Şahin Hacıyev, editor of the independent Turan news agency in Azerbaijan, was in Armenia on February 1 to 5. Haciyev shared his impressions of the trip in a series of articles comprised of three parts. In these articles, he makes groundless claims about the Armenian Genocide, the origin of “Azeri” monuments in Armenia and Samvel Karapetyan’s ancestors.
Haciyev’s visit aroused considerable interest both in Armenia and in Azerbaijan. On February 5, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia clarified that Haciyev had been accredited for the purpose of conducting journalistic activities in Armenia. His articles have been published in the Russian language on contact.az website (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), and in the English language on turaz.az website (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).
Distortion of the history of the Armenian Genocide
In the series of articles, Haciyev uses the term “1915 events” when talking about the Armenian Genocide. He is surprised that according to the Armenians, “the Turks simply killed one and a half million innocent victims”. He finds this fact incomprehensible and, therefore, tries to understand the “real” causes of the Genocide.
In particular, he asks whether Armenians have given any “reason” to Turks to oppress them, such as helping Russian occupation troops. Haciyev also asks whether Armenians have been armed by Russia and Western powers.
It is noteworthy that the thesis of cooperation with Russia for the purpose of annexation from Turkey is also promoted by the Turkish state propaganda. In this way, an attempt is made to show the “infidelity” of the Armenians towards the Ottoman Empire and thereby justify their massacres and deportations.
Haciyev does not stop here and asks the following question: “Should the government not be protected if there is an uprising in its territory?” This, too, is one of the most common theses of Turkish denial, which, for example, attempts to present Van’s self-defense as an uprising against the central government.
However, for the sake of justice, it should be noted that according to the author, even if Armenians had taken up arms, it was not a justification for killing them.
In his articles, Haciyev expresses anger in connection with the fact that “Azeri” monuments in Yerevan and outside the capital are presented as Persian or Turkmen. He mentions the Blue Mosque in Yerevan as an example. It was built in the 18th century when Yerevan was part of Persia as Yerevan Khanate. And apart from Armenians, Persians, Turks and Kurds lived in Yerevan. Researcher Ruben Galchyan says in his book “Invented History” that mosques built in Yerevan during the Persian dominance cannot be considered “Azeri”, as they did not have such status during their construction though there were Azeris living in Yerevan.
The Turkmen monument mentioned by the author is likely to be the monument to Karachioyunlu headman in Argavand, Yerevan suburb, which is considered a monument dating back to the Turkmen dominion in Armenia.
Samvel Karapetyan “from Karabakh” and Pashinyan’s inauguration
Speaking of the alleged Armenian-Karabakh conflict, Haciyev pointed out that Russian-born businessman Samvel Karapetyan (who is “originally from Karabakh”) was not present at the inauguration ceremony of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Haciyev probably does not know that Pashinyan is not the president of Armenia and there is no separate inauguration of the Prime Minister in Armenia. Instead, only members of the government and the RA President now take part in the inauguration ceremony.
As for businessman Samvel Karapetyan, the latter is from Tashir, Lori province, and has no connection with Artsakh (Karabakh), and Haciyev’s claim that his absence during Pashinyan’s inauguration speaks of contrast between the Armenians and Karabakhis, is simply absurd.