Address of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to the Azerbaijani people on the occasion of March 31, Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis - Baku, March 27, 2001.

Dear compatriots,

The 31st of March is marked in Azerbaijan as the Day of Genocide of the Azerbaijanis at the national level since 1998.

The notorious policy of genocide regularly pursued against the Azerbaijanis has a long history which can be measured in centuries. Since the beginning of XIX century, the Armenians began to settle on the historical Azerbaijani lands in large numbers and the process of establishment of the Armenian state in the Southern Caucasus and the expulsion and deportation of the Azerbaijanis from their homes were intentionally materialized.

The process of genocide and deportation was implemented in stages, in different historical conditions and on the basis of a comprehensive plan. Bogus ideological theses were formed by the terrorist organizations in order to implement the insane ​​"Great Armenia" idea into life. The population of Armenia was brought up in the spirit of nationalism and chauvinism towards the Turkish and Azerbaijani people.

The Armenian nationalists warded and directed by the authorities of the Tsarist Russia, committed widespread slaughters and atrocities against the Azerbaijanis in 1905-1907. Hundreds of dwellings were destroyed and thousands of Azerbaijanis became victims of the Armenian terrorism. In the March of 1918, a mass massacre was committed under the patronage of the leaders of the Baku Commune and despicable plan was carried out in order to armenianize and clear Baku from the Azerbaijanis. Tens of thousands of civilians were murdered in Baku and districts, in mosques, schools, and Azerbaijani monuments were destroyed.

The policy of genocide and deportation carried out by the Armenians against Azerbaijanis was continued in a more subtle and insidious form in the period of the Soviet rule. Historical Azerbaijani lands Goycha, Zangazur and others were given to Armenia with the help of the leaders of the then Soviet government, the Armenians of the Mountainous Garabagh got an autonomy and set up a ground for their illegal territorial claims in future. In 1948-1953 by the decision of the Soviet administration the Armenians massively deported the Azerbaijanis from the Western Azerbaijan, the historical land of the Azerbaijanis.

As a result of a special protection of the USSR administration the Armenian extremism and separatism became new and even more dangerous in form since the mid of the 1980s. As a result of this adventurist separatism, which later turned into a large-scale war, thousands of civilians were tragically killed, thousands were destined to live as refugees and internally displaced people in inhumane conditions. The then administration of the Soviet Union, following the lead of the Armenian separatists committed a massacre against our people in January, 1990. The Armenian military in association with the Soviet troops and with its direct involvement destroyed Khojaly in the February of 1992. Thousands of civilians were brutally murdered, tortured and taken captive.

Genocide against the Azerbaijani people inflicted huge political, material and moral damages. In general, during XX century about 2 million Azerbaijanis felt the severe consequences of the policy of deportation and genocide. In order to realize the insane "Great Armenia" the Armenian nationalists and chauvinists masterfully led information and propaganda war against our people from the very beginning. Total smear campaign and a dirty propaganda war are being continued today. The Armenian chauvinists, using a variety of methods and tools, confuse the international public opinion, falsify history of Azerbaijan and the whole Caucasus, conduct a campaign of rigid moral aggression against Azerbaijanis, create an image of "oppressed, suffering Armenian people" in the view of the world community. The Armenian communities and the Armenian lobby consistently work in this direction for decades. As a result, the parliaments of the world remain indifferent to the fact of occupation and genocide committed by the Armenians against the Azerbaijani people and now adopt wrong decisions adapted to the political conjuncture on the events that supposedly, took place a hundred years ago, it actually encourage the actions of the aggressor. Armenian politicians and ideologists delighted of their temporary and deceptive success, explicit and hidden carriers of the ideology of hatred to all the peoples ignore the international law, violate the norms of civil co-existence established on the planet.

The Azerbaijani people, which will soon celebrate the tenth anniversary of its independence, wants to live by internationally accepted rules and laws, in peace and security and be engaged in creative activities. Today, the task of our state and the people is to spread throughout the world the truth about the policy of genocide against the Azerbaijanis committed for centuries, to achieve justice in international public opinion, eliminate grave consequences of genocide and take serious measures to prevent such an incident in future.

According to its brutality, extent and consequences of sufferings which our people bore should be characterized as a crime against humanity, get international political and legal assessment, the ideologists and the organizers must be punished. Everyone should be sure that those who are looking for 'broader place under the sun " in the present world, disseminating the ideology of hatred and total war against other nations guided by the illusion of" Great Armenia ", committing an aggressive policy against its neighbors, will have to answer to history and humanity soon or later.

We have no right to forget these events and their lessons. Historical forgetfulness can cost high to our nation. It is important not to forget these grave crimes from time to time committed against the Azerbaijanis, educate the younger generation in the spirit of vigilance against the evil forces and their insidious intentions.

Once more I commemorate the bright memory of the victims of genocide, bow to their memory and wish our people patience and persistence.

Heydar Aliyev,

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

General historical background

Khojaly genocide is a crime against the mankind.

Historical backgrounds


Maps and graphics

Ermənistan - Azərbaycan Dağlıq Qarabağ münaqişəsi

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