October 4, 2007

Book ‘War Against Azerbaijan: Targeting Cultural Heritage’ developed by Heydar Aliyev Foundation

Book ‘War Against Azerbaijan: Targeting Cultural Heritage’ has been developed by Heydar Aliyev Foundation in frame of the series ‘True Facts About Garabagh’. 

The book developed by Foreign Affairs Ministry and Heydar Aliyev Foundation talks of policy of vandalism purposefully implemented by occupant Armenia against culture, tangible and moral heritage of Azerbaijan and its bitter consequences.

Published in the high polygraphic level in English the book consists of ‘Religious architectural heritage of Caucasian Albans’ and written and illustrative materials about Armenian barbarisms our cultural heritage has undergone in all districts of Azerbaijan occupied.    

The introduction provides brief information on the history of Azerbaijan, recalls tangible and cultural samples found in archeological excavations, early civilization created within territory of Azerbaijan, which is one of ancient habitations in the world, various architectural monuments created by our ancestors. The book presents information on ancient statehood traditions in Azerbaijan, emphasizing every generation has share in cultural heritage. It also talks about history of creation of different religions – idolatry, Zoroastrianism and Christianity in Azerbaijan, noting each of them had given contribution to the cultural and moral heritage. The book underlines after Arab occupation population of Caucasian Albania accepted Islam mainly, while Christianity remained in some mountainous regions. It is talked about historical Azerbaijani states such as Salari, Shaddadi, Atabey, Hulaku (Elkhani), Garagoyunlu, Aggoyunlu and Sefevi. The book says resettlement of tens of thousands of Armenians from Iran and Turkey in northern territories of Azerbaijan in early XIX century as result of reactionary demographic policy of czarism after occupation of these territories by Russia laid the base of future dramatic-tragic incidents. After Bolsheviks took the power in Russia, the Republic of Armenia was founded in base of historical lands of Azerbaijan. Inspired by this, Armenian-dashnak nationalists continued their claims for territories of Azerbaijan, leadership of former USSR actually protected them in this affair.   


Section ‘Religious architectural heritage of Caucasian Albans’ of the Book widely talks of monuments of Caucasian Albania and it is not by chance. Because Armenians, who got accustomed to falsifying the historical facts, are dealing now with a stupid propaganda such as creation of state of Caucasian Albania by Armenian ethnos and so, belonging of Christian monuments of that time to Armenians. As a statement by Azeri historians recently published on the press says ‘No Armenian settlement, necropolis, castle etc has been found either mountainous or plain Garabagh during archeological survey of Garabagh for more than a century. As result of archeological excavations carried out for decades by Azerbaijani archeologists, cave camps such Azykh, Taglar, Zar of Paleolithic, monuments such Chalagantepe, Leilatepe of Eneolithic, monuments of Khankendi, Uchoglan, Goytepe, Garahajyly of first Bronze Age, monuments of Uzerliktepe, Khojaly, Dovshanly, Akhmakhy, Syrkhavend, Sarychoban, Garabulag of middle Bronze and late Bronze Ages, Jovurgala of ancient era and first Middle Ages and other numerous monuments were discovered in Garabagh.’  

According to the book, Caucasian Albania covered a territory from Araz River in south to Derbend in north. Despite Christianity was declared official religion in Albania in IV century, its propaganda started in I century. Church created in Kish village of current Sheki district was the mother of Albanian churches and it was the first church not only in Albania but in South Caucasus.

Later, churches were built in Gabala, Albania’s first capital, current Oguz, Gakh, Zagatala, Balakan districts and other territories.

The book talks about hypocritical policy of Armenian Gregorian church against Albanian church, after northern Azerbaijani khanates were merged with Russia, and lastly putting an end to its existence via Petersburg Synod. According to the Book, this policy of Gregorian church was accompanied with policy of Armenianization of Christian Albans and their monuments. But majority of Albans were against that and accepted Islam. This fact is proved by statistics of XIX century that were collected and published by reps of Russian empire. Albans accepted Islam when situation of Moslems in Russia was worse than of Christians. But Albans preferred accepting Islam and remaining Alban to Armenianization. Despite all pressures by Armenian church, generations of the udi living in current Gabala and Oguz districts of Azerbaijan were not Armenianized and protected their language and traditions.

The lists of monuments and cultural centers in every district, maps are included in the book. These lists include 279 objects from Shusha district, 255 from Kalbajar district, 345 from Lachyn district, 209 from Gubadly district, 171 from Zangilan district, 169 from Jabrayil district, 148 from Fuzuli district, 76 from Khojavand district, 62 from Khojaly district, 126 from Agdam district and 18 from Tartar district.

Reflecting materials on previous and current state of historical and cultural monuments in Armenian territory and occupied regions of Azerbaijan the publication emphasizes Armenia’s ongoing destructive policy targets to damage the culture of Azerbaijan. Destruction of monuments in cities and settlements of Garabagh under occupation, in Shusha, changing their architectural elements, Armenianization of them under title ‘archeological excavations’ are long-term targets directed to destruction of all signs confirming these territories and monuments belong to Azerbaijan. Analysis of incidents happened during 13 years since ceasefire agreement signed in 1994 shows the number of monuments Armenians destroyed during these years is more than that of monuments destroyed during years of military operations. Kalbajar History Museum with unique collection, museums of Shusha, Lachyn, Agdam and other districts have been destroyed, their exhibits were sold in different countries. Bronze statues shot of Natavan, Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Bulbul were taken away from Shusha and put on sale in Georgia, which were bought by Azeri government for $500,000 and brought to Baku. Exhibit of Lachyn History Museum was sold for $80,000 in Sotheby’s, London.  

According to the book, one of Armenian vandalisms in occupied territories is that Azeri-Moslem elements in those monuments and different constructions are replaced with Armenian cross and scripts.

The book contains photographs of previous and current destructed looks of a number of historical and cultural monuments in occupied districts, satellite photos of territories of every district where monuments exist.

The book includes lots of information on Azeri monuments in current Armenia, famous inscriptions in Urud village, Serdar Palace, Goy Mesjid, Shah Ismail Mosque etc in Iravan, deportation of Azeris from their ethnic and historical lands.

A multimedia and a VCD containing materials of the book are enclosed to the publication.

This book that is designed for international community first is of exceptional importance to expose the essence of nationalist-dashnak policy of Armenians aiming to destroy cultural and historical monuments within occupied lands of Azerbaijan and current territory of Azerbaijan and to lose tracks confirming that these places are historical and ethnic lands of Azerbaijanis. Except providing comprehensive information to the world community on cultural resources of Azerbaijan destructed as result of Armenian vandalism, this valuable publication is a documentary source for the future generations to know those true facts.

Internet page www.war-culture.az has been created about the new publication.