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An honest opinion about Armenians, Karabakh and human rights

​The amount of misinformation between Armenians and Azeris is terrifying. Azeris hate Armenians so much that they have no idea that most of Armenian dissidents and opposition members are nationalist and probably have hatred towards Azeris as much as more than current Armenian ruling party.

Moreover, I often see some diaspora Armenians or just human rights activists demanding freedom for some jailed activists in Azerbaijan on social media. Guys, 99% of you have no idea that Armenians were fighting with current Azerbaijani opposition (ruling regime back then) and most of opposition members still have hatred towards Armenians.

At some point we should stop and ask ourselves:  what do we really want? (“We” here denotes the ones who want peace between two nations)

We want peace! And how can we achieve it? Learning about each other.

Honestly, how many of you diaspora Armenians care about democracy and human rights in Azerbaijan? Did you know that most of Azeri opposition members were fighting with Armenians in Karabakh back in early 90s? Did you know that most opposition members believe that wives/mothers of ruling party elite are crypto-Armenian? Did you know that we (mostly) see ourselves apart from Turks? Did you know that we don’t see any difference between you Western Armenians and your kindred in East Armenia? (And we don’t know anything about Armenians in Middle East) Did you know that most of Azeris have no single idea or any historical info about Armenians back in Ottoman empire or 1915 or Cilicia?

Honestly, I believe it’s because of your inner, secretly hidden nationalistic instincts. Don’t afraid to admit that you were so brainwashed that you came to hate us and thaught to accept us just a small branch of Turks.

I know, because I was brainwashed too. It’s called victim mentality. Few people survive that. Thus, I was forced to think myself as a victim in a war lost to Armenia. But in fact, I lost nothing. I had no relatives killed in Karabakh. I had no relatives from Karabakh. I was not born in Karabakh. Nobody in our family ever visited Karabakh. Sure they knew many Armenians in Baku, but it was only that. So, why I had to have revanchist idea that I had to “retake” Karabakh? It was never my land.
But fuck individualism and your personal opinion, right? Because we are at war and you are only valuable if you feel yourself a part of a wolf pack.

That’s why, I don’t really understand mindset of Armenians in other countries. How you, after generations feel still connected to the land you never visited, how can you care about people you never met and despite having an advantage of being born in a free, democratic and highly advanced country, still have this regressive (I guess it’s opposite of progressive) mentality?

Let’s take, Dan Bilzerian and Serj Tankian. Dan lives his life (amorally or morally, I don’t care) with guns, girls and tons of money. Serj writes music for his land, speaks for his people, an addict to his fatherland. Both spoke about genocide and both recognized it, but IMHO Dan has much freer soul.

I think, peace will come when we learn about each other and stop being a member of a herd. Let them tell us we are cowards or traitors or enemies. If we are pro-human rights, we should defend all humans regardless of their ethnicities. Let be a poor Armenian villager man or a teenager, anarchist Azerbaijani boy.

So, what we should do? Quick ideas:

  1. Try to talk with an Azerbaijani/Armenian.
  2. Try to avoid topics like Karabakh or Genocide.
  3. Try to talk more about music.
  4. Try to talk about common words.
  5. Try to talk about your ancestors, where are you from.
  6. Try to talk about stereotypes in your nation (such as, we have a stereotype in Azerbaijan that Nakhchivanians shit tons of money – they are rich and have awful accent)
  7. Say how you feel about your country’s current ruling regime.

Now you are good to go. And don’t hesitate to use words like “I am sorry” or “No problem”.

We are youth, we can change the future, not the past.

Cavid Ağa

Müstəqil tədqiqatçı, jurnalist, yazıçı, Artur Şopenhauerin "Eristik Dialektika" kitabını Azərbaycan dilinə ilk tərcüməçisidir. Bakı Araşdırmalar İnstitutunun üzvüdür və Eurasianet, BNE Intellinews, OC Media, France24, Amerikanın Səsi və digər nəşrlərdə çıxış edib.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Michael Russel

    Hi Javid. First of all, thank you for your articles and work, most of which I found interesting. Regarding this particular piece, I think you gave a very primitive outlook of Azerbaijani side and their attitude towards Armenians. It is true that propaganda worked in both countries. But let's put history aside and not even go into that (historical massacres committed by armenians in ottoman empire, in Baku and other parts of Azerbaijan etc.) Let's talk now and present. After gaining independence, both countries had internationally recognized borders. This is how they were accepted by in UN. But, Armenia decided that it has a historical duty to establish "greater armenia" and the most immediate step towards it was to invade Karabakh and surrounding districts. Not sure if you saw the maps that were found in the schools freed by azerbaijani soldiers. But all Karabakh + 7 surrounding regions were taught to generations of young armenians as Arsakh. What would you say to generational turco hating rhetoric that begins from childhood? Sure, we have a similiar approach in Azerbaijan, but the history of armenian hate for everything turkish goes way in the past.

    And I disagree that many of azerbaijanis has nothing to do with turks.Surely they are not identical twins, but I look at it more like brothers who went their own way from early childhood.

    Regarding being or not being from Karabakh and thus caring or not caring, I would completely disagree. As stated above, it is simple. Taking what belongs to others (occupation of Karabakh and surrounding areas) and killing people is not cool. Once the justice is served, azerbaijanis do not have any claim or reason to hate armenians. Surely, it will take time to forget and reconcile with many inhumane massacres done by armenian nationalists to azerbaijani population, but I strongly believe time will heal. But if you look through armenian social media , or even listen to armenian inteleggencia talking, they still cannot detach themselves from the myths of Great Armenia, Artsakh, being surrouned by turkish barbarians ready to slaughter them.

    My advice to armenians is simple. Respect the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Then open borders, visit each other, drink tea, trade with each other, marry each other and if you ahve within you people that will start again stirring the pot with nationalistic and mythical claims, kick them out from these lands.

    1. a

      Hello Michael,
      The land of NK(Artsakh) was given to Azerbaijan by Soviet. Armenians remain most of the population there at the time the USSR collapsed. There are Azeri cultural heritages in Artsakh towns and cities like Shushi (Shusha) indeed, but killing civilians and ethnic cleansing like Baku and Sumgait massare made Armenian people afraid. First both sides should admit the violence committed in the past. I do not claim that Khojaly Massacre was done by Armenians however. Then ties with Turkey and Russia should all be cut. Armenia and Azerbaijan are two independent countries, and Turkey and Russia should not interfere too much. The last and most important thing to do is to end the Aliyev regime, an autocracy which threatens everyone both of Azerbaijan and of Armenia and even abroad dissidents.
      Can the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh become such a place for both ethnic Armenians and ethnic Azerbaijanis? Both claims of "Qarabagh is Azerbaijan" and "Artsakh is Armenia" may lead to potential ethnic cleansing.

  2. Michael Russel

    I live in USA and i work in hospitality. Being Azerbaijani , I also meet Armenians here. Most of them after finding out that I am from AZE, will show friendliness , at least outwardly, we will shake hands and usually blame politics for troubles we have. But when some start talking about their ancestral rights to AZE lands, I wonder if we ever claim Irevan, Zengezur to them? Suredly, people in Azerbaijan can not fight the temptation to dream about these lands that once belonged to AZ, but the majority do not feel the need. What is past is past and we need to look to the future. But when you see young and old armenians, whether living abroad or in armenia continously claiming that Karabakh is theirs and that they need to establish a second armenian state there and the whole world should defend armenia from barbaric azero turkic genocide, one wonders how the hell we will live with this.

    I agree that we should focus on commonalities. We both now live in South Caucasus, we kind of look alike, we can talk russian and thus understand each other for the most part. I guess I can live with the fact that armenians will continue claiming that dolma is theirs, but I do not think anyone will accept their claim to AZe lands, especially after so many people put their lives to free those lands. Most of those people also were not from Shusha and perhaps never visited it in their lifetime.

Cavab yaz