Today.Az » Analytics » Realities in today's Armenia: Trade with conscience
18 January 2010 [14:00] - Today.Az

Conscience is something that some people have and others don’t.

There aren’t people with little conscience just as there are no women that are little pregnant. However, Armenia has reached times when conscience is put on sale. The market is so overcrowded  and the competition is so great. But here's the paradox - in the end the winner is the one who lacks the goods largely traded in Armenia.

To be sure, one just needs to observe another widespread Armenian hysteria dedicated to the events that took place in Azerbaijan for more than two decades ago. In their usual tradition, Armenian nationalist politicians believe that another "genocide" against this "long-suffering people" took place at that time.

Diamonds of aunt Amalia and memories of Madame Avanesova

Let's start with the most interesting moments of the statements by some Armenian nationalists. For example, political scientist Alexander Manasian, a Ph.D. professor at Yerevan State University, said that "pogroms" in Baku are just “one more episode in a chain of events that repeatedly happened in the course of history." According to him, "pogroms" occurred in 1905-1907 and in  September 1918 as well. Manasian also noted that several attempts have taken place in the 1980s. But the "genocide" committed in Baku in 1990, he said, was "one of the most horrific episodes of the ‘Armenian genocide’ in Azerbaijan."

A quite reasonable question arises – how the number of the Armenian population  in the capital could be over 200,000 people at a time of "pogroms” in Baku if they faced constant and uninterrupted "genocide” in Azerbaijan? This is a strange "genocide," however, as specific as the conscience sellers in Armenia. Manasian also stated that Azerbaijanis who fled Armenia during those years can not be considered refugees since they left the country under favorable conditions.

I personally remember how refugees from Armenia settled in our neighborhood in Baku back in 1988. The people from this neighborhood helped two families who had found shelter with their relatives in Baku with food and clothing. This was the same neighborhood which hosted several Armenian families, some of whom later could easily leave for the Baltic states, Russia and Yerevan with the help of Azerbaijanis and Russians.

I remember some of our Armenian neighbors were slow to leave Baku because they could not profitably sell their Czechoslovak furniture. Even more amusing was the case with aunt Amalia, an elderly Armenian. This woman who sold her apartment to neighbors in Baku, tearfully said goodbye to the neighbors, blaming and cursing the Dashnaks for everything.

But just a few days later she called to the very neighbors whom she sold the apartment to, saying that she had forgotten to take her gold, diamonds and other jewelry sewn into the mattress. The neighbors immediately gathered all inhabitants of the neighborhood to start a collective search for the mattress with aunt Amalie’s jewels. The jewels were found soon and piled up in a parcel and sent to aunt Amalia through her own relative, who successfully drove them to our former neighbor which the latter confirmed in a telephone conversation with the owners of her Baku apartment.

I remembered reading the stories of ordinary saleswoman Eleanora Avanesova, who said that "she suffered twice, the first time in November when she left all her belongings and ran empty-handed from Baku to settle in Spitak, and the second time a month later when a terrible earthquake hit Spitak.” I do not know the case of Madame Avanesova, but I saw a very different picture of how Armenians fled Azerbaijan’s capital.

But even this is not the main point. Apparently, this young lady believes that Azerbaijan is  somehow to be blamed for the Spitak earthquake. Funny? I am personally very sad. Because on Dec. 12, 1988,  an IL-76 aircraft with 77 volunteers from Azerbaijan on board, flying to aid the quake-hit Armenians, was shot down by Armenian militants. Only one person survived.

"Even if we are promised mountains of gold, we will never return to Azerbaijan after what we have experienced. We can return to Baku only if there will be no Azerbaijanis,” members of the "Union of Baku compatriots” public organization unanimously declared several day ago. This is quite interesting stance in the spirit of a specific idea of conscience and a tireless desire to earn certain dividends from the trade.
It should be noted that Armenians have held ineradicable territorial claims to Azerbaijan for 20 years. This is the key reason that made Armenians leave Azerbaijan many years ago.

Simple acts of terrorism

I am gong to cite some facts from the history of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict so that my words will not sound like mere accusations. Let's start with 1984, when Armenian terrorists Vartanov blew up bus No. 106 in Baku killing one woman and injuring three people. Five years later, on Sept. 16, 1989, Armenian terrorists blew up a passenger bus traveling on the route Tbilisi-Baku. Five people were killed and 25 injured as a result. Later, on Oct. 7, 1989, Armenian nationalists blew up a bridge on the Halfalichay River on the southern outskirts of the Khankandi town of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region. The perpetrator of the crime Abrahamyan Arthur Artashesovich was arrested on 29 April 1992 and sentenced to 15 years in jail. 

As we see, all three of the terrorist acts were committed before the events that took place in Baku after which Armenians left Baku. This is just a little bit of those crimes committed by the Armenian nationalists who pawed a way for the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan to break out with terrible force. And I would like to recall also the Nov. 18,  1987, when Abel Aganbekyan, economic adviser to Mikhail Gorbachev, publicly stated that Nagorno-Karabakh should join Armenia attributing it to economic reasons.  

Notably, massive clashes and riots took place almost simultaneously after Armenian nationalists attacked Azerbaijanis in Qafan and Meghri regions of Armenia in November-December 1987 and January 1988  respectively. As a result, hundreds of Azerbaijanis were forced to leave their homes and flee to Azerbaijan. Moreover, March 10, 1988 saw five Azerbaijani villagers killed in Mehmanlar village in southern Yerevan.

Later, numerous attacks on Azerbaijani villages in many Armenian regions ensued leaving behind victims on many occasions. Unable to stand, inhabitants of the seven Azerbaijani villages (about 10,000 people) of Ararat region fled to the Soviet-Turkish border and lived on the banks of the Aras River for four months.

Violence towards Azerbaijanis by Armenian nationalists continued thereafter. Thus, On Nov. 4, 1988 at a rally in Yerevan activists of Karabakh Committee Rafael Ghazarian openly called for "using the units established in advance to ensure emigration in every possible way.” “For the first time this decade, we have a unique opportunity to clear Armenia. I think this is the greatest achievement of our struggle for the ten months. " It is terrorism in its pure form, isn’t it?

The "cleaning" process lasted through November. Azerbaijani villages in Armenia were surrounded and were fired shots almost every day. Surrounded Azerbaijani villages in nineteen regions across the country were attacked simultaneously on Nov. 27. The attack was led by responsible leaders of the regions with the direct involvement of the State Security Committee and militia. First secretaries of Gukark, Vardenis, Spitak, Ijevan and several other regional committees of Armenia’s Communist Party were especially zealous in this respect.

In total, 186 Azerbaijanis and Kurds were killed or frozen in mountain passes while fleeing that year. Since attacks on the Muslim population in Armenia continued well into next year, the total number of massacre victims in Armenia reached 216 people with Azerbaijanis making vast majority. This is the true history. It is simply blasphemous to talk about the next "Armenian genocide" in these circumstances. I would never sell my own goods to sellers of conscience in Armenia.

Akbar Hasanov
Day.Az writer

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