With regard to issue of history of Erivan Khanate

With regard to issue of history of Erivan Khanate

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's statement about the need to return Azerbaijani people to their historical lands in Yerevan, Zangezur and Geycha caused a wide response both inside and outside Azerbaijan. The political side of this statement is quite obvious: against the backdrop of Armenia's maximalist position in the negotiations on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan is also stiffening its rhetoric. It would be naive to believe that Armenia's expansionism, elevated to state policy, faced by every country in the region in one form or another, will not provoke a reaction at some stage.

It is interesting, however, to watch reactions to the historical side of the issue. For example, a publicists, who obviously has nothing to do with historical science, wrote that Aliyev's words about Yerevan as a historically Azerbaijani land are scientifically false. The author either does not suspect, or tries to hide, that the lie is the negation of this fact, which was recognized even by the Armenian historians. For example, by George Bournoutian, who wrote that until the beginning of the XIX century the share of the Armenian population barely formed 20 percent of Yerevan and even after the mass immigration of Armenians and the parallel outcome of the Muslim population, Muslims remained the majority in the city until the beginning of the 20th century.

Count Ivan Paskevich twice noted in his notes that in 1828 three quarters of the population of the newly-conquered Erivan region were Mohammedans (in ethnic terms clearly not Arabs, not Indonesians, not Persians and not Uighurs, but Azerbaijanis were these 'Mohammedans' in the Erivan Khanate). It turns out that both Bournoutian and Paskevich (incidentally, a contemporary of the demographic composition of the Erivan region) "lied", since they dared to bring to us the result of the study of historical sources (in the case of Bournoutian) and their own observation (in the case of Paskevich). The "lie" was the almost ubiquitous Azerbaijani toponymy throughout the territory of the former Azerbaijani Khanate, on the basis of which the Armenian demographic majority had been later created by the efforts of the tsarist government within a century after its conquest.

In parallel, there was a process of armenization of the entire toponymy, which then continued during the Soviet era and ended with the final expulsion of the remains of the indigenous Azerbaijani population in 1988. And of course, it was just a "dream".

And, of course, the 1897 first census data was "invented" by the Azerbaijani population, according to which, even after 70 years of intensive immigration of the Armenian population from Persia and the Ottoman Empire to Erivan and the parallel outflow of the Muslim ("Caucasian-Tatar", ie Azerbaijani) population, the latter continued to be the majority in Erivan and Zangezur counties.

Perhaps the census workers were "secret agents" of the non-existed, but already conceived by "insidious and far-sighted" Azerbaijanis, which were hired to "distort" data in order that in 120 years their president could finally complete the century-long operation to "mislead" world public opinion on the basis of census data "falsified" in advance!

It is very symptomatic that the Armenian pseudo-historians, realizing that the "ancient Armenian" cities of Erivan, Khankendi and Shusha were founded not so long ago and not by Armenians, have started inventing absolutely ridiculous tales about the fact that Yerevan is older than Rome, and that "ancient" settlements (of course, "Armenian" ones) existed on the site of these cities long before Azerbaijani rulers centuries later "re-established" their new settlements on the ruins of the once existed "Armenian" cities on the same (!) place (as if there were no other places and it was "difficult" to build a new city in another place. For example, the myth that some centuries earlier there was a city in the place of Khankendi, of course an "Armenian" one, was first expressed by the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan during his populist speech in Goris in 2010. As for Shushi, there also were articles of science fiction historians, as if the archeology of the city testifies that the founder of Panah was "not the first." As for Yerevan, there was a "stunning" thesis, against which even Yevgeny Petrosyan's jokes seems funny: as if it was not founded by Revan-Gul Khan (hence the name of the city), but there was the city of Erebuni in its place many thousands of years ago. Of course, these pseudo-historians prefer not to speak about the fact that the ruins of Urartian Erebuni are many kilometers from today's Yerevan (that is, there is no "hereditary" continuity) and ethnic Armenians had nothing to do with ethnic Urartians. But attempts to "de-Azerbaijaniize" the origin of these cities by searching deep underground for traces of the existence of some mythical (and by default "Armenian") settlements long before their foundation are taken seriously and assiduously.

I do not recall that those outraged with Aliyev's statement were just as indignant immediately after Sargsyan's speech in Goris and the publication of articles about the "thousand-year" history of young and founded by the Azerbaijani rulers, Shusha and Irevan, calling these theses "nonsense". From a scientific point of view, the denial of the fact of Erivan's establishment by the Azerbaijani ruler Revan-Gul Khan and Shusha's - by Panah Khan, as well as the fact of the Turkic demographic majority until the moment of the transfer of Erivan to Armenia in 1918 by the founders of the Republic of Azerbaijan and up to Susha's capture by the Armenian invaders in 1992 is complete incompetence. What might have been "nonsense" for someone, is a sad page of the history for millions of western Azerbaijanis, whose roots go to Zangezur, Daralayaz, Goychu and Erivan. The bones of ancestors left to lie in a lost homeland are not nonsense and myth for them. As well as the Azerbaijani fortress Erivan, completely erased from the face of the earth, on the site of which the modern city of Yerevan was built during the Soviet era, in which it is impossible to find any building, except for the Blue Mosque, built more than 100 years ago.

I do not know how much the Armenian side will benefit from this, but the Azerbaijani side will certainly not be the injured party. History, which, alas, was "raped" by everybody who can, and which will be clogged with another myth, will be the major sufferer from the rooting of pseudo-facts.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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