Official Azerbaijan’s Response to Destruction Coverage
Azerbaijani Religous Leader’s Letter to the Armenian Patriarch Concerning the Ongoing Destruction of the Cemetery (in 2003)
Allahshukur Pashazadeh, Azerbaijani Muslim Leader
[Translated from Russian to English. Published by Research on Armenian Architecture]
February 27, 2003
Supreme Patriarch-Catholicos Of All Armenians
We have received the letter in which You express Your concern over some information published in mass media and relating to the destruction of an allegedly Armenian cemetery, located in Azerbaijan’s Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan.
After a detailed inquiry into the matter, however, we found out that actually, there are no grounds for concern. All that is nothing but another example of disinformation aimed at inciting further tensity and deterioration in the relations of the two states.
It is common knowledge that throughout over a thousand years, the entire territory of Northern Azerbaijan formed part of the kingdom of Caucasian Albania. Our ancestors, i.e. the Caucasian Albanians, adopted Christianity as early as the 4th century, and that is well-manifested in their material and spiritual culture.
All the regions of Azerbaijan, including Nakhichevan, have preserved a great number of historical and architectural monuments dating back to that period.
The Azerbaijani people are ardent guardians of their cultural heritage, and all the historical and cultural monuments, without any exception, are under the protection of the Azerbaijani state, which takes all the steps necessary for their preservation.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, we would like to let You know that historical and cultural monuments are demolished and defiled in the Azerbaijanian territories occupied by Armenian armed forces.
According to the facts we have at our disposal, more than 500 architectural monuments, about a 100 archaeological monuments, as well as a great number of mosques, tombs, mausoleums, etc. have been wholly or partly destroyed in the occupied areas. Shusha’s Museum of History, Kelbajar’s Museum of Regional Studies, boasting unique historical exhibits, and Zangelan District’s Museum of Stone Monuments have been plundered and reduced to ruins.
The authorities of our [Azerbaijani] republic have recently declared about their willingness to enter into collaboration with UNESCO for the study of the condition of the historical and cultural monuments, situated in Azerbaijan and Armenia. In addition, we express our readiness to do everything within our power to contribute to the settlement of many problems. Hopefully, despite all attempts to divert our attention from what is our priority, we, the spiritual leaders of the two nations, will be consistent and patient in continuing our collaboration to achieve stable peace and good-neighbourly relations.
May the Lord help us in all our God-pleasing undertakings!
With best regards,
Chairman of Caucasian Muslims Board
Diplomatic Missions to Dismiss Armenians’ Claims on Destruction
February 16, 2006
Tahir Taghizadeh, Spokesman for Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry
Azerbaijani diplomatic representations will condemn Armenians’ groundless claims on the destruction of graves at a cemetery in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
The embassies and diplomatic missions in international organizations will issue press releases to condemn the ongoing campaign of the Armenian Diaspora, which maintains that tombstone inscriptions and crosses in the city of Julfa have been allegedly destroyed, the Foreign Ministry spokesman Tahir Taghizade told the press.
Taghizade said the embassies will confirm that Azerbaijan, considering its diverse cultural and religious heritage, is keen on “strengthening the political nature of the society” and announced the ancient Albanian graveyards in Julfa as archaeological monuments.
“The protection of all historic and archaeological sites is a priority for us. The diplomatic missions will emphasize that the Armenian side, referring to a vague video-recording which showed a number of persons of unknown origin destroying unidentified stone structures of average size, accused the Azerbaijani leadership, trying to divert attention from the vicious crimes perpetrated by Armenian troops in the occupied Azeri territories.”
The Ministry official continued that the embassies will underscore in their statement that the Azeri historic and cultural monuments are being destroyed in these areas.
“The economic structure in these regions is being purposefully destroyed. As a result of this policy, the overall damage inflicted to Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage has reached $7 billion.”
This includes the destruction of mosques in the Armenian territory, as well as over 500 cemeteries, 969 libraries, 850 musical schools, numerous museums, theaters, concert halls, etc.
Taghizade termed Armenians’ claims concerning the Julfa cemetery as another attempt to distort the truth. “We are confident that these attacks by the Armenian Diaspora are doomed to fail and that Armenia realizes that this policy of confrontation and ungrounded accusations, aimed at putting the blame on the other side, have no future,” he added.
Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the People’s Republic of China
Yashar Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to China
Recently Armenian side is accusing Azerbaijan of so called destruction of tombstones of armenian cemetery in Julfa region of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
It is important to note that considering its diverse cultural and religious heritage, Azerbaijan is determined to strengthen the political characteristics of its society and announced ancient Albanian cemeteries in Julfa region as the archaeological monuments. The Republic of Azerbaijan considers protection of all its historical and architectural monuments a priority.
It is a fact that there were never any armenian cemeteries or religious and non-religious monuments in Julfa and the whole Nakchivan Autonomous Republic.
Most of the armenian inhabitants of Nakchivan Autonomous Republic, considering the geographical closeness, preferred to be buried in the cemeteries which were located in the territories of neighbouring Armenia, places of compact residence of armenians.
Aforementioned accusation made by Armenia against Azerbaijan is groundless and pursue its aim to draw away the international community’s attention from shocking crimes which have been committed by armenian military forces on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Economic structure in these regions is being purposefully destroyed. As a result of such a policy total d amage caused to objects of cultural heritage cost 7 billion USD, including 180 destroyed mosques in Armenia, more than 500 cemeteries, museums, 969 libraries, 850 musical schools and etc.
Here are the facts about the destruction of mosques, places of worship and different ancient monuments on the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia and also the information about the Azerbaijani cemeteries located in Armenia and which also had been destroyed by Armenians:
Kelbajar : cemeteries located in the region, mosques in the Otagli and Bashlibel villages and p ilgrimage place in the Soyudlu village were completely destroyed;
Lachyn : region’s cemetery, great number of cemeteries built in the Middle Ages located in Abdalar, Khallanli, Zabukh, Malibey, Kosalar, Soltanlar, Zeyva, Bozlu, Ahmadli, Garagol, Gulabird, Jijimli and Malkhalaf villages, mosques in Garishiglig, Garagol and other villages, tombs and temples built in the Middle Ages, great number of Alban ancient temples and monuments built in the Middle Ages were destroyed;
Gubadli : region’s cemetery, cemetery built in the 14 th century, mosques in Mollali, Mirlar and Marmar villages, tombs built in the 14, 17 and 18 th centuries were destroyed;
Zangilan : region’s cemetery, tomb built during the 1304-1305 period in Mammadbayli village, mosques in Malatkeshin, Girig Mushlan and Hajialilar villages were completely destroyed;
Fizuli : tombstones of the cemetery located in the centre of the region were demolished;
Agdam : cemeteries in the region, Qutlu Musa oglu tomb which was built in 1314, palace and tomb of Panah Khan, Khanoglu tomb, great number of tombs and temples built in the Middle Ages located in Papravand, Kangarli and Magavuz villages were completely destroyed;
Shusha : city cemetery was completely destroyed; tombstones were demolished and taken to Armenia by cars with Yerevan number plates. Tombstone on the grave of Ibrahim Khan and marbles of the mosque located near Shusha bathhouse were removed. Govharaga and Ashagi Govharaga mosques were destroyed.
Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic : cemetery and dwelling houses located in Karki village of Sadarak region were completely destroyed. The name of the village was changed to “Tiqranakert”.
All Muslim mosques located in the Republic of Armenia were purposefully destroyed. Among great number of mosques such as Shah Ismayil and Khudabanda mosques built in the 16 th century, Shah Abbas mosque built in the 17 th century, Goy Meschid (Blue Mosque) built in the 18 th century, Ulu Jam, Tapabashi, Asad Aga, Chatirli, Korpu bulagi, Gala, Haji Novruzali bay, Sardar, Haji Nasrullah, only Goy Meschid (Blue Mosque) remained in proper conditions: after its restoration the mosque was put into operation as a museum and named “Van” temple.
Armenia Tries to Hide its Crimes through Posing Albanian Cemetery in Azerbaijan as Armenian Graves – MP
October 26, 2007
Rafael Huseynov, Azerbaijani Parliamentarian
Azerbaijan, Baku / Тcorr S. Ilhamgizi / Armenia says the Albanian cemetery located in Julfa region of Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR) actually is an Armenian cemetery and it has been destroyed, but in reality the country tries to hide its own crimes, a member of the Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and a member of the PACE Committee on Culture, Education and Science Rafael Huseynov said to Trend on 26 October.Earlier Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian said to journalists that in case Azerbaijan did not obstacle, UNESCO representatives would pay a visit to Nakhchivan in order to study the situation with the culture monuments. According to Huseynov, Armenians destroyed over 100,000 cultural monuments, hundreds of cemeteries and 1,000-2,000-years-old archaeological monuments in the occupied Azerbaijani territory. They were a composite of the world’s cultural heritage.
Hundreds of Azerbaijanis used to reside in the territory of today’s Armenia and in different periods were deported from there. Plenty of Azerbaijani cemeteries, mosques, pilgrimage places, and cultural monuments were located in the territory of Armenia and they were destroyed, Huseynov said.Azerbaijani PACE delegation developed two documents and submitted them to CE. One of them reflects the facts of destruction of Azerbaijani cultural monuments, cemeteries located in Armenia, another document presents the facts on the destructions in the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia. The parliamentarian added that for long years, the Armenians have raised the question that as though the ancient Alban cemetery in Gulustan village (former Jug[ha]) of Azerbaijan’s Nakchivan Autonomous Republic belongs to them.
“The matter is that there have never been Armenian villages there. It is an ancient Alban cemetery. At the end of 80s of the last century, the Armenians stole one of the stones from the Alban cemetery in Jug[ha] village and brought it to Echmiadzin church in Armenia. Taking the photo of Alban stone under names of the Armenian grave, the Armenians published it in their encyclopedia several years ago,” Huseynov said. He added that in order to visit Nakchivan, the representatives of the UNESCO should firstly make an appeal to the Government of Azerbaijan for receiving permission. In this case, Azerbaijan will absolutely put forward its requirements.
“The care about the graves is a great initiative and Azerbaijan welcomes it. However, it needs to carry out it at a parliamentary level and begin the work from the Country whose monuments have mostly incurred destroys. So, firstly it needs to study the condition of the Azerbaijani monuments in Armenia and in Azerbaijan’s occupied territory of Nagorno-Karabakh,” the MP said.
According to him, UNESCO can not hold one-sided searches in the regions incurring conflicts.
Armenians create website named Djulfa, Azerbaijani region and post false reports and footages
January 18, 2008
“Website www.djulfa.com registered by Armenians falsifies the history of Nakhchivan, integral part of Azerbaijan, posts claims that this territory is an ancient Armenian land and false footages that Azerbaijanis destroy Armenian monuments in Djulfa,” parliamentarian Ganira Pashayeva told APA.
She said that the website named Djulfa is the next subversion of Armenians against Azerbaijan and added that all should worry about the fact that Armenians have squatted some of the domains connected with the names of Azerbaijan, Karabakh, Baku, Sumgayit, Nakhchivan and the occupied regions.
“The measurers should be accelerated for returning such domains, including www.djulfa.com to Azerbaijan and informing the world community about subversion against Azerbaijan. The relevant bodies should work out the process of registration of domains connected with the name of Azerbaijan in order to prevent such a problem in future. We should inform the world community on the level of media outlets, different embassies and Foreign Ministry that the materials posted on this website are false,” the parliamentarian said.
Ganira Pashayeva said that Armenians are anxious about our informing world community about vandalism acts of Armenia and their destructing cultural-historical monuments belonging to Azerbaijanis in occupied Azerbaijani regions including Nagorno Karabakh and historical lands of Azerbaijan and areas called Armenian Republic today and Armenians want to confuse international community.
“Not touching upon Armenian church in Baku is the indicator of the position of Azerbaijan in such issues. But all religious monuments belonging to Azerbaijan were destructed in Armenia today. This fact is enough for criticizing Armenians. To our regret, Armenians and their scientists posted articles covering these absurd and false claims against Azerbaijan in several encyclopedias, including Britanica encyclopedia,” she said.
MP stressed necessity of establishing body under one of the relevant state organizations for removing and observing this aggressive policy of Armenia against Azerbaijanis virtually.
“Especially, special measures should be taken for eliminating aggressive propaganda of Armenia against Azerbaijani monuments dating back to Christianity period. We should not allow Armenians to falsify history of Azerbaijan and present it to world community,” she said.
Republic of Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic
Armenian Claims: Figments and Historical Facts by Ismayil HAJiYEV [sic], Academician
Through centuries, Armenians have been trying to occupy Azerbaijan’s inseparable component part Nakhchivan, annex it to the so-called “Great Armenia”. For this aim, they created false history, tried to prove the territory’s being Armenian lands, Armenians providing “superiority” in national content of the population, and still go on following this policy. As a result of the policy recently there has been published “Armenian Nakhchivan or misrepresented Nakhchivan” book after Armenian writer Avo Katerchian in one of Internet sites belonging to United Arabic Emirates – “Azad-Hay” Internet portal of near East Armenians. It issues from the book that here the “writer-researcher” falsified facts on Nakhchivan history, represented Nakhchivan as Armenian territory, Armenianized names of ancient Azerbaijani settlements, brought geographical names in distorted form to the readers’ notice.
The crafty Armenians always claiming to our territories this time again show interest for Nakhchivan. In addition, this is not without reason. Armenian jingoists who occupied Highland Qarabagh territory of Azerbaijan and the surrounding seven districts, destroyed nearly 500 local historico-architectural and cultural monuments, roughly 900 populated areas now claim to Nakhchivan, allege about destroying here Armenian gravestones. Thus they cover up their wild actions, try to divert the world community from key aim. On Nakhchivan territory there wasn’t any Armenian cemetery and still is absent. Because Armenians had migrated to Nakhchivan through the last centuries. About what cemeteries of Armenians who for a long time hadn’t been dwelling on Nakhchivan territory there can be told. All historical, archaeological, architectural and religious monuments on the territory of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic are preserved by the State. It’s no coincidence that on December 6, 2005 Nakhchivan AR Supreme Council Chairman issued special decree “About organization of activities for preserving and passportizing historical and cultural monuments on Nakhchivan AR territory”. On the other hand, in reality Armenians weren’t the local residents of Caucasus, neither the present Armenia – West Azerbaijan, Nakhchivan they are newly come dwellers of the territory (1). Even Armenian scholar B.Ishkhanyan wrote about this as far as in 1913 as below: “The true homeland of Armenians – ancient historical Great Armenia, is in Minor Asia, i.e. beyond Russia, and Armenians have settled in different parts of Caucasus territory just through the last centuries” (2).
They are newly arrived inhabitants of Minor Asia itself. “Aryans being ancestors of Armenians had migrated to Minor Asia from Frakia as far back as within II-I millennia B.C.” (3).
The famous American scholar Samuel A.Weems wrote that “for more than three thousand years Armenians hadn’t had their national land, and now they began laying claim to “historical, national territories” from sweepings of history”(4).
According to Armenian authors, in Noah times, in the early A.D. Nakhchivan belonged to Armenia. The opinions, like these, haven’t any scientific ground and are inventions of Armenian “scholars”. Results of archaeological, historico-geographical investigations show that Nakhchivan land historically was inseparable component part, inseparable territory of Azerbaijan (5). Historical sources, archaeological materials prove that major tribal unions, which appeared on Nakhchivan territory in IV-II millennia B.C., played important role in Azerbaijani people’s etnogenesis. The local monuments of Stone and Iran ages, nearly two thousand different portrayals on the rocks in Gamigaya, colour utensils culture being peculiar for their mastership, traces of high ancient town-building culture prove the fact of the territory’s being ancient Turkic land, its being one of the primary cradles of civilization (6). The ancient dwellers of Nakhchivan were, first of all, Turkic Kaspi, Kadusi and Nakhch tribal unions. “Nakhchivan” word is connected with the name of Nakhch tribe (7). Beginning from the early A.D. Bulgar, Hun, Pechenek, Kangar and Khazar tribes had been settling Nakhchivan territory. Dozens branches and divisions of the tribes settled in this province. Bakdilli, Khalaj, Yayjy and other tribes of Saljug Oghuzs also left their vestige on Nakhchivan land. Among Turkic tribes Ustajly, Didivarly, Qyzylly, Amirkhanly, Arafsali, Hajyly, Kejili, Kalfirli, Kolanly, Qarakhanbayli, Qarkhunlu, Alikhanlu, Mughanly and dozens of others were native people of the province, and there are still settlements on Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic territory, which are bound up with names of the above-listed tribes. All the foregoings once more prove that since the olden times Nakhchivan territory had been resided by Turkic ethnoses. At no stage of history in Nakhchivan there was any place name related to Armenians, neither it’s present now.
For long centuries Nakhchivan territory by turns had been making part of Manna, Midia, Ahamani Empire, Atropathene, Parfia, Sasanis etc. states and ranked with the most developed provinces of the states. Even when Nakhchivan was part of different major states it went on providing inseparable component part of Azerbaijan.
And when Armenians came to themselves, their Armenian State disappeared from historical arena in IV century, Armenia was divided between Iran and Byzantia in 387. In 428 Iranian-Armenian Kingdom was abolished (8).
Since that time up to May 1918 Armenian State, Armenian national statehood had been absent. Surely Nakhchivan wasn’t and even couldn’t be part of non-existent Armenian State. True, through 1080-1375 there had been Kilikia Armenian Kingdom (9). However, Nakhchivan had nothing to do with this Kingdom, which made part of Turkey territory.
In different historical periods Armenians migrated to South Caucasus, including Azerbaijan, and inflow of Armenians’ certain part proceeded under Arabic Caliphate.
In 654 Nakhchivan was seized by Arabic amir Habib ibn-Maslama and annexed to I Amirate of Caliphate (10). Nakhchivan city called by Arabian authors as “Nashava” was directly included to Azerbaijan, and Nakhchivan in Kars province – to III amirate. Armenian “researchers” deliberately identify them; relate historical events in Kars Nakhchivan to Azerbaijani Nakhchivan, because this met their crafty intentions and interests. Armenian authors, assuming as a basis “Mahammad ibn-Mayvan, having captivated in 150 (by Armenian calendar – I.H.; 702-703) dukes and brought them to Nakhchivan, locked 800 of them in a church and alive set them fire” (11) opinion, also use the fact for their goals and point out it’s being Azerbaijani Nakhchivan. Through researches after I.Orbeli (12) and Z.Bunyadov (13) there was proved that “the temple where Mahammad ibn-Marvan set fire to Armenian dukes is Nakhchivan towns town situating in Kagyzman district of Kars province (Turkey)”. We should also point out that in Azerbaijani Nakhchivan there weren’t discovered and aren’t ruins of either churches, or other Armenian Christian edifices.
Most medieval sources show Nakhchivan’s being Azerbaijani city: Opinions like “Seizure of Nakhchivan, one of Azerbaijani cities, by Abu-Muslum”(X century, Arabic historian Al-Kufi), “Nakhchivan-Azerbaijani city” (XII-XIII centuries, Yagut AL-Hamavi), “Shamsaddin Eldaniz – ruler of Nakhchivan city and Nakhchivan province” (XII-XIII centuries, Mkhitar Gosh), “Nakhchivan city belongs to Azerbaijan, it’s large and the population numerous, its located on height and is rather strong” (XIII century, “Unusual things of the world” work), “Nakhchivan population consists of Muslims and is a beautiful city of Azerbaijan” (XIII-XIV centuries, Hamdullah Qazvini), “Qarabaghlar is a rich settlement. All dwellers of the province (50 thousand people-I.H.) are Muslims. Armenians and Rums don’t reside in the province” (XVII century, Evliya Chalabi) are of this kind. Another undeniable fact is that after Arabic conquest for long centuries Nakhchivan has been part of different Moslem states-Saljuks, Azerbaijani Atabays, Qaragoyunlus, Aghgoyunlus, Safavis etc. which alternated each others in Azerbaijan.
Some Armenian authors try to prove Iravan province’s being Armenian land. But in reality Armenians are strange element of country being presently called as Armenia. “Review book for Iravan province” (14) contain neat facts about this. It issues from the “Book” that in 1590 Iravan and Nakhchivan districts. The latter included 15 subdistricts Aghjagala, Navaziyi-Khatun, Mulki-Arslanly, Qarabagh, Darasham, Darashahbuz, Bazarchayi, Sharur, Zor, Zabil, Alinja, Azadjiran, Ordubad, Shorlut, Daranurgut (15).
Letter, written by Iravan galabay and West Azerbaijan baylarbay Ravankhan addressed to Shah Ismayil Khatai, about migrating Armenians to Iravan province – West Azerbaijan in the early XVI century fully proves the aforesaid:
“… Lately according to my observations, one part of the population i.e. from Baynannahreyn up to the Van Lake banks, Armenians who came to our lands, instead of earning their livelihood through small trade, masonry and carpentry, launched displacement bustles on the lands subject to me, became plunged in extensive sedentary life claims. All-Armenian Catholicos Gregory II now sitting in Aghkilsa (Echmiadzin) village complicated our ruling through his subversive activities. At the expense of Armenian religious centre’s capital the Catholicos finances sedentary settling of his compatriots beyond Turkic villages, two-three families in number, building of small churches for them, thus there is imposed opinion about allegedly ancient residence of this tribe in Kaf to favour dangerous aftereffects for our future generations. On the territory under review there didn’t remain any of our villages where three strange families light wouldn’t have burnt. Hayk girls being carried away by dishonest behavior do their best to be stitched to dashing Turkic youngsters … marry Oghuzs, in other words, become joint owners of our possessions, commit crimes called in politics as quiet aggression. The mixed marriages frighten me, my Shah. Empower me to send partly totally fifteen thousand people among the newcomers as seasonal workers out of the country. Your servant Ravankhan”(16).
Under Safavis State, (1501-1736) Nakhchivan was mainly part of the State, sometimes Ottoman Turkey. Being part of Azerbaijani Safavi State right of governing Nakhchivan country was given to the heads of Tabriz baylarbayate, and being part of Chukhursad province – to Kangarli tribe that was a branch of Turkic Qyzylbash tribe – Ustajly. Kangarli tribe heads being ruling the territory until 1920ies. Nakhchivan had been hereditary governors of Nakhchivan was residence of Qyzylbash Ustajly tribe.
Ottoman Empire, which brought troops to South Caucasus in the spring of 1723, seized Nakhchivan in September 1724, and then Ordubad town. Nakhchivan lands had been governed by Ottoman Turkey until 1735. According to Ottoman administrative – territorial divison, Nakhchivan was known as “Nakhchivan sanjak”. From “Detailed book of Nakhchivan sanjak” compiled in the period under review (1727) it issues that the sanjak included 14 subdistricts: Nakhchivan city, Nakhchivanm Alinja, Sair Mavazi, Darashahbuz, Mulki-Arslan, Mavaziyi-Khatun, Qarabagh, Qyshlaghat, Darasham, Azadjiran, Shorlut, Daranurgut and Daralayaz (17). Ottomans, having taken out Zor, Zabil and Sharur subdistricts from under Safavi State’s jurisdiction, consolidated them with Iravan province. Nakhchivan sanjak included 315 settlements. Among them were the present Nakhchivan AR territory, Yekhegnadzor district half Jermuk district, most part of Sisyan district, several populated areas of Megri district (all the districts make part of the present Armenia). Nakhchivan territory, having been component part of Azerbaijani states through thousand years, in the late XVI century (1588-1603) and the early XVIII century (1724-1735) was part of Ottoman Empire, and here was applied Ottoman governing system (18).
In 1735, Nakhchivan, like other territories of Azerbaijan, passed to Nadir Afshar’s power. In 1736 Nadir declared himself shah and after this consolidated all territories of Azerbaijan in single Azerbaijan province. In 1747 after Nadir Empire’s decay Nakhchivan factically became independent State – Khanate. Kangarli tribe’s head Heydargulu-khan declared himself independent governor of Nakhchivan territory.
Nakhchivan khanate’s territory was much vaster than the present one; it covered most part of Daralayaz and Zangazur lands, Alinja, Aylis, Ballav, Dasta, Khok, Ordubad districts, Nakhchivan and Ordubad towns.
Nakhchivan khanate had been existing until occupation by Russian Empire in 1828. After Nakhchivan’s annexation to the latter, shah’s regime here was abolished.
On March 21, 1828 by decree of tsar Nicolas I on the former territory of Iravan and Nakhchivan khanates there was established the so-called Armenian province. The decree run as below: “Pursuant to treaty concluded with Iran, we order to name henceforth Iravan and Nakhchivan khanates, annexed from Iran to Russia, as Armenian province and include it to our title. The Supreme Senate in due time will enjoy necessary instructions about the province’s structure and respective governing methods” (19).
Armenian province that included also Nakhchivan territory was to be governed from Iravan by Russian general. However Ehsankhan Kangarli had been ruling the territory as Nakhchivan’s vicegerent until 1840. In April 1840 Russian tsar issued law about administrative reforms in Transcaucasus. Following to this law, which had come into effect since January 1, 1841, commandant regime was abolished and replaced for all-Russian administrative system. Nakhchivan district established in conformity with the law was included to Georgian-Imeretian province together with Ordubad district. The area of Nakhchivan, Ordubad, Daralayaz, Culfa, Shahbuz etc. territories.
In accordance with geopolitical purposes of Tsarist Russia Nakhchivan district was consolidated in 1849 to Iravan province in west Azerbaijan. However, despite this even within Iravan province, Nakhchivan enjoyed independent governing status. Sharur-Daralayaz territory and Ordubad area made part of Sharur-Daralayaz district, most residents of which were Azerbaijanis, within newly established Iravan province. Iravan, Nakhchivan, Goycha district, Sharur-Daralayaz, Novo-Bayazet territories were also part of Iravan province.
The so-called Armenian province numbered 752 villages, from which 521 were part of Iravan province, 179 – Nakhchivan province, 52 – Ordubad district (20). Together with destroyed, ruined villages, Armenian province totaled 111 villages. Here dwelled 81749 Muslims and just 25131 Armenians (21). And in Nakhchivan in 1828, including Ordubad, there dwelled 4959 families: 4149 Azerbaijani families (83,6%) and 810 Armenian ones (16,4%).
When establishing “Armenian province” to its head post there was appointed B.H.Behbudov, Armenian by nationality. Through the period of holding the post (1830-1838), he had made much for settling Armenians, improving their financial position, representing at executive power bodies. As a result, on the occupied territories both Armenians’ number rose and they took possession of key fields at governmental bodies.
They overstate Armenians’ providing majority on this territory in territorial claims of Armenians against Nakhchivan and this time don’t rest upon any historical source, tell anyhow and anywhat. R.Yenghibaryan, K.Mikaelyan, Z.Balayan etc. Armenian authors went too far in this matter.
The first data of Nakhchivan population content are given by Griboyedov in letter written by him on September 23, 1828 to General Paskevich. It issues from here that until Turkmanchay Treaty Nakhchivan province had been populated by 404 Armenian families (16,4%). According to I.Shopen (22), 14,4% of the population, and due to B.Griboyedov 16,4% was totaled by Armenians.
After being annexed to Russia, population of Nakhchivan underwent fundamental changes both in quantitative and ethnical terms. This resulted from tsarism’s policy of Christianizing; to be exact Armenianizing Azerbaijani occupied territories. Armenians’ inflow to South Caucasus, including Azerbaijan, was multiphase process, had been continuing for many centuries, and their massed migrations proceeded in XIX-early XX centuries. As a result, after concluding Turkmanchay and Edirne treaties 119,5 thousand Armenians settled in North Azerbaijan and their migrations went on in consequent period(24).
In 1830 to Nakhchivan and Ordubad there were evicted 2511 Armenian families (12555 people). And in 1828 just 810 local Armenian families resided here. Number of Armenian families had already achieved 3321 people (25). According to materials of the first All-Russian census, in 1897 Nakhchivan and Sharur-Daralayaz districts were dwelled by 55398 Armenians and 115711 Azerbaijanis. As it’s seen, despite massed evictions of Armenians to Nakhchivan by tsarism government Azerbaijanis again two times exceeded Armenians in Nakhchivan.
The latters using situation which formed in the early XX century inflicted reprisals against Azerbaijanis who dwelled Nakhchivan territory, tried to banish them from here and thus take possession of the territory. Just like in other regions of Azerbaijan, through 1905-1907, 1918-1920 in Nakhchivan there also committed genocide acts against the local Azerbaijani residents. Namely in result of this, during 1918-1920 Nakhchivan population had sharply decreased at 38 per cent.
In result of Armenia’s attempts to consolidate Nakhchivan forcedly with the former during 1918-1920 in the province there had been prevailing rather tense military-political situation and in this view absolute majority of Armenians had to leave Nakhchivan. The forcedness resulted from the atrocities made by Armenians. As a result, by 1921 Armenians had been totaling 12 per cent of Nakhchivan population. Banishing of Armenians from the province was caused, in the first turn, by Armenian Government.
In 1923, the first prime minister of Armenia O.Kachaznyun naming Nakhchivan and Sharur as “Moslem Nakhchivan and Sharur” wrote: “In Moslem districts through administrative measures we failed to establish order, had to use weapon, bring troops, and make destructions and bloodshed. However, we miscarried. In such key districts like Vedibasar, Sharur, Nakhchivan we failed to establish our government even by weapon, sustained defeat and drew off” (26).
Through 1918-1921, using foreign states’ help Armenian Government had been laying claim to Nakhchivan. However, the local population rejected the claim. The plan of Armenians to occupy Nakhchivan forcibly, by military way failed, too.
In the early 1921 in Nakhchivan there was held referendum. More than 90% of the population voted for remaining Nakhchivan within Azerbaijan in the status of autonomous republic (27).
On March 16, 1921 in Moscow between Russia and Turkey, there was concluded treaty. The Moscow Treaty confirmed already existent territorial status of Nakhchivan and envisioned attaching of autonomy to Nakhchivan under Azerbaijan’s protectorate (28). Respective terms were still consolidated by Kars Treaty concluded on October 13, 1921 between Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia with partaking of Russian representative. Nakhchivan frontiers and future status were flatly determined (29).
The treaty was concluded termlessly to play high importance for the future destiny of Nakhchivan.
Through concluding, the Kars Treaty Armenian representatives pledged themselves not to violate the treaty articles and thus articles connected with State territory status of Nakhchivan. However, consequently Armenia not only fulfilled the undertaken commitment, but also tried to abolish the treaty. Having broken it, Armenian Government took possession on Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic’s 9 villages (Khachik, Horadiz, Qurdgulag (Sharur), Oghbin, Sultanbay, Aghkhach, Almaly, Itgyran (Shahbuz) and Kahchevan (Ordubad)) which covered the area of 657 sq.km, being pursuant to Transcaucasian Central Executive Committee’s decision dated February 18, 1929 (30).
Not contenting themselves with this, just like through the whole XX century Armenians and Armenian State, not giving up their crafty plans even today, when opportunity offered laid claims for Nakhchivan and demanded annulling Moscow and Kars treaties. Territorial claims of Armenia continued in further periods and today they don’t give up these slovenly intentions.
In 1987 in the USA was founded “Annex Nakhchivan to Armenia” Organization, in 1999 in Iravan – “Nakhchivan brothers” Society, “Nakhchivan Armenians National Council”, different printing organs issue false, scientifically ungrounded, far from objectivity articles on Nakhchivan. Thus, Armenians try to form fictional opinion about Nakhchivan.
In addition, in the early 1990ies Armenians began open military aggression against Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic territory, but, having been adequately repulsed, were put in their place.
Armenian claims for Nakhchivan must be adequately repulsed, their ungroundedness, artificiality – proved by historical facts. We must preserve territorial integrity of Azerbaijan not only for our present, but also future generations.
1. Look. Verdiyeva Kh., Huseynzade R. “Geneology” of Armenians and their migrations to Caucsaus from Balkans. Baku, 2003 (in Rus.)
2. Ishkhanyan B. Nationalities of Caucasus. Saint-Petersburg, 1916, p.44 (in Rus.)
3. People of Caucasus. Vol. II, Moscow, 11962, p.443 (in Rus.)
4. Samuel A. Weems. Armenia – secrets of terrorist “Christian” country. Armenians’ big frauds series. Vol. I (Translated from English to Azeri), Baku, 2004, p.246.
5. Habibullayev O. Eneolith and bronze on Nakhchivan ASSR territory. Baku, 1982 (in Russ); Aliyev V. Colour utensils culture in Azerbaijan dating back to the Bronze Age. Baku, 1977 (in Azeri); His again. Nakhchivan – historical land of Azerbaijan. Baku, 2002 (in Azeri); Budagova Q. Toponyms of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Baku, 1987 (in Rus.); Meshadikhanym Neymat. Corps of epigraphic monuments in Azerbaijan. Vol. III. Arabic – Persian-Turkic inscriptions of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (XII-early XX centuries). – Baku, 2001 (in Rus.); Piriyev V. Pages from Nakhchivan history. Baku, 2004 (in Azeri); Valikhanly N. Nakhchivan-from Arabs up to Mobgols. Baku, 2005 (in Azeri)
6. “Nakhcihvan” International Analytic-Information Journal. March (01) 2004, p.42.
7. Gan K. Experience of explaining Caucasian geographical names. SMOMPK. Issue 40, Tiflis, 1909, p. 110 (in Rus.); Dirr A. Modern names of Caucasian tribes. SMOMPK. Issue 40, Tiflis, 1909, p.9; Armenian geography of VII century (ascribed to Moisey Khorensky). SPb, 1877, p. 36-38 (in Rus.); Mammadov R. Historical essay of Nakhchivan city. Baku, 1977, p.28 (in Azeri).
8. Kocharli T. Nagshi-cahan Nakhchivan. Baku, 1998, p.262 (in Azeri).
10. Bunyadov Z. Azerbaijan through VII-IX centuries. Baku, 1965, p. 82 (in Azeri); Historical geography of Azerbaijan. Baku, 1987, p.56.
11. Kirokos G. History. Baku, 1946, p. 40 (in Rus); Kalankaytukly M.Albania history. Baku, 1990, p.193 (in Azeri).
12. Orbeli I. Inscriptions about building church in Nakhchivan. p. 430-433 (in Russ).
13. Bunyadov Z. About one historical misunder – standing.Azerb. SSR AS Reports, N2, 1977, p. 67-69 (in Rus); His again. What Nakhchivan? “Ulduz” journal, N6, 1988, p. 61-63 (in Azeri).
14. Review book of Iravan province (translation to Azeri). Baku, 1996.
15. Ibid (the authors of researches, translation, notes and supplements are Z.Bunyadov, H.Mammadov). Baku, 1996, p.9.
16. “Yeddi gun” (“Seven days”) newspaper, December 19, 1992 (in Azeri).
17. Detailed book of Nakhchivan sanjak. Baku, 1997, p. 6-7 (in Azeri).
18. Ibid, 2001, p.5
19. Aliyev F., Aliyev M. Nakhcivan khanate. Baku, 1996, p 48 (in Azeri).
20. Collection of acts for the review of Azerbaijani people history. Vol. I, Moscow, 1833, p. 178-179 (in Rus.).
21. Arzumanly V., Mustafa N. Black pages of history. Deportation. Genoside. Refugees. Baku, 1998, p. 181-189 (in Azeri).
22. Mammadov I. Our history, land, fortune. Baku, 2003, p. 39 (in Azeri).
23. Shopen I. Historical monument for the situation of Armenian province in the period of its annexation to Russan Empire. SPb. 1852, p. 509-510 (in Rus.).
24. The First general census of Russian Empire, Baku province. p. 52-53.
25. Gregoryev B. Statistical description of Nakhchivan province. SPb, 1833, p. 125-127 (in Rus).
26. Nakhchivan history pages (“Nakhchvan in foreign sources” International Symposium proceedings). Baku, 1996, p. 35.
27. Central State Archives of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, f. 1, list 3, dos. 13, sh. 79; Musayev I. Political situation in Nakhchivan and Zangazur provinces of Azerbaijan and policy of foreign states (1917-1921), Baku, 1996, p.302 (in Azeri).
28. Documents of the USSR foreign policy. Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, p. 598-599 (in Rus.).
29. Ibid, vol. IV, Moscow, 1959, p.342; Ismail Soysal. Political acts of Turkey. Vol. I (1920-1945). Ankara, 1989, p. 41-47 (in Turkish).
30. Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Baku, 2003, p. 68 (in Eng.).