Anti-Armenian sentiment in Azerbaijan | Wikipedia audio article

Anti-Armenian sentiment in Azerbaijan | Wikipedia audio article

Anti-Armenian sentiment is widespread in Azerbaijan,
mainly due to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. According to the European Commission against
Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), Armenians are “the most vulnerable group in Azerbaijan in
the field of racism and racial discrimination.” According to a 2012 opinion poll, 91% of Azerbaijanis
perceive Armenia as “the biggest enemy of Azerbaijan.” The word “Armenian” (erməni) is widely used
as an insult in Azerbaijan. “Negative stereotypes about Armenians are
present in the majority of mass media outlets in Azerbaijan. Those stereotypes are somewhat shared by the
public, and they definitely do not come out of nowhere. Stereotypical opinions circulating in the
mass media have their deep roots in the public consciousness.”Throughout the 20th century,
Armenians and the Muslim inhabitants of the Caucasus—Azerbaijanis were called “Caucasian
Tatars” before 1918— had been involved in numerous conflicts. Pogroms, massacres and wars solidified oppositional
ethnic identities between the two groups, and have contributed to the development of
national consciousnesses among both Armenians and Azeris. From 1918 to 1920, organized killings of Armenians
occurred in Azerbaijan, especially in the Armenian cultural centers in Baku and Shusha,
under the Russian Empire.However, contemporary Armenophobia in Azerbaijan traces its roots
to the last years of the Soviet Union, when Armenians demanded that the Moscow authorities
transfer the mostly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast in the Azerbaijan SSR to
the Armenian SSR. In response to those Armenian demands, anti-Armenian
rallies were held in various cities, where nationalist groups encouraged anti-Armenian
feeling that led to pogroms in Sumgait, Kirovabad and Baku. An estimated 350,000 Armenians left between
1988 and 1990 as a direct result of the violence directed towards them.Disputes over the ownership
of Nagorno-Karabakh eventually escalated into a large-scale military conflict, where Armenian
forces took control of most of former NKAO and seven adjacent districts. According to HRW, systematic abuse of human
rights was carried out by Karabakh Armenian forces and by the governments of Azerbaijan
and Armenia. A cease-fire was achieved in 1994 and still
remains in effect as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is de facto independent, while de
jure inside Azerbaijan’s borders. The unresolved conflict with Armenia over
Nagorno-Karabakh as well as the presence of up to 880,000 refugees and IDPs in Azerbaijan
contributed significantly to aggravating the economic, social and political situation in
Azerbaijan, with around 14% of the country’s territory occupied by Armenian forces.The
Armenian side has accused the Azerbaijani government of carrying out anti-Armenian policy
inside and outside the country, which includes propaganda of hate toward Armenia and Armenians
and the destruction of Armenian cultural heritage.According to Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor-in-Chief of the
journal Russia in Global Affairs, “Armenophobia is the institutional part of the modern Azerbaijani
statehood and Karabakh is in the center of it”. In 2011, the ECRI report on Azerbaijan stated
that “the constant negative official and media discourse” against Armenia fosters “a negative
climate of opinion regarding people of Armenian origin, who remain vulnerable to discrimination.”==
Early period==There have been numerous cases of anti-Armenianism
in Azerbaijan throughout history. Between 1905 and 1907, the Armenian–Tatar
massacres resulted in the deaths of thousands of Armenians and Azerbaijanis. According to the history professor Firuz Kazemzadeh,
“it is impossible to pin the blame for the massacres on either side. It seems that in some cases the Azerbaijanis
fired the first shots, in other cases the Armenians.” A wave of anti-Armenian massacres in Azerbaijani-controlled
territories started in 1918 and continued until 1920, when both Armenia and Azerbaijan
joined the Soviet Union. First in September 1918, a massacre of the
Armenians of Baku took place, leaving an estimated of 10,000 to 30,000 ethnic Armenians dead. The event was later called September Days. On 5–7 June 1919 another massacre of Armenians
was carried out in Khaibalikend in Nagorno-Karabakh. Up to 700 Armenians were killed in a massacre
organized by Nagorno-Karabakh’s Governor-General Khosrov bek Sultanov and led by his brother,
Sultan bek Sultanov. In March 1920 a pogrom of Shusha’s Armenians
occurred. Estimates of casualty figures are uncertain
and vary from few hundred to 20,000–30,000 victims. Before and during the Russian Revolution of
1917 anti-Armenianism was the basis of Azeri nationalism, and under the Soviet regime Armenians
remain the scapegoats who are responsible for state, societal and economic shortcomings. During the Soviet era, the Soviet government
tried to foster a peaceful co-existence between the two ethnic groups, but many Azeris resented
the high social status of Armenians in Azerbaijan, as many Armenians were esteemed as part of
Azerbaijan’s intelligentsia. When the atrocity-laden conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh
broke out, however, the public opinion in both countries about the other hardened.==During the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict==
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict started with demonstrations in February 1988 in Yerevan,
Armenia SSR, demanding the incorporation of Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the
Azerbaijan SSR into the Armenian SSR. Nagorno-Karabakh’s regional council voted
to secede from Azerbaijan and join with the Armenian SSR. These events led to the Sumgait Pogrom where
between 26 February, and 1 March, the city of Sumgait was subjected to four days of violent
anti-Armenian riots during which 32 people were murdered. The pogrom was marked with a great number
of atrocities – the apartments of Armenians (which were marked in advance) were attacked
and the residents were indiscriminately murdered, raped, and mutilated by the Azerbaijani rioters. The Azerbaijani authorities took up no measures
whatsoever to stop the atrocities, the local police took no action. A number of international and Soviet sources
described the events as genocide of the Armenian population.After several days of ongoing unrest
Moscow authorities occupied the city with paratroopers and tanks. Almost all the 14,000 Armenians in Sumgait
fled the city after the pogrom. British journalist Thomas de Waal, who in
2005 published a documentary book Black Garden on the Karabakh conflict, writes: “The first-ever
mass violence of the late Soviet era” was the pogrom of Armenians in Sumgait – unrest
sparked on ethnic grounds in the town of Sumgait in Azerbaijan SSR in February 1988, accompanied
by mass violence against the Armenian population of the town along with looting, arson, murders
and destruction of property. On February 1988 at the session of Politburo
of the Central Committee in Moscow it was officially acknowledged that mass pogroms
and murders in Sumgait were carried out based on ethnicity. It was then that the academician Ziya Bunyadov,
whom Tom de Waal calls “Azerbaijan’s foremost Armenophobe” in his book, became famous with
his article “Why Sumgait?” in which he blamed the Armenian victims for organizing the pogrom.Sumgait
pogrom was never given due assessment by the state; the perpetrators not only remained
unpunished but some of them gained titles of national heroes as well as high positions
in the government. This led to further escalation of the conflict,
as assessed by Memorial.Following the Sumgait massacre, new pogroms took place in Kirovabad
and later in Baku in 1990. In November 1988 the Kirovabad pogrom was
put down by Soviet troops, prompting a permanent migratory trend of Armenians away from Azerbaijan.As
time went by, the tension between two nations grew rapidly. In January 1990, Azeri nationalists organized
a pogrom of Armenians in Baku, killing at least 90 Armenians and displacing a population
of nearly 200,000 Armenians. De Waal stated that the Popular Front of Azerbaijan
(forerunner of the later Azerbaijani Popular Front Party) was responsible for the mass
pogrom, as they shouted “Long live Baku without Armenians!”In July 1990 “An Open Letter to
International Public Opinion on Anti-Armenian Pogroms in the Soviet Union” was signed by
130 intellectuals and scholars all over the world, which stated,
During the war, on 10 April 1992, Azerbaijanis carried out the Maraga Massacre, killing at
least 40 Armenians.==Post-1994 era==From 1991 to 1994 the inter-ethnic conflict
evolved into large-scale military actions for the control over Nagorno-Karabakh and
some of the surrounding regions. In May 1994 a ceasefire was signed, but which
did not definitively settle the territorial dispute to the satisfaction of all parties. Today the Armenian forces control a considerable
territory beyond the borders of the NKR, the question of refugees is still unresolved and
Azerbaijan continues to enforce an economic blockade on the breakaway territory. The European Commission against Racism and
Intolerance (ECRI) stated that the “overall negative climate” in Azerbaijan is a consequence
“generated by the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.”===Influence on Azerbaijani national identity
===The Russian historian, poet, essayist Andrei
Polonski, who has researched the formation of the Azerbaijani national identity at the
end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, pointed out that “the Karabakh crisis
and growing Armenophobia contributed to the formation of the stable image of the enemy
which has to a great extent influenced the nature of the new identity (primarily based
on aggression and victory).Vladimir Kazimirov, the Russian Representative for Nagorno-Karabakh
from 1992 to 1996, Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, has many times accused certain
forces in Azerbaijan up to the level of state authorities of inciting anti-Armenian sentiment. At the beginning of 2004, characterizing the
decade following the conclusion of the ceasefire, Kazimirov stated:===In the Media===
ECRI notes that the mainstream media of Azerbaijan “is highly critical, without drawing a clear
distinction between that state and persons of Armenian origin coming under the jurisdiction
of Azerbaijan.” It further implicates certain TV channels,
prominent citizens, politicians, and local and national authorities in the “fuel[ing
of] negative feelings among society towards Armenians” According to the commission, anti-Armenian
prejudice “is so ingrained that describing someone as an Armenian in the media is considered
by some people – including by certain Armenians themselves – to qualify as an insult that
justifies initiating judicial proceedings against the persons making such statements.” There is also a wide media coverage of some
statements made by Azerbaijani public figures and statesmen which demonstrate intolerance. In 2008, Allahşükür Paşazadə, the religious
leader of the Caucasus Muslims made a statement that “falsehood and betrayal are in the Armenian
Indoctrination in schools===The Azerbaijani historian Arif Yunus has stated
that Azerbaijani school textbooks label Armenians with epithets such as “bandits”, “aggressors”,
“treacherous”, and “hypocritical”. He and his wife were jailed for allegedly
spying for Armenia. Yasemin Kilit Aklar in her study titled “NATION
AND HISTORY IN AZERBAIJANI SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS” comes to the following conclusion: Azerbaijani
official textbooks misuse history to encourage hatred and feelings of ethnic and national
superiority. The Armenians… are presented as historical
enemies and derided in very strong language. [The fifth grade history textbook by] Ata
Yurdu stimulates direct hostility to Armenians and Russians. Even if the efforts to establish peace in
Nagorno-Karabagh are successful, how can it be expected to survive? How can a new generation live with Armenians
in peaceful coexistence after being inculcated with such prejudices? As of now, the civic nationalism that Azerbaijani
officials speak of appears to be a distant myth or a mere rhetorical device.===Destruction of cultural heritage===
According to the US Department of Justice: Starting in 1998, Armenia began accusing Azerbaijan
of embarking on a campaign of destroying a cemetery of Armenian khachkar carvings in
the Armenian cemetery in Julfa. Several appeals were filed by both Armenian
and international organizations, condemning the Azerbaijani government and calling on
it to desist from such activity. In 2006, Azerbaijan barred European Parliamentarians
from investigating the claims, charging them with a “biased and hysterical approach” to
the issue and stating that it would only accept a delegation if that delegation visited Armenian-controlled
territory as well. In the spring of 2006, a visiting journalist
from the Institute for War and Peace Reporting reported that no visible traces of the Armenian
cemetery remained. In the same year, photographs taken from Iran
showed that the cemetery site had been turned into a military firing range.As a response
to Azerbaijan barring on-site investigation by outside groups, on 8 December 2010, the
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) released an analysis of high-resolution
satellite photographs of the Julfa cemetery site taken in 2003 and 2009. The AAAS concluded that the satellite imagery
was consistent with the reports from observers on the ground, that “significant destruction
and changes in the grade of the terrain” had occurred between 2003 and 2009, and that the
cemetery area was “likely destroyed and later leveled by earth-moving equipment.===Incidents of violence and hatred===
In 2004, the Azerbaijani lieutenant Ramil Safarov murdered Armenian lieutenant Gurgen
Markaryan in his sleep at a Partnership for Peace NATO program. In 2006, Safarov was sentenced to life imprisonment
in Hungary with a minimum incarceration period of 30 years. After his request under the Strasbourg convention,
he was extradited on 31 August 2012 to Azerbaijan where he was greeted as a hero, pardoned by
the Azerbaijani president despite contrary assurances made to Hungary, promoted to the
rank of major and given an apartment and over eight years of back pay. The Republic of Armenia cut all diplomatic
ties with Hungary after this incident.In 2007, the leader of Azerbaijani national chess team,
Teimour Radjabov, gave to a question on how he felt about playing against the Armenian
team and he responded “the enemy is the enemy. We all have feelings of hate towards them.” On 4 April, during the 2016 Armenian–Azerbaijani
clashes, it was reported that Azerbaijani forces decapitated an Armenian soldier of
Yezidi origin Karam Sloyan, with videos and pictures of his severed head posted on social
networks.===Denying entry to Azerbaijan===Unless a visa or an official warrant is issued
by Azerbaijani authorities, the government of Azerbaijan condemns any visit by foreign
citizens to the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh (the de facto Nagorno-Karabakh Republic),
its surrounding territories and the Azerbaijani enclaves of Karki, Yuxarı Əskipara, Barxudarlı
and Sofulu which are de jure part of Azerbaijan under Armenian control. Azerbaijan considers entering these territories
through Armenia (as it is usually the case) a violation of its visa and migration policy. Foreign citizens who enter these territories
will be permanently banned from entering Azerbaijan and will be included on the list of people
who are personae non gratae by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan.In addition
those declared personae non gratae, several other visitors have been barred from entering
the country due to their ethnic Armenian identity. Diana Markosian, a journalist of American
and Russian citizenship, who is also an ethnic Armenian, was prevented from entering Azerbaijan
due to her ethnicity in 2011. Zafer Zoyan, an ethnic Turkish professional
arm-wrestler, was barred from entering Azerbaijan because his last name resembled that of an
Armenian.===Official position===
During a 2009 hearing at the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Howard
Berman said that he was “deeply concerned by the series of increasingly bellicose statements
made over the past year about Nagorno-Karabakh by senior Azerbaijani officials,” such as
those by Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev’s spokesman in 2004, who stated that
“Within the next 25 years there will be no state of Armenia in the South Caucasus. These people … have no right to live in
this region. Modern Armenia was built on historical Azerbaijani
lands. I think that in 25–30 years its territory
will again come under Azerbaijan’s jurisdiction.” In 2005, the mayor of Baku, Hajibala Abutalybov
during at a meeting with a municipal delegation from Bavaria, Germany stated Our goal is the complete elimination of Armenians. You, Nazis, already eliminated the Jews in
the 1930s and 40s, right? You should be able to understand us.” Victor Krivopuskov, at the time an officer
of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR and a member of a peacekeeping mission
in Nagorno-Karabakh gives the following assessment of Azerbaijan’s current state policy: The criminals are promoted to the rank of
heroes, monuments are erected on their burial places, which comes to prove that the government
of Azerbaijan actually continues the policy of genocide which was initiated at the end
of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th centuries.”====
Statements by President Ilham Aliyev====On 28 February 2012, during his closing speech
at the conference on the results of the third year into the State Program on the socio-economic
development of districts for 2009–2013, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated: Aliyev’s line that “our main enemies are Armenians
of the world and the hypocritical and corrupt politicians under their control” was widely
reported in the international media.On 20 November 2012, President Aliyev tweeted several
excerpts from his speech on 16 November at the 20th anniversary celebration of New Azerbaijan
Party. He in particular made statements such as: The speaker for Armenia’s ruling Republican
Party said in response: “Aliyev shows by his cynical proclamations that there are still
supporters of fascism in the 21st century, and that this ideology flourishes thanks to
leaders like him”, adding that “[Aliyev’s] remarks recall the 1930s–1940s and [those
of] Hitler”.On 19 September 2013 during the opening ceremony of the “Genocide Memorial
Complex built in the north-eastern town of Guba to honor victims of massacres committed
in the area by Armenian and Bolshevik forces in 1918”, President Aliyev stated that “Azerbaijan’s
state flag should be waved in Shusha, Khankendi and Azerbaijanis should live in their historical
lands in future. Our historical lands are Irevan khanate, Goyce
and Zangazur regions. There will be times; we will live in these
lands.” He went on praising Ramil Safarov saying “Azerbaijan
has returned Ramil Safarov—its officer to homeland, given him freedom and restored the
justice.”On 29 January 2015 Ilham Aliyev posted a tweet saying “Armenia is not even a colony,
it is not even worthy of being a servant”.===Stance on the Armenian Genocide===
The Azerbaijani government officially denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide.==Reaction=====
Armenia===In 2011, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan
in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly said: In May 2011, Shavarsh Kocharyan, the Armenian
Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, suggested a connection between the high level of anti-Armenian
sentiment in Azerbaijan and the low level of democracy in that country, stating that:
“Azerbaijan’s leadership could find no factor to unite his people around the hereditary
regime except the simple Armenophobia.”On 7 October 2008, the Armenian Foreign Affairs
Ministry statement for the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights claimed
that “anti-Armenian propaganda is becoming more and more the essential part of Azerbaijan’s
official policy.” The statement blamed the Azerbaijani government
for “developing and implementing large-scale propaganda campaign, disseminating racial
hatred and prejudice against Armenians. Such behaviour of the Azerbaijani authorities
creates a serious threat to regional peace and stability” and compared Azerbaijan with
Nazi Germany stating “one cannot but draw parallels with the largely similar anti-Jewish
hysteria in the Third Reich in the 1930s and early 1940s, where all the above-mentioned
elements of explicit racial hatred were also evident.”The Armenian side also claimed that
the Azerbaijani government “actively uses academic circles” for “distortion and re-writing
of historic facts.” It also accused Azerbaijan for “vandalism
against Armenian cultural monuments and cemeteries in the lands historically inhabited by Armenians,
as well as against Armenian Genocide memorials throughout the world” and called the destruction
of the Armenian Cemetery in Julfa “the most horrific case.”===
Azerbaijan===On 28 November 2012, during the OSCE Review
Conference, the Delegation of Azerbaijan stated that “Armenia should not overlook that the
most telling refutation of its mendacious allegations of Azerbaijan in anti-Armenian
propaganda and hate dissemination is undoubtedly the fact that, unlike Armenia, which has purged
its territory of all Azerbaijanis and other non-Armenians and became a uniquely mono-ethnic
State. Azerbaijan has worldwide recognized record
of tolerance and peaceful coexistence of various ethnic and religious groups. This tradition is routed in the country’s
geographic location at the crossroads between East and West, which created opportunities
for the Azerbaijani people to benefit from cultural and religious values of different
cultures and religions.”On 22 June 2011, Ilham Aliyev and President of the European Commission
Jose Manuel Barroso gave joint press conference during which Radio Free Europe journalist
asked: Q: “I have just one question to Mister Aliyev,
if I may. Your Armenian counterpart just addressed today
the Council of Europe and basically said that increased Armenophobia in Azerbaijan as well
as questionable attitude of Azerbaijan to the Madrid principles may the problem in Kazan
in two days. Could you give reaction to these comments?” A: “Well, I did not hear it. I hear it from you. If it was said it is very pity because the
person who personally participated in military actions against Azerbaijani civilians in Khojaly
talks about Armenophobia in Azerbaijan. It is very ridiculous. Azerbaijanis are victims of aggression. Our lands are under occupation. Armenia conducted the policy of ethnic cleansing
against Azerbaijanis and 700,000 Azerbaijanis were expelled from territories beyond the
administrative borders of Nagorno Karabakh.”==See also==
Anti-Armenian sentiment Anti-Azerbaijani sentiment in Armenia
Diana Markosian, a Russian journalist of Armenian origin denied entry into Azerbaijan
List of people declared persona non grata in Azerbaijan

One thought on “Anti-Armenian sentiment in Azerbaijan | Wikipedia audio article

  1. What a bullshit video, it's about ""Anti-Armenian" policy of Azerbaijan" but it contains pro "Anti-Azeri" propaganda. There's no proof(hell even pictures) of "atrocities" made by Azerbaijanis, but rather tons of pictures and footage of mass murders, genocide of innocent civilians and that's a fact. Massacres of ethnic azeris in 1905, "March Massacre" of 1918, the recent Khojaly and Karabakh massacres in 1990s and list goes on and on. Funny thing is, you think that Karabakh is always yours and you don't reliaze that even the word "Karabakh"(Qarabağ) means "black garden" in ancient turkic(don't confuse with turkish, although meanings are staying same), how do you call smth yours that even when it is not a word from your language. What's with that hate, hell we were like neighbours more than 100 years, we fought together in USSR against the Third Reich, then what? Also, the fact that 98% of Azeris think that Armenians are their biggest enemy is complete BULLSHIT i have ever heard. But i still don't blame the ordinary people, each side is "brainwashing" their people to hate each other for the sake of profit or just it's their "mission for their country" to promote hate speeches against each other. Stop it, you can be bigger than that!

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