NAGORNO KARABAKH AND SO CALLED TERRITORIAL WHOLENESS OF AZERBAIJAN
Academician of Armenian National Academy of Sciences (RA NAS),
Doctor in physical-mathematical sciences, professor
The aggression of Azerbaijan, the wide-scale military actions on April 2-5, 2016 in the zone of Karabakh conflict , the opinions of some members of Minsk group about the necessity to return some part of the territories controlled by the self-defense forces of HKR for the establishment of peace, the declarations from the Azerbaijan part that their attack had a goal to set free belonging them territories occupied by Armenians, whereas the truth is that the very Azerbaijans have occupied the Armenian territories for seventy years and are going on to occupy part of these territories, require again to throw light upon the problem to estimate and substantiate the approaches competency of the conflicting parts.
For this, at first, it should be clarified how and why Nagorno Karabakh, populated exceptionally by Armenians, turned out to be part of the state-formation – Azerbaijan SSR, unknown to the world before. With this aim we bring some indisputable facts:
Karabakh entered the structure of the Russian empire as a result of the Russian-Persian war in 1813 by Gyulistan pact accepted in the Armenian village Gyulistan – now in the occupied by the Azerbaijans Shahumyan region in NKR. Before joining Russia Artsakh (later named Small Sjunik, Khachen, Karabakh) was the tenth nahang (province) of Great Armenia and had a glorious history (see, for example, “Nagorni Karabakh – historical reference”. Publishing house AS Arm.SSR, 1988). In Artsakh the activity of the Armenian nakharar (Princedom) house had not been interrupted for a day, even during the tatar-mongolian joke. Beginning from the XVI century instead of the ancient nakharar houses came meliks (means prince, proprietor) and Artsakh-Karabakh was ruled by the following Armenian Meliks Khamsi ( in Arabian “Khamsi” means five).
These five Armenian princedoms neighboring each other created a single entity and lasted up to the statement of the Russian dominance - reunion in 1813 with Russia. The population of Melikdog of Khamsi consisted of entirely Armenians. This is what, for example, Mirza Jusuf who was the direct witness of Kharabakh reunion with Russia, writes in his book “The true history” dedicated to the history of Melikdom Khamsi (the book has been lately translated from Persian into Armenian): “ Five maals of Karabakh, the population of which are all Christians, are well-known by the name of Khamsa, as the number five in Arabic is khamsa ...the first of them is Dizak which stretches from the North from the river Agarou and across the width along the river Araks”. I.e. from Mirza Jusuf’s book it follows that the territories, liberated by the Army of NKR Self-defense along the river Araks are part of Dizan Melikdom and up to the reunion with Russia (19 century) Armenians only lived there. May be they will explain us where the Azerbaijans, claiming to these lands, lived and what they represent from themselves.
After entering the structure of Russia up to the October revolution, all the territories were ruled by the principals of governorship accepted in Russia.
The beginning of the twentieth century turned to be very tragic for the Armenian people. Surviving the genocide in 1915, realized by Turkey, in 1921 Armenia got two other awful shocks from a new-formed tandem Turkey-Bolshevic Russia.
After the First World war Turkey appeared on the edge of the territorial zugzwang on the base of the Peace Treaty of Sevres from August 10th, 1920, between the countries of Entente and Turkey. Kemal Atatyurk found the rescue for Turkey establishing a close relationship with Bolshevic Russia which provided it a great military and economical assistance free of charge. Here are some data: the head of the Turkish delegation who arrived in Moscow on September 18th, 1920, sent a telegram to his governance: When I was going to leave Moscow, eight railway wagons loaded by cartridges for Mausers and machine guns with the total cost of one million gold rubles were already ready for the shipment. From Rostov 300 thousand cartridges, six thousand guns of the English production, one hundred machine guns, eight cannons of the English production were sent. As soon as they have information in Moscow that the first part of the gold has successfully reached the place, another four million rubles will be immediately sent”. Totally Russia provided free assistance at the rate of 10 million rubles by gold and a countless number of weapons. Poor, hungry in those days Russia! (see E.Grant “Armenian question yesterday and today”, Moscow, 1992).
Due to the Russians’ help Turkey won a victory in the war with Greece and was rescued from the inevitable catastrophe. Moreover, feeling the closeness of the establishment of the Soviet power in Armenia, Turkey attacked on Armenia, weakened by the genocide with the aim of final elimination of “ the damn wedge”, impeding the realization of Pan-Turkish plans. The establishment of the Soviet power in Armenia (November, 29, 1920) did not save Armenia from territorial losses.
On March 16, 1921 a Russian-Turkish treaty about “friendship and brotherhood” was signed in Moscow. According to this treaty Karsk region (had been in the composition of the Russian empire since 1879), Surmalin county of Yerevan province with mountain Ararat - the symbol of Armenia (had entered the composition of the Russian empire since 1828) departed to Turkey. The sides agreed to the formation of an autonomy on the territory of the previous Nakhijevan county of Yerevan province “under the protectorate of Azerbaijan, on condition that Azerbaijan would not concede that protectorate to the third state ( of course, as the third state they mean Armenia).
The huge contribution of the Armenians in all the victorious for the Russians Russian-Turkish wars is well-known. The Armenians gave a galaxy of the outstanding generals-leaders, who multiplied the pride of the Russian weapon.
When preparing the treaty from March 16, 1921 under the influence of the Turkish delegation and their protectors, the representatives of the Soviet Armenia, as well as the member of the Soviet delegation – deputy Peoples’ Commissar of Foreign Affairs L.M.Karakhan, because of his Armenian origin, were not allowed to take part in.
The head of the Soviet delegation, deputy Peoples’ Commissar of the International Affairs G.V.Chicherin tried to withstand to the transfer of the above mentioned territories to Turkey. The military expert of the Soviet delegation general-lieutenant A.S.Samoilo also spoke out against, but their efforts didn’t succeed. The interference of the deputy Peoples’ Commissar on national questions of that time I.Stalin provided the acceptance of that pro-Turkish treaty.
After signing the Moscow Treaty in the telegram of the Turkish delegation to the commander of the Eastern Army of Turkey K.Karabekir it was said: “Stalin is the bitter enemy of the Armenians... The signing of the treaty was realized due to Stalin”.
The treaty from March 16, 1921 is an outrageous fact in the world history, contradictory to the norms of the international law. The questions concerning directly Armenia were solved behind it. As a result, Armenia lost 30 thousand square kilometers of her ancestral territories. Pursuing the goal to somehow smooth the negative situation risen after the Moscow Treaty, the Kars Treaty from October 13, 1921 practically repeated all the paragraphs of the Moscow Treaty. But the treaty was accepted between Turkey and the Caucasian republics under the sharp-sighted observation of RSFSR. Armenia did not ratify the Kars Treaty. It’s high time to denounce the Moscow Treaty from March 16, 1921 as a shame to Russia. It seems the ice has started to move, some of the deputies of the State Duma, the representatives of intellectuals and mass-media of RF demand it.
Armenia had just become sovietized when another big trouble was waiting for her, tragic after-effects of which occur up to these days.
After the October revolution in May 1918 in the Caucasus, the formation of three independent national republics was proclaimed – Armenia, Georgia and up to those days unknown to history, Azerbaijan.
Musafatists with Turkey’s submission named him “Republic of Azerbaijan”, taking the name of the north-west province of neighbor Iran where some amount of Turks lived - with further goals – to claim Iran a territorial pretension what they have already begun doing ( in censuses of 1926 “Azerbaijans ” were called Caucasian Tatars).
Newly formed Azerbaijan republic began to claim territorial pretensions to Georgia and Armenia, for which she was not recognized and admitted into the League of Nations.
The sovietization of the Caucasus, as it is well-known, began with the help of the XI Red Army, towards the direction of its movement from East to West (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia). On April 26, 1920 she passed the North border of Azerbaijan.
Ataturk’s command was immediately followed to the commander of Turkey Eastern Army Karabekir – not to prevent to the advance of the XI Red Army. On April 28 the Soviet power was declared in Azerbaijan, and in May it was declared in Karabakh. The leaders of the Soviet Azerbaijan immediately began to claim territorial pretensions to “bourgeois” Armenia, demanding Karabakh, Zangezur Nakhichevan. It was the Turkish plan – to unite Azerbaijan with Turkey territorially. The Armenian forces of self-defense of Zangezur under Garegin Nghdeh command could successfully protect Zangezur, and the command of the XI Red Army refused to satisfy the Azerbaijans’ demand.
Just the next day after the establishment of the Soviet power in Armenia, on November 30, 1920 the declaration of Azerbaijan Revcom was admitted, where “greeting the victory of the brotherly nation” was mentioned: “Nagorni Karabakh, Zangezur and Nakhijevan are recognized as component of the Armenian Republic”. The declaration was signed by the Chairman of Azerbaijan Revolutionary Commissar N.Narimanov, Popular Commissar of foreign affairs Huseinov.
On June 3, 1921 the Plenary Session of RCP (b) instructed the Government of the Armenian SSR to admit the corresponding declaration and on June 12 a declaration was admitted: “On the base of the declaration of the Revolutionary Committee of Socialistic Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan and the agreement between the socialistic republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan it is proclaimed that from now on Nagorni Karabakh is the integral part of the Socialistic Soviet Republic of Armenia”. The declaration was signed by the Chairman of Soviet People’s Committee Al.Myasnikyan, secretary of Soviet People’s Committee M.Karabekyan.
Yet the joy in Armenia lasted not long. Soon the position of the governance of the Soviet Azerbaijan underwent cardinal changes and N.Narimanov demanded to leave Nagorno Karabakh in the constituent of Azerbaijan. Evidently Narimanov was influenced by Atatjurk’s massage conveyed to him through the ambassador of Turkey in RSFSR Ali Fuad Jebes. It was told that if Narimanov did not refuse the declaration, he, Atatjurk, would cross out Narimanov’s name from the list of “famous musulmans”.
For the solution of the question about Nagorno Karabakh on July 4, 1921, a plenum of the Caucasian Bureau of CC RCP (b) was convened. In the presence of the representative of the Center, the member of CC RCP Stalin, the Caucasian Bureau CC RCP (b), without procedural violations, laid down: “To include Nagorni Karabakh into the structure of the SSR of Armenia, to hold a plebiscite only in Nagorni Karabakh”. Narimanov suggested the question for the final solution to be transferred to CC RCP, which was admitted by the Caucasian Bureau. But, on July 5, 1921 a new meeting of the Caucasian Bureau Plenary of CC RCP (b) took place and without voting another anti-Armenian solution was admitted. The solution of the Caucasian Bureau said:
a) Coming out of the necessity of the National peace between Muslims and Armenians to leave Nagorno Karabakh within Azerbaijan SSR, giving him a wide regional autonomy, ...
b) To instruct CC of Azerbaijan to determine the borders of the autonomic region...
d) CC of Azerbaijan should determine the volume of Nagorno Karabakh autonomy ...
Later on points b) and d) of the solution were horrible for the Armenians of Karabakh. Instead of including Karabakh territories, existing at the moment of Karabakh’s entering the Russian Empire, or, at least making up a mixed commission from Russians, Armenians and Azerbaijans for the determination of the volume and the borders of the Autonomous region, the solution of these questions was entrusted to Azerbaijan. Taking advantage of it the Azerbaijan Government cut off from Nagorni Karabakh and did not include in the structure of the Autonomous region Dashkesan, Shamkhor , Khanlar-Getashen, Shahumyan regions in the north-west ( in the most of the regions Armenians composed 97-98%), Kelbajar and Lachin regions in the west and all the territories liberated at present by the Army of self-defense of NKR, the southern territories along the Mother river Araks. This was the first, rather essential, dismemberment of Nagorni Karabakh. There was even a moment when Azerbaijan did not want to form ARNK (Autonomous Region of Nagorni Karabkh). But he had to and by the decree of AZCIC of the Soviets from July 7, 1923 ARHK was formed (later it was renamed HKAR).
But the peace did not come. Just after the meeting the Caucasian Bureau CC of the Communist Party of Armenia at the meeting from July 16, 1921 expressed his disagreement with the “admitted” decision. The struggle for restoration of justice went on up to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The struggle for the fair decision of Karabakh problem solution is still going on after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
As a result of the USSR collapse, on the base of still acting Laws of the USSR, in particular, the Law of the USSR from April 3, 1990 and the international juridical norms, two independent governments – the Azerbaijan Republic and NKR were formed. Today to speak about the inviolability of the Azerbaijan republic borders and to understand NKR and liberated by the Self-defense Army territories in her structure is absurd, as, firstly, these are primordial Armenian territories, presented on a silver platter to newfound Azerbaijan by Turkey--Bolshevic Russia tandem, secondly, newly formed Azerbaijan Republic (AR) immediately took steps for the solution of the Karabakh problem by military means, beginning a large-scale war against NKR in 1992. Elated with the first success, the president of AR Elchibey cynically declared: “Soon he will wash his legs on the shore of Lake Sevan”. It’s not difficult to imagine what it would be if it happened. The forces of NKR Self-defense gave a worthy rebuff to the aggressor and, as the bloody events on April 2-5, 2016 showed, today they again are ready to defend their native country and honor.
Lately, unfortunately, there has been an exaggerated opinion about the necessity to return the liberated NKAR territories, entering now the structure of NKR after the armistice. It should not be allowed because: a) they are primordial Armenian territories and were liberated as response to the enemy’s aggression; b) the extension of the border between the enemy and the Forces of Self-defense will increase many times; c) all the settlements of NKR, without exception, will be vulnerable for the ordinary heavy armaments and the insidious enemy will have an opportunity to solve the problem by one powerful volley. Which is the way out? In our opinion there is one way out – it is necessary to use the experience of the European countries after the Second World war (see our paper on the site www.diplomat.am, in Armenian, Russian and English): the preservation of the established borders (the status quo); rejection of the use of force; tendency to increase the people’s prosperity through joint economical, energetic, transport and other programs, because the prosperity of the people is above all. As a result the existing borders are somewhat formal.
Returning to the problem of Armenia, we note that the tandem of Turkey – Bolshevic Russia in 1921 tore to pieces Armenia, undergone Genocide. It is very regrettable on the background of the fact that “the propagator of the world socialistic revolution” in the Middle and East Asia Turkey, achieving from Russia everything, already in 1922 killed Turkish communist leaders and with special decree vetoed communist party in Turkey. The propagator of the revolution in Middle Asia, one of the organizers of Genocide of the Armenians Enver pasha established Bukhara Emirate Basmachi and was killed by Red Army cavalry unit during the battle with the Basmachi. The unit was led by the Armenian officer Hakob Melkumov (what a fair irony of fate!).
In all the following years Turkey was always in the blocks which were hostile tuned against Russia.
It is to the point to put a question – what Armenia had done wrong with Russia for the centuries-old history of their relations. But it seems that Russia is awakening and the true patriots and mass media of Russia also give such questions, particularly, on Karabakh problem, as well. They began to analyze soberly, which can the pledge of again generation of feeling of fate be, inherent to Russian people. The nuances on the problems of Nagorni Karabakh, stated above, may be unknown to the representatives of the countries of Minsk group, as well as the countries recognizing the Azerbaijan Republic, but Russia does know!
We are greeting the aspiration of Russia to have good terms as with Azerbaijan as well as with Armenia, but not once again in prejudice of Armenia.
|1315 reads | 01.12.2016|