Terrorism policy against historic-cultural monuments of Azerbaijan

     Azerbaijan is one of the sites of the human civilization. The outcomes of archaeological excavations delineate that people residing within this territory have been creating numerous monuments throughout the course of history. Most of these monuments, precious pearls of World and Eastern architecture, are preserved as of today. 

    Within the framework of its internal policy Azerbaijan is involved in initiating high level of measures towards the protection and preservation of the memorials and historical heritage that appertain to all religions and minorities. However, it is unfortunately beyond the realms of possibility to realize these activities all over the country. Hence, all museums, mosques and memorials belonging to Islamic culture were destroyed as a result of occupation of Karabakh, distinguished by its richness in material and cultural monuments, by Armenian forces. This demolition has been limited not only to Islamic heritage, but also other monuments. World-known Azykh and Taghlar caves, which provide evidence of early human settlement, including the Garakopak and Uzarliktapa burial mounds have been deliberately destroyed by using them for military purposes. Besides burial mounds in Khojaly, Aghdam, Aghdara, Fuzuli and Jabrayil, the cemeteries, mausoleums, monuments, mosques, temples and monuments that once belonged to Caucasus Albania and other cultural heritage sites in the occupied regions of Shusha, Lachin, Kalbajar, Gubadli, Zangilan, and Fuzuli have been demolished by Armenian forces. Their purpose is so apparent that the Armenian invaders intend to eradicate and privatize our historical past and spiritual memory from the lands we have been living in for millennia.

Картинки по запросу В Азербайджане хранится армянская церковь.
      Along with the local specialists, Russian academicians Meshshaninov I.I., Iessen A.I., Lyubun V.P., including German researchers Ressel E. and Gummel Y.I, even Armenian historians Kushnareva K.Kh. and Danielian O.A., who have studied Karabakh monuments for many years, have repeatedly emphasized in their articles and speeches that these historical monuments tracing back to the tangible heritage of the Azerbaijani people were destroyed by Armenians as a result of vandalism policy.              
Pursuant to the information obtained at different times from Armenian sources, satellite images, reports of the OSCE mission in charge of the occupied territories, as well as other sources, hundreds of historical monuments have been completely subject to ruination in these areas. And undestroyed ones are presented as Armenian monuments. 
       In accordance with the relevant decision and official information of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the total number of historical and cultural monuments registered in the occupied territories is 900, the non-registered more than 1500, the cemeteries more than 900, and the monuments of international significance by dozens. The list drafted by the State Committee for Work with Religious Associations prescribes the availability of about 403 historical monuments in our occupied lands. Most of the ruins and destructions by Armenians have been committed on Islamic monuments, namely mosques, tombs and other places of worship. It is mainly related with the presence of Muslim epigraphy thereon. Therefore, the “armenization” and representation of them as non-Azerbaijani monuments are beyond the bounds of feasibility. In this regard, 63 out of 67 Muslim mosques officially functioning in Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas have been exposed to complete demolition, while 4 of them have been partially ruined. Only upon pressure by the international organizations, the preservation of Aghdam Juma Mosque, and the walls of Ashaghi Govheragha, Yukhari Govharagha and Saatli mosques in Shusha has been achieved.  Once more, Armenians have acted immorally and demonstrated their hatred toward Azerbaijanis by storing domestic animals, including pigs in Aghdam Jumah Mosque. 
The historical and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan within the territory of Armenia suffers the same fate. 

Armenian сhurch in Baku 2.jpg

      These cultural patterns concern not only the Azerbaijani people, but also entire mankind. In this light, preservation of historical and cultural monuments dating back to centuries-old history of our people is of international significance as well. 
    Albeit the fact that destruction and deliberate degradation of our historical and cultural monuments as a result of the arbitrariness of Armenian invaders contradict the 1954 Hague convention on “Preservation of cultural values during armed conflicts”, the 1992 European convention on “Preservation of archeological heritage”, and the 1972 UNESCO convention on “Preservation of world cultural and natural heritage”, occupiers persist in the implementation of archeological excavations in our lands, the demolition of our historical monuments, mosques, burial mounds and so on, and the falsification of our historical and cultural heritage.
      It is worth noting that the reports by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the destruction of historical and cultural heritage in the occupied territories have been submitted to a number of international organizations. In consequence of the taken steps, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation regularly adopted the resolutions on the destruction and insult of historical and cultural heritage and temples of the Islamic religion in the territories of Azerbaijan occupied by the aggression of Armenia. The last such resolutions were adopted at the sessions of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers held in Kuwait and Tashkent in 2015 and 2016.

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        Invasion of rich natural and cultural heritage, including world-famous monuments, means an encroachment against world heritage. International organizations, that carry out a great deal of work to protect historic cities, monuments from the destructive forces of nature and time, should help protect the rich cultural heritage of Azerbaijan from the Armenian terrorism within the occupied territories and evaluate this brutality on legal basis..

   Fidan Magsudova 
Chair of “Modern Woman and Society” Non-governmental Organization