YEREVAN—Propaganda is the tool of diplomats, but propaganda is nothing without facts. The works of cartographer Rouben Galichian provide the best ground for us in this propaganda war. Galichian, who served as Armenia’s Honorary Consul in London from 1992 to 2000 is the author of a number of books on historical and geographical studies. His most recent work is a collection of facts and images revealing the historical-cultural falsifications of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is holding presidential elections Wednesday, which promise no surprises. Ilham Aliyev, who inherited power from his father, is likely to win a third term in office and keep the lead of the country’s foreign and domestic policies. He’ll continue to accuse Armenia of being an “occupant country” and present the historic falsifications of the Azerbaijani scientific and political mind from international podiums.
“Mr. Aliyev knows where, what, and how to speak. This is diplomacy, where we are somewhat limping,” Rouben Galichian told reporters today. According to him, today Armenia faces the task of presenting the historic truth to the world and resisting Azerbaijan’s falsifications. This is the purpose all of Galichian’s works are called to serve.
Azerbaijan has been insisting for years that Armenians are immigrants to the region, that the historical-cultural monuments in Armenia are of Azerbaijani origin, and other fantastic claims. Galichian’s latest work provides a number of facts proving the opposite.
Azerbaijanis say all churches in Armenia – including those of Gandzasar, Tatev and even Etchimadzin – are of Caucasian Albanian origin. The history says Caucasian Albanians became Muslims in 7-8th centuries. No Christian Albanians were left in the Caucasus by the 9th century. The Armenian Christian monasteries and churches were built mostly between the 6th and 18th centuries. One cannot but ask: how could they have been built by Islamized Caucasian Albanians?
Here is another example of distortion of historic facts propagated by Azerbaijan. They insist that there were no Armenians in the Caucasus before 1820. Once again Galichian refers to history. An ancient world map dating back to the 6th century B.C is kept in the British Museum. It is a small Babylonian clay bar, which depicts the center of the world. There are three countries in the center – Babylon, Assyria and the Ararat Country, which English scholars have translated as Armenia.
It’s worth mentioning a few historic facts about Azerbaijan – a country, as they say with a 3,000-year history, which does not have its own alphabet, using Arabic script until 1929 and then switching to a Latin alphabet afterwards. Ten years later, they switched to the Cyrillic alphabet. After the collapse of the Soviet Union they once again returned to Latin letters. This is a nation “with a history of millennia,” the modern generation of which are unable to familiarize themselves with their written sources in Persian.