TODAY.AZ / Voice of Diaspora

Azerbaijani-American Council: Armenia should disassociate its foreign policy from fairy tales

31 October 2011 [17:00] - TODAY.AZ
The British Guardian published a letter of General Director of the Azerbaijani-American Council (AAC) Javid Huseynov in response to the publication of article 'Locked in ethnic and territorial disputes' in The Guardian by Henry Srebrnik, the AAC reported.

Huseynov said Srebrnik listed some historical facts and linked them to the present-day Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in his letter titled 'Locked in ethnic and territorial disputes' in The Guardian of Oct. 18, 2011 (ironically, the day also marked the 20th anniversary of Azerbaijan's Declaration of Independence). Some of these associations, however, need clarification, Huseynov wrote in his letter.

"The ideology of [pan-]Turkism, which originated in the 1880s, did not seek to create a unified Turkic empire, was never directed against any other group, including the Armenians. It was a social movement for liberation and modernization of the Turkic-speaking Muslim communities within the Russian Empire. According to its key ideologists - Ismail Gasprinski, Ali Huseynzade, and Yusuf Akcura - Turkism was aimed at a language reform as a way of educating and bringing Turkic peoples closer to the progressive and secular European values," Huseynov wrote.

The unrelated 1919-1920 war between Azerbaijan and Armenia was not indecisive. Azerbaijani forces defeated Armenian militants and remained in control of the Mountainous (Nagorno) Karabakh in 1919, the letter reads.

The Allied Powers recognized the authority of Azerbaijan-appointed Governor of Karabakh, Khosrov Sultanov, as did the region's Armenian community. According to a prominent Armenian scholar, Professor Richard Hovanissian of UCLA, the Armenian Republic also recognized Azerbaijan's sovereignty over the Mountainous Karabakh in 1919.

"In 1987-88, when ethnic Armenians in Karabakh and in Armenia advanced demands to transfer the territory from Azerbaijan to Armenia. The first victims of the conflict were two Azeris killed near the town of Askeran, and the first refugees of the conflict were Azeris expelled from Kafan and Gugark districts of Armenia in late 1987," Huseynov wrote.

Huseynov said neither modern Turkey nor Azerbaijan ever viewed Armenia as an ideological or geographical barrier for co-operation.

A perfect proof of that is Armenia's neighbour Georgia, an ancient Caucasus nation that preserved its rich cultural identity while living in peace and understanding with its Turkic neighbors. So the ball is in Armenia's court to cease the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, to disassociate its foreign policy from fairy tales, and to live in synergy with its ages-old neighbours, the letter reads.


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