CHAPTER 16 THE KARABAKH PROBLEM AS A RESULT OF THE PAN-TURKIC POLICY OF THE BAKU AUTHORITIES

In 1973 Heidar Aliev appointed Boris Kevorkov, the sole Armenian member of the Central Committee of Azerbaijan Communist Party as the First Secretary of Karabakh Regional Communist Party Committee. For 15 years he acted at the head of the region. On 21 March 1975 he made a long speech at the plenary session of the Regional Committee, the subject-matter of his speech was; “Where is the place of Nagorny Karabakh.”37 His speech was a model of obscurantism. Ignoring the ethno-cultural, historical and economical aspects of the region, he declared that those people, i.e. the whole of Karabakh intelligentsia, who wanted Karabakh to be attached to Armenia, strived to break the bases of the age-old brotherhood between the two nations (the Armenians and Azerbaijanis). The Karabakh writers, poets, journalists and historians were accused and described as “retrograde nationalists”, their idea of attaching Karabakh to Armenia – as “Dashnak propaganda”. This puppet of Baku was realizing Heidar Aliev’s false policy of “internationalism” and “friendship between nations”, which was the only weapon at that time to stifle the national-liberation movements of the ethnic communities inhabiting Azerbaijan-Armenian, Lezgi, Kurd, Talish, Avar, Tatar. Kevorkov “proved” that Karabakh was in no way linked to Armenia, when, in fact, there was hardly any family in Karabakh, whose member did not study in the higher educational institutions of Armenian SSR. In contrary to this, there ran only some buses over the roads from Karabakh to Baku. The Karabakh young people were promoting their careers in many scientific institutions of Armenia, where their abilities were appreciated highly. Many of them, such as the physicist and chemist N. Yenikalopian, biologist A. Takhtajian, chemist A. Kassian, economist A. Aghankegian and others became famous all over the USSR. The Marshal of USSR H. Baghramian, H. Babajanian, Admiral Isakov, Colonel-General Parseghov, the legendary double hero of the USSR, pilot N. Stepanian were natives of Karabakh. On the threshold of Gorbachov’s policy of reforms, in 1985, approximately half a million Karabakh Armenians lived outside their country, but always anxious of the fate of their native land and their countrymen.

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