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

Meantime the Chairman of the Regional Party Committee Asad Karaev conducted a severe anti-Armenian policy in Karabakh. The Armenian patriots and the intelligentsia were being persecuted, murdered, driven into exile by the chief of all-union Emergency Committee (V.Ch.K.) Mirjafat Baghirov and his agents, skillfully forged the new loyalties to the ideals of the socialists. The representative of the Transcaucasian Federation in Karabakh Suren Shadunts constantly applied to Orjonokidze and Kirov, trying to persuade them that it was impossible to leave the region within Azerbaijan. One of his letters read;

“…The mentioned facts give evidence that leaving this region within the borders of Azerbaijan, when it was and is treated like this, is not permittable. This is the reason why I think that the autonomous region must be directly linked to the Committee of the Transcaucasian Federation”.4

The official attempts to seize Karabakh from Azerbaijan, made the Baku leaders to conduct a sobre policy. Their historians were trying to supply the attachment of Karabakh to Azerbaijan with a firm ground. As to the telegraph message of the Revolutionary Committee of Azerbaijan of November 30, 1920 to the leaders of Armenia stating publicly that Nagorny Karabakh, Zangezur and Nakhichevan were recognized as integral parts of the Socialist Republic of Armenia, they say the mentioning of Karabakh was a mistake or a misprint. In the same way they explain Orjonikidze’s message to Lenin and Stalin on the subject of Nagorny Karabakh being attached to Armenia.5 Probably the President of the Revolutionary Committee of Azerbaijan Nariman Narimanov had changed the text of that famed telegramme later, under the pressure of his brothers-in-arms. The revised variant of the document informed that “The Mountainous part of Karabakh has a right to self-determinate”.6 This too is a manipulation, as on June 12, 1921 citing the above mentioned Declaration of the Revolutionary Committee of Baku and the Consensus Between the Socialist Soviet Republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Armenian government had stated that Nagorny Karabakh was an integral part of the Socialist Soviet Republic of Armenia.7 It was only on June 27, 1921 that the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan decided to disagree to the unification of Nagorny Karabakh to Armenia on the grounds that Karabakh and Azerbaijan were linked by close economic ties. The Baku historians point to A. Mikoyan’s report to Lenin of May 22, 1919, the text of which informed that the Armenian peasantry (of Karabakh) had decided in their Fifth Congress to join Soviet Azerbaijan. In fact A. Mikoyan couldn’t have written such a report as in 1919 there didn’t exist such a state with the name of Azerbaijan. As to the Fifth Congress of Karabakh Armenians, it had made a decision of refusing to submit to Baku, stating eloquently that Azerbaijan had always been an ally of Turks and taken part in the atrocities committed by the Turks against the Armenians and in particular the Armenians of Karabakh. On April 26, 1919 the Congress sent a letter to the British Colonel D.I. Shuttleworth, who had threatened to force Karabakh to submit to Baku authorities, informing that the region would never accept Azeri domination.9

The policy of manipulation was put into practice since the victory of the Soviet power. The real situation of things could not be expressed in the Soviet mass media, whose aim was to bring up new generations absorbing the ideas of internationalism between the nations.

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