CHAPTER 9 THE SHUSHI KHANATE (AVSHARS, KERIM ZEND KHAN, THE QAJAR INHERITANCE)

Despite the shifts, the number of Turkish nomads and militants was small. The Armenian community consisted of a class of bricklayers, builders, craftsmen, as well as an elite of merchants and trading class. This influential class connected Shushi through the Khudapirin bridge with Tabriz, Gandzak and Tiflis, and livened up the Goris-Yerevan trading route. Numerous shops and trading centres were functioning along the route stretching from the Yerevanian gate to the Jraberd gate of the fortress. The shopkeepers were preponderantly Agulis and Shahkert Armenians. The skilled coppersmiths made in their workshops boilers, pots and different tools. Silkworm cultivators developed their culture all over Karabakh, gradually maintaining the production of such a luxury as silk. As Mirza Jemal Jivanshir stated clearly, the tactical questions in Shushi were discussed at a special council, Melik Shahnazar being the heart of it.

After the restoration the Shushi fortress was named after its “founder” – Panahaberd (berd is the Armenian word for fortress). Again the Turk conquerers remained loyal to their policy of changing the geographical names of the occupied lands. But this time they were unsuccessful, as the Shushi inhabitants did not adopt the new alien name. The Turkish dwellers had to reconcile themselves to that fact, changing only the last letter of the proper name. “Shushi” became “Shusha”. In this case the word could be originally explained as “mirror”(Shusha is the Turkish for mirror). However, it’s very easy to perceive the purpose of such a groundless interpretation and ignore it, as the abundant historical sources testify that Shushi was the ancient Karkarr fortress of Artsakh. For the first time the historians came across the name Shushi in the colophon of St.Manuel’s Bible, created in 1428 in the St. Astvatsatsin church, where he indicated that he had written the Bible in 1418 in Amaras, in the village called Shushi.8 Later the same Manuel created another Bible in Gtich monastery, in the colophon of which he described the destressing situation of the country under the tyranous Torgomian family. Mention should also be made, in order to stress the origin and continuous existence of the Shushi fortress, of another monuscript created in the scriptorium of the same St. Astvatsatsin church a one hundred and fifty years later. In the colophon of the Bible we read, “Created this virtuous Bible in Possa Nhank province, in the village by the name of Shushi, under the protection of St. Astvatsatsin in the year of 1575.8 In the last lines of the the warrant of June 4, 1724 about the Armenian submission to the Russian Empire, it is clearly stated that: “The letter is written in the Shushi Sghnakh in 1724”.9 The historian Leo drew a conclusion that: “The village Shushi is more likely to get its name from the fortress, than give it to the fortress”.10 The term “shosh” in the Karabagian dialect means shoot, sprout. It is in no way linked to the ancient Persian Shosh capital, and there’s not one document to confirm such a fact. It is unfortunate when, because of political considerations, historical falsification is exercised. The nomadic tribes which had penetrated to Arran were set on practising such kind of manipulation from the second half of the nineteenth century, when they first came to know what a national script or written literature mean. The first Tatar historians – Mirza Jamal Jivanshir and Adigiozalbek, who composed the history of Shushi Khanate, failed to mention the existence of a developed nation, numerous fortresses and settlements on this territory before the year of 1725, when Panah-Ali first set foot on the Karabakh land. The works of these historians, as well as those of Baku school and the Turkic historiography as a whole is characterized by a general striving to minimize, denigrate or eliminate the originally national element of the conquered territories, moreover, unable to explain the thousands works of typically national non-Turkic arts and culture created on “their” territory, they claim all those architectural monuments and historical documents to be all a matter of deception, forced assimilation and manipulation. It is clear from the map that the continuity of the Turkic world stretching all the way from the Bosphorus to Central Asia is broken by the territories lying across the Russo-Ottomam frontier and this is one of the reasons why the Turks east and west, pursue policies of assimilation, historical falsification and even of physical elimination of the native inhabitants, intending to establish a “motherland” on the occupied territories. But they were forced to believe that there existed national homelands everywhere, especially on fertile lands and putting up tents on alien lands or conquering it, wasn’t enough to consider that land as their own.

The ethnic nations survived the Mongol, Tatar invasions, who sooner or later left, as they had a homeland of their own, but they were followed by a great number of nomadic tribes, which without possessing the sense of homeland or motherland, comfortably established themselves on the occupied territories. At first they flooded the Iranian territories. The ancient Persian Atropateni province (the ancient Median land) became heavily intermixed with a large number of Turkic tribesmen, who imposed their traditions and language on the natives, who belonged to the ancient Persian Median tribe. Of course the nomads too came under the influence of Iranians and continued to develop under that cultural and social influence. The nomads themselves encouraged the process of assimilating into the Persians as they were inclined to forget their wild past as soon as possible. At the same time a new Turkic ideology was taking shape which was to have grave and far-reaching implications on the ethnic nations. The next phase of the process was to lay claims to the history and culture of the ethnic nation.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37