Friday, October 30, 2009

Armenian history in Nakhichevan destroyed & BTC Pipeline

To destroy the ancient tombstone and erase the actual history is really shocking...

Djulfa, Nakhichevan: the worst documented case of history fabrication; Azerbaijani soldiers destroying the largest Armenian medieval cemetery in the world (December 2005) – the site is now a military rifle range

There are no Armenians left in Nakhichevan (thanks to a Soviet Azerbaijani policy of nonviolent ethnic cleansing which attracted little attention at the time) and not a trace of the rich Armenian heritage (the most precious of which, the Djulfa cemetery, was reduced to dust by Azeri soldiers in December 2005 – see the videotape), Armenia has no claims to Nakhichevan and perhaps rightly so. Yet, apparently, the history factory in Nakhichevan is still cooking. Note: The remaining Armenians were expelled by Azerbaijani forces during the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh as part of the forceful exchange of population between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

While Armenia restraints itself from claiming its indigenous lands, and particularly Nakhichevan, taken away from it without its consent, Turkey and Azerbaijan must discontinue their unhealthy fabrications of history.


Featuring a never-seen-before satellite image of a vandalized medieval cemetery at the Iranian-Azerbaijani border, "The New Tears of Araxes," a five-minute film, tells the tragic story of thousands of ancient Armenian headstones flattened to the ground by the Azerbaijani authorities in Djulfa or Julfa (Jugha in Armenian), Nakhichevan.

On December 15, 2005, eyewitnesses across the River Araxes videotaped Azeri soldiers destroying Armenian burial monuments - khachkars (cross stones) - some as old as 1,500 years. Azerbaijani officials denied the vandalism, but banned European Parliament members from visiting the site in March of 2006. Only a few outside news sources tried to publicize the tragedy.

"The New Tears of Araxes" is written by Sarah Pickman, a University of Chicago student, who was the only American reporter to cover the tragedy when she interned for Archaeology Magazine. Producer and narrator Simon Maghakyan, who is among America's top 20 college students according to USA TODAY (April 24, 2006), hopes the film will break a year of ignorance and silence. When asked why others should care, Maghakyan quotes Martin Luther King Jr. as saying, "Injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere."

Music by Djivan Gasparian (Gladiator, The Passion of the Christ, Munich, Syriana); Digital sound track production by Transtar Entertainment Group; Photographs by Research on Armenian Architecture, and Argam Ayvazian; Footage of 2005 destruction by Tabriz's Armenian Church, Iran; Satellite image by Digital Globe; Map by The Times, London. © Simon Maghakyan 2006.

To learn more about the deliberate destruction of the world's largest Armenian archaeological site, visit the Djulfa Virtual Memorial and Museum -

Sept 2007 update: Azerbaijani authorities are razing another Armenian cemetery in Baku, the capital city of the South Caucasus republic......

The Azerbaijani and Turkish, even Japanese need to learn from the German; to admit the wrong doing with courage and accept the historical fact of what have happen during Armenian Genocide and Nanjing Massacre. There is no point erasing history to cover the past. The truth will prevail....


Republic of Azerbaijian
Azerbaijan or formally the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhichevan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, while having a short borderline with Turkey to the northwest. The Nagorno-Karabakh region in the southwest of Azerbaijan proper declared itself independent from Azerbaijan in 1991, but it is not recognized by any nation and considered a legal part of Azerbaijan.
Note: Azerbaijan not only refer to Republic of Azerbaijan(a former Russian republic) but also the name of Iranian region of Azerbaijan. This name originated from pre-Islamic history of Persia, derived from Atropates, a Persian. Following the Russian-Persian Wars of the 18th and 19th centuries, Persian territories in the Caucasus were ceded to the Russian Empire and [30] the treaties of Gulistan in 1813 and Turkmenchay in 1828 finalized the borders with Russia and present-day Iran.[31][32] The formation of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918 established the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan as it is today.

Republic of Azerbaijan consist of 90.6% Azeris, 2.2% Lezgins, 1.8% Russian, 1.5% Armenian(who all lived in break away Nagorno-Karabakh region , and other minorities.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a landlocked region in the South Caucasus, lying between Lower Karabakh and Zangezur and covering the southeastern range of the Lesser Caucasus mountains. The region is mostly mountainous and forested and has an area of 8,223 square kilometres (3,175 sq mi).
The population was 95% Armenian, with the remaining total including Assyrians, Greeks, and Kurds. Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh is facing demographic shift but slower than Nakhchivan trends, and feared an eventual "de-Armenianization" of the area.

The region is de jure part of Azerbaijan, but most of it is de facto governed by the internationally unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Since the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994(war between Armenia and Azerbaijan), representatives of the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group on the region's disputed status. Nagorno-Karabakh falls within the lands occupied by peoples known to modern archaeologists as the Kura-Araxes culture, who lived between the two rivers Kura and Araxes.

Why Nagorno-Karabakh is important?

The BTC pipeline runs from Baku (capital of Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea), up through Georgia, down into Turkey, and out to the Mediterranean Sea at Ceyhan in southern Turkey. Because Azerbaijan and Armenia are in a state of cold war — no diplomatic relations, borders closed — the pipeline goes around Armenia.

What is the BTC pipeline?

The Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan(BTC) pipeline is a 1,768 kilometres (1,099 mi) long crude oil pipeline from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil field in the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. It connects Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan; Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia; and Ceyhan, a port on the south-eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, hence its name. It is the second longest oil pipeline in the world after the Druzhba pipeline. The first oil that was pumped from the Baku end of the pipeline on 10 May 2005 reached Ceyhan on 28 May 2006. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Company (BTC Co.) was established in London on 1 August 2002. The ceremony launching construction of the pipeline was held on 18 September 2002. Construction began in April 2003 and was completed in 2005. BP is the largest shareholder(30.1%)of BTC CO., the 2nd largest shareholder is State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR).

1) It is the only pipeline carrying oil out of the former Soviet Union that doesn’t go through Russia. Russia is not happy about the pipeline.

2) It carries a lot of oil. At full capacity it’s going to pump about a million barrels a day. The Caspian Sea lies above one of the world's largest groups of oil and gas fields. The BTC pipeline as easing the dependence of the US and other Western nations on oil from the Middle East, it supplies only 1% of global demand during its first stage. This region and the BTC pipeline is going to be strategic in future global geopolitic.

3) As oil flows out of the pipeline, money flows back in. The pipeline is earning Azerbaijan roughly a billion dollars a month. Azerbaijan, you see, is using a lot of that oil revenue to arm. Azerbaijan and Armenia are in a state of cold war. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is still unresolved, and it has the potential of going hot again.


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The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is a landlocked exclave of Azerbaijan. The region covers 5,363 km² and borders Armenia (221 km) to the east and north, Iran (179 km) to the south and west, and Turkey (15 km) to the northwest. The capital is Nakhchivan City. According to Sumerian, Jewish, and Islamic tradition, Nakhchivan and Seron were the only two cities built after the Great Flood and before the subsequent dispersion of peoples.Nakhchivan became a scene of conflict during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.The conflict in the area caused a harsh reaction from Turkey, which together with Russia is a guarantor of Nakhchivan's status in accordance with the Treaty of Kars. Today, Nakhchivan retains its autonomy as the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and is internationally recognized as a constituent part of Azerbaijan governed by its own elected parliament. A new constitution for Nakhchivan was approved in a referendum on November 12, 1995. The constitution was adopted by the republic's assembly on April 28, 1998 and has been in force since January 8, 1999. However, the republic remains isolated, not only from the rest of Azerbaijan, but practically from the entire South Caucasus region.

During the Soviet era, Nakhchivan saw a significant demographic shift. Its Armenian population gradually decreased as many emigrated to the Armenian SSR. In 1926, 15% of region's population was Armenian, but by 1979 this number had shrunk to 1.4%. The Azeri population, meanwhile increased substantially with both a higher birth rate and immigration (going from 85% in 1926 to 96% by 1979. There was complete "de-Armenianization".

Variations of the name Nakhchivan include Nakhichevan, Naxcivan, Naxçivan, Nachidsheuan, Nakhijevan, Nakhchawan, Nakhitchevan, Nakhjavan and Nakhdjevan. Look at the many variations of names, you can understand the history of the place is complicated. According to the nineteenth-century language scholar, Johann Heinrich Hübschmann, the name "Nakhichavan" in Armenian literally means "the place of descent", a Biblical reference to the descent of Noah's Ark on the adjacent Mount Ararat. Hübschmann notes, however, that it was not known by that name in antiquity. Instead, he states the present-day name evolved to "Nakhchivan" from "Naxcavan". The prefix "Naxc" was a name and "avan" is Armenian for "town". Nakhchivan was also mentioned in Ptolemy's Geography and by other classical writers as Naxuana. Modern historian Suren Yeremyan disputes this assertion, arguing that ancient Armenian tradition placed Nakhichevan's founding to the year 3669 B.C. and, in ascribing its establishment to Noah, that it took its present name after the Armenian phrase "Nakhnakan Ichevan" (Նախնական Իջևան), or "first landing." Nakh (before or first) and ichevan (landing, sanctuary) – referring to Noah’s coming out of the Ark from (another holy Armenian symbol) Mount Ararat – next to Nakhichevan now on Turkish territory. Josephus stated that the name of the first city built by Noah after the Great Flood was Themanin, and this city has been identified as an alternate name for Nakhchivan. The name "Themanin" means either "eight" or "eighty," referring to either the eight people who survived the flood on the arkin Jewish tradition or the eighty who survived in Islamic tradition.

(source: wikipedia)

There are no Armenians left in Nakhichevan, and not a trace of the rich Armenian heritage (the most precious of which, the Djulfa cemetery, was reduced to dust by Azeri soldiers in December 2005. To erase the history of the past for political reason is not healthy, even the past may be ugly past, but it is still a true fact for the future generation to know, to learn and avoid the same mistake. The history can be conserved for tourism to generate income source for the country. It is still part of the history, why destroy it? This is the 4th anniversary of the destruction, I hope UNESCO will do something to prevent similar event happen again in future is a loss to human history, not only Armenian history, or Azerbajian history.

Related articles:

1. The factor of history factory in Armenia-Turkey relations, dated 4-10-2009,
2. Nakhchivan,
3. Azerbaijan,
4. Nagorno-Karabakh,
5. 阿塞拜疆:纪念亚美尼亚古墓摧毁,
6. Azerbaijan: Destruction of Ancient Cemetery Commemorated,
7. Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline,

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