Incorrect terminology made up regarding Azerbaijan's Karabakh roots in Germany (PHOTO)

Politics Materials 18 August 2023 16:53 (UTC +04:00)
Incorrect terminology made up regarding Azerbaijan's Karabakh roots in Germany (PHOTO)
Humay Aghajanova
Humay Aghajanova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, August 18. The German weekly newspaper Die Zeit published an article "Forgotten by the World: Nagorno-Karabakh," co-authored by Alice Botha and Maria Mitrov, Trend reports.

The article, which contains unverified data, incorrect terminology, and baseless and unfair accusations against Azerbaijan and its leadership, was written unilaterally from the position of Armenia and Armenian separatists.

The article states that "Azerbaijan subjected Nagorno-Karabakh to real starvation for a month. The statistics of childbirths with defects increased because pregnant women were not examined, and people threw their dogs and cats into the street because they had no food to feed even themselves".

Showing diligence, the authors added to the article published in August a picture of some teacher in a winter coat, taken somewhere and sometime, writing that allegedly "because Azerbaijan is holding Artsakh's only gas pipeline under blockade, the stoves in schools are heated with wood?". Moreover, based on conversations with local residents, they even dared to call it "genocide and ethnic cleansing".

Michael Reinhard Hess, a well-known German scholar, researcher of the Caucasus region, and author of the book "The Heritage of the Shush City," sent a detailed and reasoned letter of protest to the editorial board of "Die Zeit" newspaper and shared it on his Facebook page.

Hess notes that the use of the word "Nagorno-Karabakh enclave" in the first sentence of the article explains the position from which it was written.

"Karabakh is the territory of the Azerbaijani state with all its parts, including the mountainous parts. How can one call an enclave a territory that even Armenia, the sponsor of the so-called Armenian separatist organization, has never perceived as an enclave? It is not known from what source the legend about the "Nagorno-Karabakh enclave" was taken, but this word is used by all leading media in Germany, including "Spiegel". How can unverified data from one of the interested parties be disseminated?" The letter reads:

Due to his own observations, he also sharply condemned another negative practice entrenched in the German press.

"For 4 years in the leading German media, practically not a single article has been published in order to reflect the views of Azerbaijan along with the position of Armenians or even separatists. If the authors would look through social networks for a few minutes, they would see how Azerbaijanis have lost their property and health as a result of Armenian aggression and occupation. Those who, after 30 years, return to Karabakh, liberated as a result of the 44-day war, face the sad consequences of the destructive activities of Armenian aggressors," the letter noted.

Hess criticized the idea of the article about "an enclave, which is already fully populated by Armenians", reminding the authors of the 1989 population statistics.

"At that time, 21 percent of the population of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region, that is, 40,000 people, were Azerbaijanis, and they did not disappear anywhere. They were expelled from their homes as a result of Armenian aggression and violence. The authors of the article say nothing about this misfortune faced by Azerbaijanis. On the night of February 25–26, 1992, 613 innocent Azerbaijani civilians were mercilessly killed under the command of Serzh Sargsyan, who later became Defense Minister and President of Armenia. A grave war crime was committed with the massacre of civilians. It would be appropriate to draw parallels between the genocide in Khojaly and what happened in Irpin and Bucha.

After the full establishment of Azerbaijan's state control over these territories, the security of the Armenian population in Karabakh will be guaranteed. This was publicly stated by the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. In other parts of Azerbaijan, in addition to the territories inhabited by separatists, there are currently tens of thousands of Armenians who speak their own language and develop their own culture. If Azerbaijan's intention was to expel Armenians, how could tens of thousands of Armenians still live here? Conversely, Armenia historically became a homogeneous state after the complete expulsion of Azerbaijanis living there in 1987. What is happening now has nothing to do with ethnic cleansing against Armenians. It is about the fact that those who oppose Azerbaijan with weapons in their hands are subject to the laws of Azerbaijan, the state in which they live," he noted.

Hess also advised the authors to pay attention to the gaps and contradictions they allowed in the article.

"You write that the blockade began in December, and then you admit that Russian peacekeepers and ICRC vehicles are delivering humanitarian aid and transporting the sick. How can this happen on a blocked road? On April 23, Azerbaijan established a border checkpoint on its territory on the state border with Armenia in order to prevent the smuggling of weapons and illegal goods to the separatist-controlled territories. Having read Libération/AFP and other neutral sources, it is clear that the information contained in Azerbaijani sources is true," he emphasized.

Hess goes on to express his disappointment that influential press such as Die Zeit is sensation-seeking when writing about such a serious topic.

"You write that 'Russia is arming Azerbaijan.' What does it mean to present Azerbaijan as a scarecrow dependent on Russia? Azerbaijan has been an independent state since 1991 and should not wait for Russia or other countries to give it permission to arm itself. It is logical to write that "Russia and India are also arming Armenia". All such word combinations and the purpose of the article are not to move away from the entrenched and prevailing opinion in the leading German press, according to which "Armenians in Karabakh are innocent victims and Azerbaijanis are evil people with bad intentions"," the letter reads.