Nagorno-Karabakh
Nagorno-Karabakh

Nagorno-Karabakh

Karabakh belonged entirely to the Azerbaijani people with all the components of its material and spiritual culture. The Karabakh carpet, Karabakh clothes, handicrafts were known and highly valued not only in Azerbaijan, but also in all Eastern countries.

Karabakh has historically had specific features in the most important areas of its spiritual culture. Back in the XVII-XVIII centuries, the law of harmony in the Azerbaijani literary language was followed by the influence of the Karabakh dialect. Majlisi-uns and Majlisi-faramushan, which united the Karabakh poets, were distinguished by their style. The Karabakh music school was renowned even in the whole East. Shusha, the capital of Karabakh, was considered to be the conservatory of the Caucasus.

Rich examples of ancient culture were found in the territory of the Nagorno-Karabakh. Many architectural monuments from the Middle Ages - national residential towers (Aslan Fortress, Hatem Malik Fortress), bridges, tombs and temples, palaces, etc. were built. The most interesting of them is the palace of Panahali khan (18th century), the house of Khurshudbanu Natavan (19th century).

According to the statement signed between the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, and the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on November 10, 2020, Nagorno-Karabakh and its environs were returned to Azerbaijan.

Shusha is a city located in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The territory of Shusha has a rich and glorious history. Shusha was founded in 1752 by the ruler of Karabakh Panahali khan, and in the early days, the city was called Panahabad in honor of the khan. Before the occupation, there were 17 neighborhoods in Shusha.

At the end of the 19th century, there were 17 mosques in Shusha. Turshsu pastures, Sakili spring, Isa spring, Shamil spring, Jidir plain were the favorite places of the local community and visitors. Turshsu was known as a recreation and treatment area. One of the sights of Shusha was Yukhari Dashalti. Among the people, this resting place was called "Shamil's garden". The peculiarity of this place is that the recreation area is located on the Dashalti river, just below the Uchmikh mountain, where the "Aghzyasti Kaha" is located, around the spring.

The territory of the city is mountainous. There are deposits of different types of construction materials and mineral springs (Turshsu, Shirlan). The Jidir plain, located near the deep Dashalti gorge on the outskirts of the city, is especially famous. Just below the plain, a steep road called the Forty Steps leads to the Dashalti River. In 1992, the 114-meter-long "Khan Cave" limestone, located at an altitude of 1365 m above sea level, south of Shusha, was destroyed by Armenians. In the city, you can find Carpinus caucasica or Khari-bulbul (Ophrys caucasica). 

Shusha became the musical center of the Caucasus in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Until the beginning of the 20th century, the art of music in Azerbaijan, including Shusha, was primarily developed by singers and musicians on the basis of master-poets. At that time, the foundation of professional music education was laid in Azerbaijan thanks to the great work of the composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov.

The Shusha city was occupied by Armenian forces on May 8, 1992. As a result of the occupation of Shusha, 195 Azerbaijani citizens were killed, 165 were injured, 150 were disabled, 552 babies lost their parents, and more than 20,000 people left their homes and became internally displaced persons. The fate of 58 Azerbaijani captives and hostages is still unknown.

In order to erase the historical traces of Azerbaijanis as a result of the occupation of Shusha, vandals destroyed about 600 historical and architectural monuments, including Panahali Khan's palace, Yukhari Govhar Agha Mosque, Ashagi Govhar Agha Mosque, Khurshidbanu Natavan's house, Mullah Panah Vagif's mausoleum and dozens of museums, plundered and destroyed the rare pearls of art here. About 5,000 items of the city's history museum, Shusha branch of the State Museum of Azerbaijani Carpets and Applied Arts, about 1,000 items of the State Museum of Karabakh History, the funds of the memorial museums of the founder of professional Azerbaijani music, composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov (more than 300 items), singer Bulbul (about 400 items ), musician and artist  Mir Mohsun Navvab (more than 100 items)were looted.

Shusha was liberated by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces on November 8, 2020.

Khankendi is located on the banks of the Gargar River, at the eastern foot of the Karabakh Range, 385 km from Baku. It was the center of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast.

According to historical documents, the city of Khankendi was built in the late 18th century as a resting place for the khans of the Karabakh khanate, one of the independent states of Azerbaijan at that time. To create maximum conditions for the activities of the khans, the settlement is located 10 kilometers from the capital of the khanate, Panahabad (now Shusha), at the foot of the mountain. At the same time, it was taken into account that the khanate was close to other important cities and villages, Agdam, Khojaly, Malibeyli, Karkijahan, and others. The name of the city is derived from here. In Khankendi, where not a single Armenian lived until 1813, Tsarist Russia later pursued a policy of ethnic cleansing and settled Armenians deported from Iran.

During the USSR, the policy of ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis in Khankendi was further strengthened, and the number of Armenian families in the city was artificially increased. After the establishment of the Soviet power, on July 7, 1923, a decree "On the establishment of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast" was issued. By that decree, Khankendi was declared as the center of the province. The city was renamed Stepanakert after Stepan Shaumyan shortly afterward.

Since 1991, by the decision of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the historical injustice has been eliminated and the previous name of the city "Khankendi" has been restored.

Azerbaijanis living in Khankendi during the former USSR were gradually expelled from here. In 1988-1989, Khankendi had already become the center of Armenian separatism.

The city was occupied by the Armenian armed forces on December 26, 1991, and a separatist regime was established. On that date, the last Azerbaijani families were expelled from Khankendi, and the policy of ethnic cleansing launched against our compatriots in 1989 came to an end.

Khojaly has been occupied by Armenia since February 26, 1992. The Khojaly tragedy is genocide against our people. It is one of the terrible tragedies faced by the Azerbaijani people in the 20th century. The Khojaly tragedy is a bloody event in the history of mankind, such as the genocide of Khatun, Lidisa, and Order.

On the night of February 25-26, 1992, Armenian armed forces with the help of the 366th motorized infantry regiment of the former USSR stationed in Khankendi attacked the unarmed and helpless Khojaly city. On February 26, the city was occupied by the Armenian occupiers until 5 am and destroyed.

Forced to leave the city on a cold, snowy February night, civilians fled to the mountains and forests. Armed Armenians shot from all sides and jeered at the civilians brutally.

As a result of the brutality of the criminal Armenian troops, 613 people of Khojaly were killed, 487 were injured, 1275 civilians - the elderly, children, women - were taken prisoner and subjected to unimaginable Armenian oppression and torture. 8 families were completely destroyed, 24 children lost both parents, and 130 children lost one of their parents in the Khojaly tragedy. The fate of 150 people is still unknown.

In those days, Azerbaijani forces could not reach the residents of Khojaly, and even the bodies could not be removed. At the same time, Armenians searched for people hiding in the forests by helicopters and special groups in white clothes, captured and tortured those who were found. On February 28, a group of local journalists was able to reach the place where the Azerbaijanis were killed by two helicopters. The sight terrified everyone - the plain was full of corpses. Despite the air protection of the second helicopter, only 4 bodies could be taken under heavy fire from the Armenians. On March 1, an even worse situation was observed at the scene with the participation of local and foreign journalists.

Khojaly is a place of historical settlement and ancient historical monuments still remain. Near Khojaly,  there are monuments of Khojaly-Gadabay culture belonging to XIV-VII centuries BC. Burial monuments of the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages - stone boxes, mounds, and necropolises were found here. There are also architectural monuments - a circular tomb (1356-1357) and a mausoleum (XIV century). During archeological excavations, different types of stone, bronze, bone ornaments, clay household items, etc. were found. One of the beads found bears the name of the Assyrian king Adadnerari (807-788 BC).

Historical Monuments in the area were destroyed as a result of the Armenian occupation, the property of the population was appropriated by the occupiers.

The territory of the Khojavend region is located in the Karabakh range. Khojavend means "descendants of Khojaly" in translation. Khojavend district was established on the basis of Martuni and Hadrut districts after the abolition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast in 1991. The area of ​​the district is 1458 km2 and the population is 41216 people. The total area of ​​the Khojavend region, which consists of low mountains and plains, is 145,647 hectares. There is one city (Khojavend city - district center), two large settlements (Red Bazaar and Hadrut), 83 villages in the district.

Azykh cave, one of the monuments introducing Azerbaijan as an ancient settlement to the world, is located at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level and is 190 meters long. Having limestones that belong to the Oxfordkimerich period, Azykh cave is located 1 km south-east of Azykh village of Khojavend region near Fuzuli region.

The whole territory of the occupied Khojavend has been subjected to environmental terror. Armenians turned Azykh cave into an arms depot. Oak trees  in the Khojavend forest with a total area of ​​25,500 hectares were cut down and transported by Armenians.

As a result of the occupation, 145 people, including 13 women and 13 children became shahids, more than 300 people lost their health or became disabled, 243 children lost one of their parents and 68 women lost their husbands. Out of the 110 civilians taken hostage at various times, 49 were captives and victims of Armenian terror and atrocities, and three children from the same family lost both parents.

It has been under occupation by the Armenian armed forces since October 2, 1992.

Aghdara is located in the west of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The district was organized on August 8, 1930. Until September 10, 1939, Jerabert, until 1991 Mardakert, from that date until its abolition was called Aghdara. The administrative center was Aghdara city. In October 1992, by the decision of the Government of Azerbaijan, the Aghdara region was abolished and its territory was divided between three regions not belonging to Nagorno-Karabakh - Tartar, Aghdam, and Kalbajar.

The surface is mainly mountainous, and the eastern part consists of plains. Minerals are composed of polymetallic deposits, limestone, and gypsum. The main rivers are Tartar and Khachinchay. The Sarsang Reservoir was established on the Tartar River in 1976.

Among the architectural monuments were the famous Ganjasar Albanian temple in the village of Vanghli, the Khanabert fortress, the Hermuk fortress in the Herabert settlement, the church, the temple of St. Iako in the village of Kolatagh (635). 

Near the village of Talysh, the temple of Urek (XII century), the temple in the upper reaches of the river Tartar (XIII century), the fortress of Hatem Malik in the village of Gasapert, the temple of Yegish Arakel in the village of Madagiz (XII century) and ancient bridges were destroyed. (The famous Ganjasar temple, the last stronghold of the Caucasian Albanian dynasties and Catholicos, was founded by Hasan Jalal in 1240. The last Ganjasar Albanian temple was subordinated to the Armenian Catholicosate in 1837).

Many historical monuments were destroyed, burned, and looted by the Armenian occupiers. It has been under occupation since July 7, 1993.