March 31 is marked as the Day of Genocide of the Azerbaijanis.
After the Republic of Azerbaijan regained its independence, it has become possible to renew the objective picture of the past history of Azerbaijani people. The truth, which for many years was kept back, is getting disclosed and misinterpreted events are getting their real assessment.
Numerous acts of genocide committed against Azerbaijani people, which for many years did not receive their deserved political and legal assessment, are one of the lesser known pages of the country\’s history.
The Gulustan and Turkmenchay agreements signed in 1813 and 1828 provided the legal ground for the partition of the nation of Azerbaijanand division of its historical lands. The occupation of the lands continued the national tragedy of Azerbaijan people. Within a short period of time, mass settlement of Armenians began on Azerbaijan\’s territories. The occupation of Azerbaijani territories became an integral part of the genocide.
Armenians moved to Irevan, Nakhchivan and Karabakh khanates and achieved establishing their administrative territorial unit of \”Armenian region\”, despite their minority as compared to Azerbaijanis residing in the same area. This artificial separation provided political reasons for removal and annihilation of Azerbaijanis in their native lands.
This was followed by propaganda of the establishment of the \”Great Armenia\”.
In order to ensure the exculpation of the idea to establish this fictitious state in the territory of Azerbaijan, a wide-scale program, aimed at the falsification of the national history of Armenians, was started. The distortion of Azerbaijan\’s history and the whole Caucasus formed an integral part of this program.
Inspired by the idea of the establishment of \”Great Armenia\”, Armenian invaders, in 1905-1907, started to openly conduct hostile actions against the nation of Azerbaijan on a mass scale.
Armenians started their atrocious acts in Baku and further spread them through the rest of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani settlements in the currentterritory of Armenia. Hundreds of settlements were razed to the ground and thousands of Azerbaijanis were savagely killed. The organizers of this savagery were creating an unfavourable image of Azerbaijani people, to hide the truth and prevent these happenings from correct political and legal evaluation.
Armenians got use of the World War I, Russian revolutions in February and October of 1917, and managed to accomplish their ideas under the plea of the Bolshevism.
The implementation of a cruel plan of cleansing the population of Azerbaijani provinces started with the Baku commune under the plea of fighting against counter-revolutionary elements in March of 1918.
Armenian crimes have secured themselves an everlasting place in the memory of Azerbaijani people. Thousands of civilians were murdered for the only reason of being Azerbaijanis.
Armenians destroyed dwelling houses and burnt people alive. Most ofBaku was turned into ruins with national architectural sights, schools, hospitals, mosques and other monuments destroyed.
The genocide of Azerbaijanis was particularly cruel in Baku, Shamakhi, Guba, Karabakh, Zangazur, Nakhchivan, Lenkaran and other regions. Many civilians in those areas were killed, the villages were burned to ashes and national monuments were razed to the ground.
After the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), the closest attention was paid to the March 1918 events. The Council of Ministers issued a decree on July 15, 1918, to establish an extraordinary committee for the investigation of those tragic events. The committee investigated the first stage of the March 1918 genocide; the brutal acts in Shamakhi and the cruel crimes in Irevan province.
A special department was established under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to notify the community about the truth. The ADR declared March31 a mourning day twice – in 1919 and 1920. It was the first attempt in the history to give a political assessment to genocide against the people of Azerbaijan and to the occupation of the country\’s lands, which went on for over a century.
But the fall of the ADR did not allow this process to end.
In 1920, Armenians got use of the coming of the Soviet power into the South Caucasus, and declared the annexation of Zangazur and other regions of Azerbaijan to the Armenian Soviet Republic.
Armenians later started to utilize newer means to strengthen their policy, aimed at the deportation of Azerbaijani people from these territories. For this purpose, Armenians used the December 23, 1947 decree of the Soviet Council of Ministers \”On removal of collective farmers and other Azerbaijani population from the Armenian Soviet Republic to the Kura-Araz lowlands of the Azerbaijan Soviet Republic\”. During 1948-1953, they finally achieved the purpose of mass deportation of Azerbaijani people from their historical lands, at the state level.