The Khojaly genocide isn’t the first genocide committed by Armenians against Azerbaijanis, Samil Ayrim, a member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, head of the Turkey-Azerbaijan Friendship Group, told Trend Feb. 24.
The Azerbaijani people have been subjected to the policy of ethnic cleansing, genocide and aggression carried out by Armenian nationalists over the past 200 years, Ayrim noted.
The Turkish MP added that in particular, genocide against Azerbaijanis was committed by Armenians in 1905, 1918 and 1992.
The leader of the friendship group added that information about the Khojaly genocide should be conveyed even more actively to the international community.
“It was an act of unprecedented vandalism, and we must fully convey the message to the international community,” Ayrim said.
The MP noted that Turkey has been participating in the Justice for Khojaly campaign conducted by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation for several years.
“All civil society organizations in Turkey hold events dedicated to the Khojaly tragedy,” Ayrim added. “Universities also participate in this. We believe that this year, the truth about the Khojaly genocide should be conveyed to even more people, and this is a joint goal of Turkey and Azerbaijan.”
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions.
During the Karabakh war, on Feb. 25-26, 1992, the Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, stationed in Khankendi, committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed in the massacre. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz