ETHNIC AND POLITICAL HISTORY OF NAKHCHIVAN: ARMENIAN FIGMENTS AND HISTORICAL REALITIES

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Suitable natural geographical features of Nakhchivan created an opportunity for the humans to inhabit here since Stone Age. Material culture samples of Stone Age found in Sabir-Diza (Ordubad region), Shahtakhti (Kangarli region) and Ovchulartapasi (Sharur region) settlements during archeological researches prove the fact that old humans had settled in Nakhchivan million years ago. Excavations in Gazma cave show that life in Nakhchivan still existed in the middle and last phases of Paleolithic period. The study of the signs characteristic for upper Paleolithic period prove that ancient Gazma inhabitants were on the eve of tribal society formation.

Neolithic Period in Nakhchivan covers the VII-VI millenniums B.C. The study of the Kultapa I monument in Kultapa village of Babak region showed it was the most ancient settlement of South Caucasus during Neolithic Period. The construction remains found in Kultapa show that during Neolithic Period people lived in quadratic and circular houses, mainly were engaged in arable farming and pastoral farming[1]. The study of the skeletons found in Kultapa I show that they are anthropologically similar to modern Azerbaijanis[2].

Eneolithic Period in Nakhchivan covers VI-IV millenniums B.C. The early phase of Eneolithic Period in South Caucasus is represented by Nakhchivan monuments for now. Nakhchivantapa (Nakhchivan-hill), Uchan Aghil (Flying Mind), Ovchulartapasi, Sadarak, Khalaj, Arabyengija, Zirinjli and other monuments in Nakhchivan let us follow the sequential phases of Eneolithic culture and determine that these cultures are characteristic for Azerbaijan.

Nakhchivantapa settlement in Nakhchivan city is important for studying both early phase of Eneolithic period and the settlement history in Nakhchivan city. In late Neolithic Period and early Eneolithic Period Dolmatapa culture-the single culture covering Nakhchivan territory at the same time was formed.  

In V-III millennium B.C.- at Early Bronze Age, Kur-Araz culture was formed in Nakhchivan. The most ancient cultural samples of early Bronze Age were discovered in Nakhchivan and this proves Nakhchivan to be the main home country of Kur-Araz culture. In the south of Azerbaijan, as well as in Nakhchivan Turkic-speaking tribes such as Kuti, Lullubi, Su and Turukki were the forwarders of the Kur-Araz culture[3].

In the late III millennium B.C. Early Bronze Age was replaced with Middle Bronze Age. Gamigaya descriptions of Eneolitic and Bronze Ages were directly related to the name of prophet Noah. Socio-economic changes in the southern regions of Azerbaijan in late III millennium B.C. also influenced Nakhchivan, and a new culture was established here characterized by painted pottery. The excavations of the settlements of Middle Bronze Age proves the establishment of powerful tribal unions and city-states in Nakhchivan during that time. Settlements such as Nakhchivan, Kultapa II, Shahtakhti, Gizilburun have played both the role of cultural and also important administrative-political centers.

All the features of the painted pottery, disseminated in broad area, have been studied in Nakhchivan. Excavations proved that city-typed dwelling places in Nakhchivan were established in III millennium B.C., namely 5 thousand years ago. Kultapa II, Shahtakhti, Nakhchivan were the most ancient cities of Azerbaijan.

As it is seen, in the cultures existed and established betweenthe VII millenniums B.C. and the I millennium, population of Nakhchivan either were the part of or those cultures referred to Nakhchivan.None of them has anything to do with Armenians. Because, how could Armenians have any relation with these cultures as they did not have permanent dwelling places or they did not belong to these lands during that time. Situated geographically in the center of Azerbaijan during that time and being distinguished for its geopolitical position, Nakhchivan has been known for being a settlement of the most ancient humans and one of the world civilization centers. 

The territory of Nakhchivan, which Armenians have territorial claims for, historically belonged to Azerbaijanis, Turkic-speaking tribes lived here and created thousands of material culture samples. All of the geographical names of the territory are of Azerbaijani-Turkish origin.

When Armenian “researchers” put forward their fabricated evidences they refer to the ethnic history of Nakhchivan, its historical and architectural monuments, especially its political history.

Nakhchivan has never belonged to Armenians in any stage of history. Because, Armenians have not been local-aborigine population of this region, they are comers to the South Caucasus, the territory of present Armenia they live in is the ancient and historical Azerbaijani land. Related to the issue V. Ishkhanyan showed that, “The real motherland of Armenians is Asia Minor, Armenians have spread in different parts of Caucasus only during last centuries”[4].

Azerbaijani Turks have been the oldest habitants, aborigine population of these territories. There is no information in either of the old Armenian sources about the inhabitation of Armenians in Nakhchivan territory.

Ethnic history of Nakhchivan. Kuti, Lullubi, Subi, Turukki and other tribes lived in Nakhchivan have been the oldest tribes of these territories. Historically Nakhchivan area has always been a part of the states existed in the territory of the South Azerbaijan. Today it is not doubtful that those states have been political organizations of Turkish originated ethnicities.

At the beginning of the I millennium B.C. on the basis of the tribes mentioned, ethnicitiesnamed as Manna and Maday in Assyrian sources came to historical arena.[5] States of Manna (IX-VII centuries B.C.) and Midiya (673-550 B.C.) are the important political bodies in the history of Turkish nations. Nakhchivan area has been in the borders of Midiya from time to time. In the middle of the VI century B.C.Mannian families of 10 thousand people were moved to Nakhchivan.[6]People of Nakhchivan were called “Maq” (Mar) in the decree by Arabian commander Habib ibn Majlama concerned with the population of Nakhchivan[7]. “Nakhchivan is the country of the Mars” (F. Buzand), “There are villages of the Mars in Goxtan” and etc. Territory of Nakhchivan has been a consisting part of Azerbaijan since long before common era. The ancient people of this land shared the same ethnicity and origin with the tribes lived in the Southern Azerbaijan.[8]

The oldest aborigines of Nakhchivan region were Turkic-speaking tribes. Sak tribes came to the South Caucasus in the VII century B.C. inhabited in Nakhchivan, too. In the II century B.C. Bulgarian tribes, later Gargar, Shirak, Basin, Alban, Khazar, Gorus and other Turkic clans started to live in Nakhchivan. Abas, Kulaj, Tarna, Avar, Oghuz, Birol, Pachinak, Kabar tribes of the Khazars came to Nakhchivan and settled here. Other Turkic-speaking tribes settled in Nakhchivan at the beginning of our era are the Pechenegs and the Kangarlis. The Pechenegs inhabited in the territory of present Armenia. Toponyms of Garabagh and Gafan are related to the name of the Garabay tribe of the Pechenegs. 

Kangar tribes, lived here since the first centuries of our era, played a historical role in the development of the region. The information of the early IX century shows that 920 out of 2791 Azerbaijani families in Nakhchivan province belonged to the Kangarlis dynasty[9]. According to I. Shopen the Kangarlis in Nakhchivan consisted of the following tribes: Yurdchu, Gizilli, Sarvanlar, Khalkhalli, Pirhasanli, Salas, Aghabayli, Garabaghlar, Kaman, Chaghatay, Garakhan, Hajilar, Jamshidli, Biliji, Gurdlar, Garadolagli, Kalfir, Kurdmahmudlu, Bargushadli and others[10].

U. Shopen shows that the Kangarlis dynasty consisted of 1433 families. It is possible that the Kangarlis spending the winter in Garabagh were not included in some listings in Nakhchivan. According to the “Detailed notebook of Ganja-Garabagh province” compiled in 1727, Kangarli people of “Nakhchivani nation” used to spend the winter in Garabagh and the summer in Nakhchivan. Again according to U. Shopen when Russia invaded Nakhchivan there were 67 khans, 373 bays and sultans there. But K. Smirnov writes that along with Kangarli tribe the following bay generations also lived in Nakhchivan: The Aghasibayovs; The Shahtakhtinskis;The Talishovs;The Vazirovs;The Jamalbayovs; The Sultanovs; The Elchiyevs; The Muradasilbayovs and others.

In the source dating back to the 30’s of the XIX century two big tribal unions lived in Nakhchivan province: The Kangars and the Garajas. The Kangars tribe lived in about 40 villages of Nakhchivan province, and the Garajas tribe lived in Daralayaz district[11].

There still exist toponyms in Nakhchivan area named after the Turkic-speaking tribes and clans such as Abdal, Hun, Gorush, Gushchu, Bayan, Yayji, Bakdili, Khalaj, Ustajli, Rumlu, Didivarli, Gizilli, Amirkhanli, Arafsali, Hajili, Kechili, Kalfirli, Garakhanbayli, Garkhunlu, Alikhanli, Mughanli and tens of others.

In “The oddnesses of the World” (“Ajaib ad-dunya”) of the XIII century, and in “Detailed notebook of Nakhchivan sanjak” of the XVIII century there are very valid facts related to the ethnic history of Nakhchivan and very valuable ones related to the national characteristics of the population: “people in Nakhchivan are pale skinned, brave, hospitable and well-mannered; they belong to the shafei sect of Islam” (XIII century). “Muslims in Nakhchivan sanjak of the XVIII century were about 76-80 percent of the population”.

A. Parvitski investigated Sharur-Daralayaz uyezd (gaza) of Iravan governorate writes that there were 55 Azerbaijani villages and 7 Armenian villages in the uyezd. According to Grigoryev 4149 families out of 4959 were Muslims and 810 were Armenian familiesin Nakhchivan province[12].

The number of Armenians increased in Nakhchivan through moving Armenians from Iran. Near to the 20’s of the XX century 14-16 percent of the population were Armenians. It was the result of the armenianising policy of the tsarism in Azerbaijan as well as in Nakhchivan. After 15 centuries in 1918 Armenian chauvinists asserted big claims. In order to obtain Nakhchivan, Armenians started open armed intervention, executed genocide. In spite of these they were not able to own Nakhchivan.

The facts mentioned obviously show that Armenians are comers to Nakhchivan; the aborigines of the region are Azerbaijani Turks.

Political history of Nakhchivan. Political history of Nakhchivan land as well as its ethnic history, national structure deprecates Armenian untruth and reveals historical facts.

The ideas of Armenians such as “Nakhchivan-is historical Armenian land”, “Nakhchivan has been a consisting part of Armenian states for couple of millennia” –are counterfeits and falsifications. Just here a logical question arises: Does the Armenian statehood have millennial history that, it could have other lands to be inseparable part of it?

Armenian history is based on fake facts and they mostly boast with Armenian tsar Tigran. As to Makkartis independent Armenian tsarism was established in I century B.C.: “There is not enough precise information about the early history of Armenians. Independent Armenian tsarism was established during Tigranes the Great’s (95-56 B.C.) reign (61 years they boast with ?!). After Tigran, Armenians have been the vassals of other countries including Rome, Sassanid, Iran and Byzantine empires for many centuries”[13]. Armenians could only establish their independent state again in 1918, and also in the territories of Azerbaijan.

Political claims of Armenians related to Nakhchivan mainly refer to the periods before common era (IX century B.C.- V century c.e. ?).[14] The first of these is Urartu Armenia (IX-VII centuries B.C.). Since when has Urartu been an Armenian state? Here it is the first fraudulency…

It is obvious that Manna state existed in the South Azerbaijan in the IX century B.C. Nakhchivan has been a part of Manna, later Midiya, Atropatene states and the empire of Alexander the Great. During certain years of the I-IV centuries Nakhchivan was a province of North Azerbaijan (Albania).[15] According to the peace treaty of 380 it stays under ruling of Sassanids till the VII century with intervals. So the facts mentioned reveal Armenian lies. Nakhchivan has not been under the reign of Armenian states -neither in the IX century B.C-V century c.e. nor in any stage of history.

In the date after the VII century as there were no unknown situations, Armenian fraudulency had not been able to interfere in that period. Nakhchivan land was under ruling of Arabian Caliphate during VII-IX centuries, later the Sajids and Sallarids dynasties. During the X-XI centuries Nakhchivanshahlig (Nakhchivan Shah State) existed here. Nakhchivan was annexed to Seljuk Empire in 1064, it was the capital of Azerbaijan Atabays state during 1146-1175, and has remained as the territory of this state till 1225. After the Eldanizs for some time actually till Hulakuds it stayed under the possession of Jalaladdin, the son of Xarazmshah Mahammad.

During the reign of the Hulagus Nakhchivan was one of the 9 tumens of Azerbaijan province (South Azerbaijan is meant). Nakhchivan, Ordubad, Azad, Anjan and Makuya cities, Gafan region were included in Nakhchivan tumen.[16]

In later political history of Nakhchivan it is not possible to fabricate the evidences such as the ones that “rule out” Armenian mythomania or could create an argument. During the XV century Nakhchivan was under the reign of Kara Koyunlu (Black Sheep Turkomans) and Aq Qoyunlu (White Sheep Turkomans) states, and since the XVI century Safavids state. During the reign of Safavids Nakhchivan was a part of Chukhursad baylarbayliyi. Ottoman Empire annexed Nakhchivan during 1588-1603 and 1724-1736. Nakhchivan sanjak included 14 townships and 315 precincts. Along with the present territory of the Autonomous Republic, all of the Yekhegnadzor district of present Armenia, half of the Jermug district, most of the Sisian district and some living quarters including Megri were included in Nakhchivan sanjak.[17]

It is clearly seen from the initial sources about the medieval history of Nakhchivan and the information obtained from research works that the territory of Nakhchivan had been a consisting part of Azerbaijan during the whole medieval period and continued its activity related to Azerbaijan.

Armenian “researchers” keep saying untruth and nonobjective ideas such as - “Nakhchivan was also a part of Armenia even at early XIX century”. We have to mention that during that time there was not Armenian state but “Armenian province” (1828-1840), and this province was established in the territories of Erivan and Nakhchivan khanates. Muslims were the absolute majority among the population living in these areas.

Tsar Russia made some reforms in the country in the middle of the XIX century; commandant administrative procedure was annulled in 1840: instead of governorate and districts according to administrative division “it was annexed to Georgia-Imeretia governorate on the 1st of January 1841 with gaza (uyezd) status, in 1849 it was annexed to Erivan governorate.[18]Nakhchivan uyezd consisted of Nakhchivan, Ordubad and Daralayaz precincts. The capital was Nakhchivan city.

At early XX century Baku governorate was divided into 6 uyezds; Yelizavetpol governorate into 8 uyezds and 1 district; Erivan governorate into 7 uyezds (Erivan, Nakhchivan, Sharur-Daralayaz, Yeni Bayazid, Surmali, Echmiadzin, Alexondropol).

Incidents of 1917-1920 have very important place in political history of Nakhchivan. Armenian “researchers” intentionally darken the political incidents of those years and put forward such a non-scientific idea that “The Moscow treaty of 1921 annexed Nakhchivan to Azerbaijan; till this treaty Nakhchivan was not the part of Azerbaijan”.

The main direction of Armenian struggle during 1918-1920 was to own Nakhchivan. According to Batum treaty in the territory of ancient Azerbaijani land- Erivan khanate Armenian Republic was established, its territory was 9 sq. km. Armenian chauvinists not satisfied with it started open armed struggle in order to invade Nakhchivan. For that in November 1919 they captured a part of Zangazur and Nakhchivan was separated from Azerbaijan. During that time the territory of Azerbaijan was 114 sq. km. and Nakhchivan included here. Even though Nakhchivan was separated from Azerbaijan, the people of Nakhchivan did not consider themselves apart from Azerbaijan. In order to defend the territory, the population of Nakhchivan established Araz-Turk Republic, formed self-defense troops. “Armenian dashnaks” understood that they could not own Nakhchivan neither politically nor by armed intervention. After this they chose the way of fake and apocryphal propaganda.

The first Prime Minister of Armenia O. Kachaznuni wrote in 1923 by naming Nakhchivan and Sharur as “Muslim Nakhchivan and Sharur”: “We were not able to maintain law and order by administrative measures, we had to make an armed intervention,mount an armed attack, ruin and slaughter. But we were unsuccessful. In important places such as Verdibasar, Sharur, Nakhchivan we could not establish dominance, we were defeated and retreated.”[19]

During 1918-1920 Armenian government using the help of foreign countries was trying to own Nakhchivan with full effort. But firm struggle of the population of Nakhchivan did not let the claims of Armenia to be realized. The Armenian intention of invading Nakhchivan by force and through armed intervention could not be realized. In this case Armenia started to conceal its policy. On the 28th of December 1920 Armenian Military Revolutionary Committee made a declaration about recognizing the independence of Nakhchivan.

At the beginning of the 1921 a referendum was held in Nakhchivan. More than 90 percent of the population voted for Nakhchivan to stay within Azerbaijan in an autonomous republic status.[20]

On the 16th of March 1921 Moscow treaty signed between Russia and Turkey determined territorial status of Nakhchivan and to give autonomy to Nakhchivan under protectorateof Azerbaijan.[21] The conditions of Moscow treaty were strengthened even more by the Kars treaty signed on the 13th of October 1921 between Turkey and the South Caucasus Republics in the presence of a Russian delegation.

Armenian delegation took over the responsibility of not violating the conditions of the treaty as well as the ones related to the state territorial status of Nakhchivan by signing Kars treaty. But in later periods and even now Armenia not only did not execute its liability but also tries to annul that treaty. By violating the conditions of the treaty under the decree by Transcaucasian CECon the 18th of February 1929 invaded 10 villages of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of 657 sq. km.[22] Thus Armenian Republic established on 9 sq. km. (these are Azerbaijani lands), now has the territory of 29.8 sq. km.

Armenians and Armenian government not satisfied with these did not give up on their devil intentions even today as they did not throughout the XX century, they make territorial claims whenever they have a chance and demand the Moscow and Kars international treaties stopping them to be annulled.  As the treaties were signed for unlimited time and have international status, none of the sides signed the treaty is allowed to annul it unilaterally.

Armenian government still did not give up on their ugly wishes, they form different organizations and societies, publish fake, non-scientific, non-objective writings related to Nakhchivan in the press. By this Armenians are trying to generate an opinion related to Nakhchivan.

At the beginning of the 90’s Armenian chauvinists started an open military intervention but could get nothing. Though Karki village was captured by Armenians.

All these show once more obviously that territorial claims of Armenians against Nakhchivan, and their “relying on” ethnic and political history of Nakhchivan have no scientific ground and the facts mentioned rejects these claims.        

 

[1]O. Habibullayev.Archeological excavations in Kultapa. Baku: AAS printing house, 1959

2 R. Gasimova. Ethnogenesis of Azerbaijani people based on the paleoanthropological and anthropological (somotological) materials.Baku: Science, 1997, p. 22

[3]Azerbaijani history. I volume. Baku: Azarnashr, 1994, pp 77-83

[4]V. Ishkhanyan. Nations of the Caucasus. SPb, 1916, p.16

[5]G. Budagova. Toponyms of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Baku, 1998, p. 37

[6]There again, p. 14

[7]G. Geybullayev. From the formation history of Azerbaijani Turks. Baku, 1994, p.82

[8]G. Geybullayev. Aboou the ancient ethnic history of Azerbaijanis in Nakhchivan // History and its problems, Baku, 1999, №2, p.39

 

[9]G. Geybullayev. About the ethnogenesis of Azerbaijanis. Baku, 1961, pp 101-102

[10]I. Shopen. Historical monument of Armenian region state during its annexation to the Russian Empire. SPb., 1852, pp 537-538

[11]Statistic description of Nakhchivan province. Compiled by B. Grigoryev. SPb., 1833, p. 32

[12]Statistic description of Nakhchivan province. Compiled by B. Grigoryev. SPb., 1833, p. 32

[13]D. Maccarti. K. Maccarti. Turks and Armenians- Baku, 1996, p. 13

[14]Nakhchivan historical data: http:www.ermeni.org/turkce/vandallar.htm.

[15]Historical geography of Azerbaijan. –Baku, 1987, pp 7-35

[16]Piriyev V.Pages from history of Nakhchivan. –Baku, 2004, p.24

[17]Piriyev V. Nakhchivan, ancient land of Azerbaijan. AAS news (HSHP), 1999, №2, p.10

[18]V. Piriyev. Historical geography of Azerbaijan. Baku, 2002, p.108

[19]Ov. Kachaznuni. Tashnak party has nothing to do (Report for 1923 Party Conference). Istanbul, 2005, p.56

[20]State Archive of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, ch.1, list 3, work 13, p. 79

[21]Documents of foreign policy of USSR. Vol. 3, Moscow, 1959, pp 598-599

[22]ARSA, ch.379, list 3, work 2035, p.2

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