By Rashid Shirinov
Armenian invaders continue destroying the monuments regarded as the tangible cultural heritage the occupied Azerbaijani territories. These historical monuments are the heritage of not only Azerbaijani nation but also of all mankind. The destruction of Azerbaijani cultural monuments, illegal trade of cultural objects accompanied by illegal archaeological excavations in fact erase the traces of true history.
In general, the Armenian falsification and vandalism has begun long ago. The destruction of Azerbaijani cultural monuments by Armenian nationalists began back in the beginning of the 19th century after tsarist Russia carried out a massive resettlement of Armenians from the Ottoman Empire and Iran to the Azerbaijani territories.
Afterwards, Russia conquered Irevan and Nakhchivan khanates and established on those territories the “Armenian oblast”. Since then, armenization of Azerbaijani toponyms has begun, thus instigating destruction of Azerbaijani monuments of material culture including mosques, palaces, tombs and cemeteries. Armenian historians started falsifying history of the South Caucasus in an effort to prove that ancestral lands of Azerbaijanis and other peoples of the region belong to the newly resettled Armenians.
But the Armenians did not stop there. They also implemented mean actions on cities and villages of Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Currently, the administrative centers of the occupied Azerbaijani regions are ruined, including the pearls of Karabakh - Shusha and Aghdam. All this resulted into a fact that almost not a single monument created by Azerbaijanis remained in the west of the country.
One of the manifestations of Armenian vandalism is altering the historical toponyms of Karabakh. For instance, they call the palace complex Shahbulagh as "Surenavan", and Aghdam – “Akna”. There are myriads of such examples of erasing the traces of genuine Azerbaijani history.
Recently, a new sensation turned up – Armenians claimed that they “found” two places with the remains of “ancient city of Tigranakert” in the occupied Aghdam region and on the bank of the river Tartar.
Another evidence of the Armenian crimes against the Azerbaijani culture is the export to Armenia of historical items found in more than 15 destroyed and looted mounds in the occupied Aghdam region of Azerbaijan.
Overall, since the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and occupation of Azerbaijani territories, Armenian aggressors destroyed 1,200 historical and architectural monuments, looted 27 museums, over 100,000 items were exported to Armenia. In addition, the Armenian occupiers destroyed 152 religious monuments and 62 mosques, 4.6 million books in 927 libraries, including the Holy Quran and rare Islamic manuscripts.
Thus, the policy of Armenia is sufficiently clear – destruction of monuments with the aim of not a single piece of Azerbaijani history to remain in Nagorno-Karabakh. It is quite obvious that by falsifying the historical data “the ancient and long-suffering Armenian nation” tries to support itself with some imaginary right on Nagorno-Karabakh and other Azerbaijani lands.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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