BAKU—Azerbaijan’s Academy of Sciences is planning to rewrite the history of Azerbaijan, laying new territorial claims on Armenia and Georgia.
Director of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences and Member of Parliament Yagub Mahmudov told APA news agency that Azeri history has been falsified by Soviet historians and need to be rewritten to reflect Azerbaijan’s “real” history.
Mahmudov says that Nakhijevan, Artsakh, and Yerevan are parts of “ancient Azerbaijan.” Mahmudov says that these claims are unknown because Azerbaijan’s history has been “forged” since the Gulistan and Turkmenchay agreements.
In his interview Yagub Mahmudov has also touched upon the history of Dagestan. “No one can deny that Derbent is an Azerbaijani city as Dagestan has been founded on Azerbaijani lands. How can you forget it? It is possible that some will get offended, however we will rewrite the history of Azerbaijan during the Soviet period,” the historian said.
Mahmudov also expressed his opinion about the native peoples that exist in Azerbaijani controlled territories – such as the Lezgins and Talysh. The Azeri academic said he had no praises for Lezgins because, according to him, during the Second World War many of them took the side of the Nazis.
The historian did not neglect to also speak about the Georgian monastery complex of David Gareji (called “Keshik Dag” by Azeris). He claims that the monastery is an “ancient Albanian chapel” and that claims of ownership by Georgians is “misguided.”
“Georgia claims that the territory up to Shamakhi is Georgian. If Georgians continue to impose such requirements, Azerbaijan, in its turn, will claim that Tbilisi has been a Muslim emirate,” Mahmudov said. “It is necessary to ask Georgians: where have the residencies of the Emir of Tbilisi gone? Or, how can we see today the Mosque built by Shah Abbas on the river Kur? All these buildings have been razed to the ground, and we currently are studying this issue.”
The Georgian monastic complex of David Gareji is situated some 60 kilometers from Tbilisi, on the half-desert slopes of Mount Gareja at the Georgian-Azerbaijani border. A part of the complex lies on the Azeri side of the border, and the site has become subject to a border dispute between the two countries.