An Appeal to the UN on Djulfa’s Destruction

UNITED NATIONS—Armenia’s Representation to the United Nations, in cooperation with the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Association of the Eastern United States, issued an appeal on Wednesday on the fifth anniversary of the destruction of Armenian monuments by the Azeri Army.

The dossier, which was prepared on December 9 and presented by Armenia’s Ambassador to the UN, Karen Nazaryan, also includes a 90-page bilingual (English and French) booklet detailing the history and cultural significance of the Armenian monuments in Djulfa.

Below is the text of the appeal:

The current Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan has been a historic part of the Armenian homeland for well over 2500 years. Its Armenian name translates into “the place of descent,” in reference to the landing of the Noah’s Ark on the adjacent Mount Ararat. It has been an integral part of Armenian life from as early as 521 B.C. and as late as the first Armenian Republic from till 1920.

The Armenian inhabitants of this region have witnessed many tragic event over their history, including their forced removal from their lands by Sassanid Persians in the fourth century A.D., the decision of the invading Arabs to force them to leave their lands by gathering several hundred Armenian nobles and their families, lock them up in churches and burn them alive, and crucify the rest.

Armenians of Nakhichevan were subjected to further bloodshed, culminating to the many wars and massacres of the World War I era, where Nakhichevan was placed under the control of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan to appease and accommodate the Turkish government by the newly formed and relatively weak Soviet Russia.

While bloodshed and war stopped following the placement of Nakhichevan under Soviet rule, discrimination and economic pressure against the indigenous Armenian population went on as a systemic means to drive them out of their homeland.

The historic Armenian Cemetery in Djulfa, located at the southern tip of Nakhichevan near the Iranian border, traces its history from the 6th to the 17th centuries A.D., where more than ten thousand intricately carved cross stones (khatchkars in Armenian) marked the final resting place of the Armenian inhabitants of this area for well over one thousand years and represented different eras of Armenian history and presence in the area.

Unfortunately, the Armenophobic policies of the successive Azeri governments resulted in the destruction of greater than 80 percent of these historic landmarks by 1998, having gone as far as removing their remnants from the area via trains. In 1998, the inhumane process of defacement and destruction of the remaining khatchkars at the cemetery was accelerated by the Azeri government, resulting in further destruction of another 800 or so khatchkars. This new assault was only halted through intervention of the UNESCO and ICOMOS; however, the process was resumed in 2002 and culminated in the final destruction of the remaining khatchkars by the Azeri armed forces in December of 2005 and rolling of their remains into the Arax river.

To mark this solemn anniversary and to raise public awareness against the unrelenting assault of the Azeri propaganda machine on our cultural heritage and history, the Hamazkayin Eastern USA in collaboration with His Excellency, Ambassador Garen Nazarian, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations, sent an open letter along with a copy of the recently published book “The Destruction of Jugha and the Entire Armenian Cultural Heritage in Nakhichevan,” to the UN delegations of over 170 nations.

We certainly hope that this communication will infuse reason and facts into the discourse and provide rational counter arguments against the voluminous Azeri government vitriol.

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5 Comments

  1. facts said:

    Azerbaijani propaganda machinery ha turned the Islamic organization (IOC) to a racist organisation. I would shaggiest to deliver additionally this letter to OIC member countries (- turkey) and extra to king of Saudi Arabia too.

    Beside this the protest letter about barbaric act of Baku officials should be sent to major organisation which are engaged in archaeological excavation in different parts of the world

  2. Norin Radd said:

    Why is it that we are actively bringing this up into engagement AFTER it occurred and our priceless cultural monuments are destroyed under a rubble? When the Azeri military was conducting these atrocities, rather than merely taking video footage, military aggression should have been used. Throughout two decades of this behavior, it’s almost certain that had such attempts been countered with several volleys of sniper kills, the Azeris would think twice before attempt it again after the first time.

    When push comes to shove, UNESCO or UN delegates don’t give a damn about some headstones, the strongest and most aggressive reaction to this should have been from Armenians worldwide and in Armenia and Arstakh via military action via snipers instead of 3 journalists filming the incident while whining “vai vai, asonk inch anasooneren, blah blah blah” like senile sheep.

    Armenians, esher, davarner, get with the program! Guns get results, pens don’t, talk is cheap, action is costly for the enemy. When all of you understand this concept, then you will get results, in the meanwhile, keep brown nosing to the odar delegates to fight your fights for you. . .

  3. Panos said:

    Norin Radd – you talk big but you need to know the geopolitical situation. Armenia just can’t go into Nakhichevan with its military and stop them. Do you remember in 1992 when we almost attacked Nakhichevan to regain it? Turkey warned Armenia that it will attack and then Russia warned Turkey it would defend Armenia – so we had WWIII just waiting to happen – even the Russian generals warned of WWIII. As you can see, there are larger interests playing here and we just can’t march in and stop the unfortunate destruction.

  4. Narek said:

    @ Panos…with all do respect, I have to agree with Norin Radd…as much as I would like to resolve such issues with diplomatic talks, no results occur for us and yet becomes a loss for Armenians in the process. I also believe that Turks take advantage of our peaceful behavior: WHAT DID WE DO TO STOP NAXICHEVAN DESTRUCTION? NOTHING….only asked for UNESCO and other governments to help when they don’t give a shit about us! I would have personally sniped those Azeris…and if war was to start, then so be it. HOW LONG CAN WE JUST SIT AND DO NOTHING WHILE TURKS DESTROY OUR HISTORY AND FUND CONTINUING GENOCIDE? War may be the last resort…but it sure brings results. You have to beat up the bully when the teachers don’t care about you…YOU DECIDE….

  5. Stephen T. Dulgarian said:

    The world governments have done nothing to condemn the Azerbaijan Government in the destruction of the thousands of Cross Stones of the burial of our Armenian People. The Turk will never change until all Christian Armenians are eliminated as well as the Azeri’s. The world governments have been backing up Islamic Turkey & Azerbaijan since after the 1st World War and have sold Christian Armenia down the drain after all the promises it made to the Armenian People which included Woodrow Wilsons Sevres Treaty signed by Armenia, Turkey, & 16 other nations in August of 1920. This Treaty must be brought before the United Nations & the world powers and land must be returned to the Republic of Armenia along with Javakh Region in Georgia, Nakhichevan & Kars & Ardahan which Stalin took away from the Armenian People.

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