– In the memory of Khojaly, To all our cognates who lost their lives…

On February 26, 1992, a terrible night took place in Khojaly. During the Karabakh War, Azeri Turk civilians were massacred en masse by Armenian forces in the town of Khojaly in the Nagorno-Karabakh village of Azerbaijan. Armenian forces massacred anyone who came before them, without discrimination of men, women or children.The whole world was content to just watch what was going on. This bloody genocide is the worst form of terrorism against civilians in the 20. century. Women, children, the elderly were bombarded with bullets and the wounded one’s were slain with the bayonets and bullets. A few of them were beheaded like sheep’s heads in front of the graves and monuments of Armenians. Armenian soldiers cut off the ears and noses, took their eyes out of the civilians which they took hostage, Armenian soldiers killed children in front of their mothers, tied women and the elderly behind armored vehicles and dragged them, and stabbed the pregnant women. The hostages were tortured for days.This human embarrassment continued for weeks and some of them could not stand it and lost their lives or they commited suicide.Many people died of cold weather in the mountains while fleeing the genocide.In Khojaly, where 7 thousand people lived before, 613 Azerbaijani citizens, 106 women, 70 elderly, 63 children, lost their lives. 487 people survived the massacre with serious injuries, Armenian forces captured 1275 people, 150 of them still have not been heard from.

The first Turkish-Armenian conflict in Karabakh was after the 1905 Russian Revolution. During World War I, Karabakh Armenians started a large scale of  riot and attacked the workplaces and houses of the Turks. Turkish Army  starts the operation towards Karabakh on September 15, 1918 and prevented a possible massacre against Turks by Armenians. After the Armistice of Mudros, the British, who came to the region, decided that Karabakh was a part of Azerbaijan in 1920 and acknowledged and declared. Then Karabakh, was sovietized by Russians. Karabakh was considered to belong to Azerbaijan during the Soviet Union. The only tought of the Armenians was to connect Karabakh to Armenia after the Russian domination in Karabakh. For this purpose, Armenians resorted to all kinds of ways.. When Soviets under the management of Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev Armenians constantly demanded that Karabakh be given to them. Especially Gorbachev’s “principles of openness and restructuring” made Armenians encouraged and They once again brought up the issue of connecting Karabakh to Armenia. Thus, the Armenians, started the bloody events and the Turkish-Armenian conflict that continues even today.

On September 23, 1989, Azerbaijan declared its sovereignty. Soviets the Supreme Soviet of the Union, on November 28, 1989 returned Karabakh to Azerbaijan . The Supreme Soviet declared that it did not recognize the resolution of 28 November and They announced the annexation of Karabakh on 1 December 1989.1990 was a year when bloody conflicts began and Armenian attacks increased. Azerbaijani buses were stoned, villages and towns were suffered to armed raids and Azeri Turks were killed. Similar bloody events continued uninterruptedly and increasingly in 1991. Armenians attacked various Turkish villages especially in Karabakh and viginity.They killed a lot of Azeri Turks.

On August 30, 1991, Azerbaijan declared full independence.  In September, Armenians in the Azerbaijan-Armenia border region attacked the villages and massacred many Azeri Turks. In a short time; 186 thousand Azeri Turks were forced to go to Azerbaijan. This can be literally defined as  Ethnic Cleansing Operation. The aim was to create a place where there was not a single Azeri Turk in that geography and occupation of Karabakh lands by Armenian troops. Armenian troops reached Khojaly on February 25 and the attack began.

Elman Memmedov whom is Khojaly governor at that time describes that dark night as follows;
‘’ It was a very quiet day. There was dead silence everywhere. Not a single bullet was fired that day. I received information from the above location that armored vehicles were passing by.After few minutes later, I received informations that armored vehicles were approaching us from all sides. We informed everywhere by telephone and radio that there was an attack against us. This siege lasted for 3 hours until 10:30 in the evening. At 10:30 in the evening, all armored vehicles started to open fire on Khojaly at the same time. A few minutes later, Khojaly began to burn. Houses were exploding. People were dying. The fires were visible even from the city of Aghdam. We started to leave the city. We had to cross the Gargar River to get out. It was February. The forest was snowy and the water was as cold as ice. People running away from their homes, women and children were barefoot and without coat. Can you imagine walking barefoot through the stones and thorns in the dark of the night in winter? You couldn’t see where you’re stepping. Imagine that horror.’’

Another Victim of that dark night Mehriban Bekirova whom is captured by Armenian soldiers describes her what happened as follows.
‘’ We took refuge in bunkers. Armenians heard the voices of children. They said there are children here and threw grenades at the bunker. There were injured and dead. One of the elders said, “Let’s get a white handkerchief so that they don’t touch our children.” Then the Armenians shot her too. Her body rolled down the stairs and landed next to us. Then the soldiers kicked me and hit me in the face with a gun. My eyes darkened and blood came from my ears and some of my teeth fell out.’’

The stories of these two victims alone reveal how gruesome the events were. In addition to these stories, there is another terrible event. According to Prof.Dr. Mubariz Allahverdiyev:
In Khojaly Genocide, A doctor named Zori Balayan tortured a 13-year-old girl by peeling her skin, claiming it was an experiment. The girl died seven minutes after being skinned.. Moreover, this murderer published what he did in a book. He describes what he did as follows.
‘’Our soldiers nailed a 13-year-old Turkish child to the window, I skinned him from the head, chest and stomach. I looked at the clock, the Turkish child died 7 minutes later. I did not feel uncomfortable because of these tortures I inflicted on the Turkish child. My soul was overjoyed that I had avenged even one percent of my people. And I cut the body of this Turkish child and threw it to the dogs. We did the same thing to 3 Turkish children in the evening. I did it as an Armenian citizen. ‘’  After All this that book dissapeared somehow. Zori Balayan supposedly still wanted by Interpol…

The Azerbaijani Parliament declared the massacre in Khojaly in 1994 a “genocide”.
Human Rights Watch described the incident as the biggest massacre in the Nagorno-Karabakh War.April 22, 2010, what happened in Khojaly is seen as acts equivalent to war crimes or crimes against humanity.So far, the parliaments of 15 countries and the parliaments of 16 states of the USA have passed resolutions condemning the events in Khojaly and seeing it as genocide. Although Karabakh is freed from occupation today, the pain of the Khojaly Genocide has not yet subsided. What happened in Khojaly is very heavy and will not be forgotten. Continuing to announce to the world what happened in Khojaly, Azerbaijan demands punishment from the international community. Khojaly Massacre is only one of the many other incidents committed by Armenian terror against Turkish race. Even though it has been 30 years since the Khojaly genocide, Azeri Turks and the Turkish world are uncomfortable with the impunity of those responsible for the massacre. This bloody genocide will be a black mark in history and will never be forgotten. My condolences to all our Azeri Turk brothers who lost their relatives in the Genocide. The wound of Khojaly and the memory of our martyrs will live on in our hearts forever….



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