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Armenia tries to present Azerbaijanis' Blue Mosque as Iranian

31 January 2018 16:20 (UTC+04:00)
Armenia tries to present Azerbaijanis' Blue Mosque as Iranian

By Rashid Shirinov

Since their settlement in the historical Azerbaijani territories in the first part of the 19th century, Armenians started a targeted policy of destroying the architectural and historical monuments of the Azerbaijanis in those lands. As a result, today it is almost impossible to find any preserved Azerbaijani monument in Armenia. The Blue Mosque is one of the rare examples of the Azerbaijani heritage in Yerevan that have not yet been completely destroyed.

The construction of the mosque began in 1760 and ended in 1765, during the reign of Huseynali Khan of the Qajar dynasty. The mosque was named given its dome covered with blue glazed bricks. The entire complex of the Blue Mosque covers an area of ​​7,000 square meters, including a courtyard, a ritual building, a dome and a minaret, paved with decorative faience tiles. The minaret of 24 meters high in the southeastern part of the mosque is the only one preserved out of the four original minarets.

Recently, the Armenian media quoted Armenian Deputy Minister of Culture Arev Samuelyan as saying that the Armenian authorities intend to include the Blue Mosque in Yerevan in the preliminary list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as a Persian cultural heritage. This, of course, caused discontent of the Azerbaijanis, whose ancient architectural monument Armenians try to attribute to another nation.

“Armenia, by its plan to include the Blue Mosque in Yerevan in the preliminary list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites through Iran, as always, seeks to destroy any reminders of the mosque’s belonging to the Azerbaijani cultural and religious heritage,” political scientist Fuad Akhundov said in his recent interview with Interfax-Azerbaijan.

He noted that these plans of the Armenian authorities, who are obsessed with erasing of Azerbaijani traces from their history, once again demonstrate historical illiteracy of the Armenian establishment.

“There is an Armenian church built in 1861 in the center of Baku. Given the approach of the Armenian authorities to the national identification of the mosque in Yerevan, equally, the Armenian church in Baku should be considered Russian and not Armenian, since it was built in the period of the Russian Empire. And this is a complete absurd,” Akhundov said.

The expert added that the Armenian authorities have long been pursuing a policy of armenization of the historical center of Yerevan with the aim of destroying the cultural heritage of the Azerbaijanis who created the city. He reminded that during the Soviet period the Armenian authorities destroyed the whole medieval city – the Irevan Fortress, including 850 houses.

Akhundov is sure that the plan of the Armenian authorities to present the Blue Mosque as a Persian cultural heritage will fail.

“Firstly, the Iranian authorities have been considering the relevant appeal of the Armenian authorities for a year and a half and the Iranian side does not respond to it. Secondly, the Azerbaijani and Iranian authorities enjoy excellent relations, and Tehran will not harm them. Thirdly, UNESCO will not support the Armenian application,” the political scientist said.

Akhundov also noted that the Azerbaijani authorities can easily prove the fact that the Blue Mosque is a masterpiece of Azerbaijani architecture and the cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people.

“There is enough evidence that the Blue Mosque is the heritage of the Azerbaijanis and it is necessary to use it to once again demonstrate to the whole world stubbornness of the current Armenian authorities in matters of falsification and appropriation of the heritage of neighboring peoples,” he said.

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Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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