Azerbaijanis’ right for historic inheritance of Erivan, adjacent lands should be restored

Azerbaijanis’ right for historic inheritance of Erivan, adjacent lands should be restored

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 16

By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:

It is necessary to revise the decision taken by the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic's (ADR) National Council on May 29, 1918 on handing over the city of Erivan and adjacent Azerbaijani lands to the Armenians, according to Fazail Ibrahimli, the doctor of historical sciences, professor, and Azerbaijani parliament member.

Speaking to Trend on Oct. 16, Ibrahimli said the mentioned decision should be abolished and the Azerbaijani people's right for historic inheritance of Erivan and surrounding lands should be restored.

The historian said the issue of handover of Erivan to Armenia as a capital has been discussed sufficiently, but it has not lost its topicality even today.

He said this is due to the fact that once during the handover of lands to the Armenians the condition was made that "the Armenian side should cease making territorial claims against Azerbaijan."

"Today, Azerbaijan needs to legalize this and set condition for the Armenian side, which occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories and turned one million Azerbaijanis into refugees," the historian said.

"The abovementioned decision of the ADR National Council should be reviewed and cancelled," Ibrahimli stressed.

The MP believes that this idea, which was brought forward by Yagub Mahmudov, the Director of the History Institute of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), is real enough.

"In May 1918, it was agreed with the Armenians that in the future Armenia will not make territorial claims against Azerbaijan. If it is continuing to do so today, then Azerbaijan has a political, moral and legal right to unilaterally cancel this decision," the scientist stressed.

He believes that the statement of this question is not intended to cast shadow on the Ottoman Empire or the members of the then National Council.

"This issue also can not be regarded as an error of the leaders of the Democratic Republic. It is a historical mistake. These are the persons who sacrificed themselves for people; they did not take an amateur or traitorous stance," the historian said.

He noted that at that time three persons opposed the National Council's decision.

The historian also said that the National Council members called it a "crazy decision".

"What was the reason? While thinking about this, firstly it is needed to bear in mind the socio-political conditions of that time, the political history, the processes related to Azerbaijan, and the geopolitical changes in the world," Ibrahimli said, adding that one cannot express a common opinion, unless all this mentioned is considered.

"The time raised the question as follows: 'it is needed to raise and restore the state, otherwise the split and death are inevitable'. Understanding this reality, the National Council, which included a group of Azerbaijani intellectuals with forward thinking and excellent European and Russian education, announced on May 28, 1918 about Azerbaijan's independence."

Ibrahimli said Azerbaijan's independence was declared in Tiflis (the present day Tbilisi, Georgian capital), adding that however at the time the Armenian-Dashnak government, led by Stepan Shaumyan was in power in Azerbaijan.

"To deal with this government, it was necessary to urgently come to Azerbaijan," Ibrahimli said. "After 18 days, the Azerbaijani capital was moved to Ganja."

He went on to add that the state, which didn't have an army and navy was relying only on Turkey, and as a result the Caucasian Islamic Army was created.

The historian said all this was dictated by the realities of the time.

"Because, the [US] President Wilson, who won the war in Europe, and convened the Paris Peace Conference, as well as those who defended him, put the question for the three Caucasian republics as follows: "create your own states, define boundaries, create your own capitals, and we will think about your independence," Ibrahimli said.

He noted that the Azerbaijani side was forced to hand over the lands to Armenia.

"We were forced to take such a step to solve the main thing - to declare Azerbaijan's independence and decide on its fate," the historian said.

Earlier, the Director of the ANAS History Institute Yagub Mahmudov spoke to the media bringing forward interesting facts about the Azerbaijani lands' handover to the Armenians.

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