Witness to 1988 events: Armenian nationalists forcibly drove Azerbaijanis out of houses

Witness to 1988 events: Armenian nationalists forcibly drove Azerbaijanis out of houses

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 15

By Jeyhun Alakbarov – Trend:

In the course of the third deportation of Azerbaijanis from Armenia in 1988-1989, more than 220,000 Azerbaijanis could not stand the atrocities of Armenian nationalists and were forced to leave their houses.

An eyewitness to these events, 72-year-old Ali Mammadov, told Trend about Azerbaijanis’ hardship during that period.

Ali Mammadov lived in Agbulaq village of Goycha province of Chambarak district and worked as a mathematics teacher.

“Afterwards, Armenian nationalists destroyed Azerbaijani cemeteries, historical, cultural monuments, religious institutions, schools, hospitals and other buildings to erase the traces of Azerbaijanis in Armenia,” the eyewitness added.

“During the period after 1988, more than 2,000 Azerbaijani cemeteries in Armenia were destroyed,” Mammadov said. “During the deportation, the villagers were forcibly thrown out from their houses.”

"The process began in other villages of Chambarak district three months earlier,” Mammadov said. “We, as well as the residents in those villages, were also warned that we would be deported. Then, 5,000-6,000 armed Armenians were stationed in the villages. Armenian television announced that the Azerbaijanis must be deported from Armenia.”

“On the morning of Nov. 26, 1988, we were told that in a few days the same thing which happened in other villages, will happen to us,” Mammadov said. “On Nov. 28, these events also occurred in our village, armed people forcibly began to take people out of their homes. They used force against those who didn’t want to leave their home, and those persons were taken out by beating.”

The families who left Armenia in November-December 1988 as a result of oppression of the population of Azerbaijani villages, the cessation of food and power supply, and armed attacks, were robbed on the roads, while many of them were killed, the eyewitness added.

Mammadov said that most of the crimes committed in Armenia on ethnic grounds occurred mainly at the time when the Azerbaijani population was forced to leave their homes.

“Having taken our children, we got to the Ivanovka village in Azerbaijan’s Gadabay district in the cold,” the eyewitness noted. “At that time, almost the whole village began to move to Gadabay. Living in Gadabay, I tried to return to the Goycha province of Chambarak district. Secretly, I went home to take personal documents and belongings. However, when I reached the village, I saw that Armenians live in the house and use everything I had as if it was their own. I demanded that they give me my documents and other things, but they refused to do so.”

"I went to another village, where only a few Azerbaijanis lived. I lived in that village for a while, but then we were informed that we would face deportation, too. Therefore, with several residents of the village, we again returned to Gadabay. After a while, my family and I moved from Gadabay to Ganja," Mammadov said.

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