Published on Marzo 31st, 2019 | by Redazione Italia0
The Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis
According to the decree of the President Heydar Aliyev which was signed on the 26th of March 1998, every year on the 31st of March Azerbaijan commemorates the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis. This year the people of Azerbaijan once again pay their respect to the victims of massacres and ethnic cleansing conducted as a result of Armenian aggression.
Numerous acts of genocide by Armenian terrorists against Azerbaijanis, which for many years did not receive its deserved political and legal assessment, is one of the secret pages of our history. Modern Karabakh problem is the result of Armenian terror against Azerbaijani Turks through the history.
After the Gulustan (signed in 1813) and Turkmenchay (signed in 1828) agreements, the division and armenization and Russian colonization policy began in Azerbaijani lands. According to these treaties, the mass relocation of Armenians to our lands began. Genocide of Azerbaijanis became an integral part of occupation policy of relocated Armenians. Armenians were always inspired by the dream of establishing “Great Armenia”
Genocide of Azerbaijanis in the territories of present Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, violence and barbarism toward the peaceful population became particularly evident in the beginning of the XX century especially in 1905-1907. Hundreds of villages were burnt in the provinces of Zangezur, Iravan, Nakhichevan, Ordubad, Gazakh and Karabakh of Azerbaijan and some of the villages were destroyed, all from child to an old were cruelly killed.
The massacre of 1918 was prepared more skillfully and implemented more ruthlessly than the 1905 attacks and massacre.
The Bolsheviks’ victory in Russia and the withdrawal of Russian troops from the battlefields of World War I opened the way for the massacre. Taking advantage of the situation followed the World War I and the February and October 1917 Revolutions in Russia, Armenians began to pursue the implementation of their plans under the banner of Bolshevism. In 1918 the leader of the Russian Bolsheviks Vladimir Lenin appointed Stephan Shaumyan the extraordinary Commissar of the Caucasus and sent him to Baku. The Bolsheviks seized power in Baku and created conditions for the Armenian armed formations to realize their secret purposes. Bolsheviks’ power in Baku viewed the Armenian Party of Dashnaktsutyun as a source of support for eliminating the influence of Azerbaijani national party-Musavat in Baku and the regions. On 2 March 1918, speaking at a meeting of the Baku Soviet, Shaumyan strongly criticised the Musavat Party, which was seeking secession of Azerbaijan from Russia. Right at the beginning of tragic events, the Baku Soviet, under the pretext of combating counter-revolutionary elements, set about the plan to liquidate Azerbaijanis throughout the Baku Province.
Baku was a very important industrial centre, especially for its oil. As Baku produced 7 million tons of oil per year (about 15% of global oil production), during World War I the city remained in the sights of the major warring powers. Even though most of the oil fields were owned by Azerbaijanis and less than 5 per cent by Armenians, most of the production, distribution rights in Baku were owned by foreign investors, primarily by the British. At the beginning of the XX century Baku became the sole source of oil for Russia, even Vladimir Lenin asserted in one of his speeches that “Soviet Russia can’t survive without Baku oil.”
Bolsheviks’ authorities of the Soviet Russia in the early part of the 20th century were interested in ethnic clashes in the Caucasus region that involved both Armenians and Azerbaijanis.
By the acknowledgements of Stephan Shaumyan, 6000 armed soldiers of the Baku Soviet and 4000 armed men from Dashnaksutyun Party took part in the massacre of Azerbaijani civilians. On 30th of March Armenian-Bolshevik units subjected Baku to volley fire from ships. Here were descriptions of Dashnak forces taking to looting, burning and killing in the Muslim sections of the city. In Balakhany and Ramany districts of Baku, Then, armed Dashnaks attacked the homes of Azerbaijanis and carried out a merciless slaughter. On 31 March and in the first days of April, the carnage became even more ruthless. Thousands of Azerbaijani civilians were killed only because of their ethnicity. In this period, Armenian-Bolshevik units wiped out more than 20,000 Azerbaijani civilians in Baku: people were burned in their homes, killed and tortured with unparalleled cruelty. As a result, more than 16,000 people were killed with utmost barbarity in the Guba province in the first five months of 1918; a total of 167 villages were destroyed, 35 of which do not exist to this day.
Within a short period of time, Armenians committed massacres not only in Baku, but also in Shamakhy, Guba, Lankaran, Irevan, Zengezur, Karabakh, Nakhchivan and Kars. In March-April of 1918 about 8000 civilians were slaughtered in Shamakhi. The majority of the Moslem monuments of culture, including the Friday Mosque of Shamakhi, were set on fire and burnt.
28 villages in the province of Javanshir and 17 villages in the province of Jabrail were completely burned, and the population slaughtered. During March slaughters Armenians fired at and destroyed many old buildings, including Baku Juma and Thazapir mosques, also Ismailyya building which is considered one of pearls of the world architecture.
Along with the Turkic-Muslim population, Armenian forces also slaughtered local Jews and Lezgins. Even those who demanded an end to the massacre, including Russians or Georgians, were brutally victimized in different places of the country. The brutalities continued for weeks. Neither age nor sex was respected. Enormous crowds roamed the streets, burning houses, killing every pass-by who was identified as an enemy, many innocent people were killed. The truth is that the Armenians under the guise of Bolshevism, rushed on the Muslims and massacred during a few frightful days many of whom were old men, women, and children.
The discovery of mass graves in Guba region of Azerbaijan in 2007 confirms the massacres committed by Armenians against Azerbaijanis and the Armenian inhumanity. Study of the burial site has revealed that during an Armenian armed attack on Guba in 1918, people were subjected to unprecedented violence and killed with cruelty. The grave contains remains of mass burials of local residents. The Quba Genocide Memorial Complex (It is a museum in Quba, Azerbaijan, which was built between 2009 and 2013. It is dedicated to the memory of victims of March Days and is now a museum) also plays significant role in informing the international community about historical truths of the country, including massacres and manslaughters committed by the Armenian nationalists against our people.
Commemoration of the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis raises the awareness of the world community to the facts of the massacre and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis in the past and present.
Ema Hasanova Mehrab