its mountainous part belongs to Azerbaijan.

There was armenians' mass removal from Iran and Ottoman empire to Garabakh along with other Azerbaijan regions during Russia-Iran wars (1804-1813, 1826-1828), Russia-Turkey wars (1806-1812, 1828-1829) and particularly after Turkmenchay (1828) and Adirna (1829) agreements completed Armenianization of Gegorianized Albanian population. Albanian Catholicos was abolished in 1836. We can call them Armenians just after this.

The Turkmenchay agreement signed on February 10, 1828 stipulated for the resettlement of Armenians by its Article 15.

From Article 15: "His Majesty Shah grants presents to the population and officials of the region called Azerbaijan…Moreover, he gives a year for these families to move from Iran to Moscow freely and to carry their movable property without any tariffs and taxes imposed on them and sell them. As for the immovable property the families are given five years to sell it or to present it to someone voluntarily".

The resettlement committees were established in Yerevan and Nakhichevan for organizing the resettlement of Armenians. The displaced persons were granted important privileges: they were released from taxes and tariffs for the term of six years. They were delivered benefits from the indemnity received from Iran.

Thus, the resettlement of Armenians caused changes in the ethnic composition of the regions mentioned above. The historical injustice took place in the establishment of the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabakh in 1923 when the mountain and the plain parts were artificially separated from each other.

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 Garabakh Autonomous Province) 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.

The collapse of USSR in late 1991 was followed by the change in the geopolitical situation on post-Soviet area. Armenian in fact declared an open and unfair war against Azerbaijan. Armenian military troops, violating the borders of Azerbaijan, entered Garabakh and conjointly with Armenian separatists of Upper Garabakh occupied Azeri lands. They began with the occupation of Azeri settlements in Daghlig Garabakh. The Kerkidjahan village was occupied on January 15, 1992, Malybeyli, Gushchular on February 10, the defenseless inhabitants were killed and injured, while the ring surrounding Khodjaly and Shusha was tightened.

The most tragic event in the whole modern history occurred on the 26th February night, 1992 when Armenian troops committed a horrible genocide against Azerbaijanis in Hodjaly village.

That was the most terrible mass genocide committed by Armenian separatists and Armenian military troops. It can be compared with the fascist bloodsheds during the World War II. As a result Armenian troops occupied Shusha in May 1992, thus invading almost the entire territory of the Daghlig Garabakh. Armenia continuing its war with Azerbaijan invaded Aghdam, Fuzuli, Djebrayil and Zengilan between July and October of 1993.

In 1993, the Azerbaijani nation 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.

Heydar Aliyev’s comeback on June 15, 1993 has turned a new page in the Nagorno Garabakh conflict. In 1993, Heydar Aliyev has paved the way towards a new Azerbaijani Statehood. In this context, the Nagorno Garabakh 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.

UNO confirmed the fact of occupation of Azeri lands by Armenians and conduction and unfair war against Azerbaijan and its territorial integrity. The UN Security Council ratified four resolutions (No 822, 853, 874, 884) on the Armenia's withdrawal from Azeri lands. Yet Armenians did not follow the resolutions.

During the occupation war against Azerbaijan Armenia moving forward to 360 kilometers from the border captured 20% of Azeri lands, and took control over the areas from Horadiz district of Fuzuli till Zengilan and 198 kilometers border between Azerbaijan and Iran. As a result of invasions 2 cities, 1 district and 53 villages of Garabakh with the population of nearly 50 thousand people were captured. Beside Garabakh the military invasions resulted in occupation of 890 towns, villages and districts. The destructed establishments, occupied sawn areas and woodlands were as follows: residential buildings-150000, public establishments-7000, secondary schools-693, medical institutions-695, motor ways-800 km, bridges-160, water pipeline-2300 km, electric lines-150000 km, woodlands-280000 hectares, sawn areas-200000 hectares, historical museums and monuments-464. The damage caused to the Azerbaijan was initially estimated to USD 60 billion. Moreover, the occupied lands account for all reserves of mercury, obsidian and pearlite, 35% of building and facing materials, 23.8% of forests, 7.8% of water reserves and other riches.

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.



Source:        www.azerbaijan.az