It is may be not so much to speak about the horrible March slaughters against Azerbaijan Turks and whole Azerbaijanis at the beginning of XX century in such article. As the scale of those slaughters were so big that it would be few to write books, to shoot movies about them. In this case we felt our duty to base on concrete facts and to lighten some moments of March genocide.
The hatred of Armenians to our nation for a long time emerged in last century with bareness. Let’s put aside the Armenian wildness in last Karabakh events and show this openly making excursus to 93 years before to 1918 year.
After the overthrow of Romanovs dynasty in Russia in October of 1917 and the governance of Bolsheviks stood in mind with some changes in Russia and in its colonies. It was some years that nations struggled secretly and persisted against tsarism in different forms in order to repair freedom and sovereignty. The civil war and governance crisis in Russia turned into the flames of freedom wishes of nations in some case. But new forces came to strangle those wishes. They were Bolsheviks and Armenians. If the first tried to end national governance changing political order, the second tried to annihilate local Turkish population and tries to move Armenians there and create the “Big Armenia”.
Then there was Soviet Nations Commissariat with the leading of Shaumyan in Baku and that falsified organ turned to the executors of wishes of Bolsheviks and Dashnaks. There can be question that the Bolshevik and Dashnak ideologies are contrary to each other. How can Shaumyan lead those slaughters while leading socialist camp? First of all want to note that, yes those ideologies are different. One of them is consist of organ which is ill with radical armenism and consist of inadmissible claims and its political line, the other one is government form which propagates in word the “equality” terminology without depend on ethnic and religious belongings which carry social-communist thoughts. There is only one moment which has no difference, which was impossible to be determined by especially healthy convinced socialists. This was the existence of Stepan Shaumyan. Though this person looked like strong convinced socialist, he was one of the radical leaders of Dashnaks. There was no difference between Shaumyan who hid under the socialist curtain and acted in order to get rights to his bad activity and Andronik. As he leaded March slaughters, this show that he was a dashnak without exaggeration. This shows that Shaumyan just was a staff by Dashnaksutyun who was entered to socialist camp secretly by Dashnaksutyun. Historian, the reporter member of Azerbaijan National Science Academy Yaqub Mahmudob writes giving right characteristics to dashnaks: “The Dashnaksutyun party was consists of armed bands organized from ten fighters in each of them. In other words, “Dashnaksutyun: was not political party, was an armed terrorism organization. Hncaw and Dashnaksutyun terrorists competed with robbing Azerbaijan and Eastern Anadoly villages. Those parties and organizations who put terror as an aim in their official programs began the most bloody crime of history by calling “death to Turks”.
In this case socialists that gave place to armed struggle in program and becoming far from racist thoughts could not be close to dashnaks. Generally, Yelizavetpol governor A.Kachalov characterized the close relationship with socialists and dashnaks in his report to Caucasus governor: “Racism soul is such main character in Armenians that it is impossible to think that can reject from it in a little time. There is no doubt that Dashnaksutyun made dishonesty in front of strong faith socialists by joining to Socialists party. As Armenian nation never can understand deeply the socialism ideas. It is not possible to make Armenian believe in that proletarian from tatar (Azerbaijanian) nation is more close to you than bourgeois representative. Just dashnaks could hide themselves as always in such moment too”.
In March of 1918 cruel robbery and killings began in different regions of Azerbaijan. Doctor of history science Hecer Verdiyeva writes: “in February of 1918 in Erzurum province of Turkey gang bands of Andronik made unbelievable crimes. In that period Russian Bolsheviks protected Armenian nationalists and V. Lenin delivered 6.194.784 rubl aid disinterestedly. In order to realize autonomy to Turkish Armenians and based on spread of bolshevism ideas on bayonet end V. Lenin and his company ordered S.Shaumyan to establish soviet governance in Eastern Anadolu and gave extraordinary commissariat mandate in Caucasus to him. But as S.Shaumyan was not in a hurry to Little Asia and as this order was far from reality became inspiration of March slaughters in Baku.
First of all slaughters ended life of 12000 people in Baku. So, the victory of Musavat party in elections held in Baku Soviet became reason that dashnak-bolshevik forces became radical. Now the strongest party in Azerbaijan was considered “Musavat”. The main aims of that party were territorial autonomy and political governance in Azerbaijan. The Bolshevik forces under the leading of S.Shaumyan, Armenian national soviet and Dashnaksutyun party leaders began was against Musavat. In reality, it changed into not struggle among parties, but to incident among nations and real genocide against local Azerbaijan population. In such time, Azerbaijan national forces were few and poor armed. Shaumyan knew well that in tsarizm period Azerbaijan population did not have military service. At the result people forget how to use arm. That is why his wish to ‘teach” local population came into reality. In 29th March the disarmament of staff of the “Eveline” ship considered from Muslims was result of national slaughter. The band of Muslim division consists of 48 people which brought the body of Mehemmed Tagiyev the son of H.Z.Tagiyev to Baku in 17th March of 1918 should return to Lenkeran after the funeral of Mehemmed with “Evelina” ship. A little time to the move of steamer from bridge Bolsheviks demanded from Muslim staff to put arms on the ground. After they refused Bolsheviks answered them with arms and machine guns. Arms in the ship were confiscated by Bolsheviks. Professor Anar Iskenderov who researched about March genocide writes: “the use of Armenian military parts by S. Shaumyan made that slaughter deeper. In order to make prefix as is defending Bolsheviks, Armenian military forces inflicted Turkish-muslim population. Want to note that, Baku Soviet and its army consisted of Armenians. Dashnaks in Soviet Sako Saakyan, Arakelyan and others tried to make obstacles to accept Muslim workers into Bolshevik bands. Dashnaks made obstacles to establish national army for Azerbaijan, using the name of Soviet realized nationalist-chauvinist politics with diligence, prepared slaughters against Turk-Muslim population in Baku, Shamaxi and other regions of Azerbaijan. In this case Armenian National Committee was especially active. Robbery against Muslims were in Shamaxi, Goycay, Gence, Nuxa, Qazakh, Lenkeran, Salyan, in one word in all regions of Azerbaijan.” As the fact that the army leaded by Shaumyan was organized mostly from Armenians more than Bolsheviks is also approved by Armenian scientist Q.Avetisyan. He notes that: “ there were four brigade consist of 25 regiment, 18 thousand fighters. 70 percent of Red Army fighters were Armenians”.
So the slaughters showed its horrible face. Streets were full of thousands of innocent people. Armenians did not feel sorrow to nobody even to babies. Baku Soviet under the leadership of Shaumyan inflicted the whole qaza (the territorial unit in soviet) people. The member of Extraordinary Research Commission A. A. Kluge wrote in his report named “the issue about the violence against the Muslim population of Baku city” to the chairman of Commission:” Armenian soldiers who prepared and armed well attacked with many machine-guns. Armenians entered the homes of Muslims, killed people, cut them with daggers and drilled them with bayonets, threw babies into fires, played with 3-4 days babies on bayonets, did not feel sorry for infants, killed all of them”.(6)
So the whole population of Mehemmedeli and Zibillidere estates of Baku were sabred. Profesor Khaqani Mammedov writes: “Armenians destroyed all homes, social buildings, schools, cultural enterprises. The “Kaspi” publishing house, the office of “Aciq soz” newspaper, “Ismailiyye” building where the Muslim Charity Society was situated was burnt. The minarets of “Teze Pir” mosque were full of holes because of bullets. As in some places Armenian intellectuals lead the fighting soldiers proved that the tragedy was formed on nationalism bases. Well known politics and public man S. C. Pisheveri who witnessed the wildness done by Armenians wrote that, in 30, 31st and 1st April many Muslims were killed in day and night slaughters. More than 10 thousand people were killed. Pisheveri wrote that in 1918 he saw Armenian wildness, how they burnt bodies with his own eyes. (7)
Of course such wildness was not done only in Baku, but also was done in most regions of Azerbaijan, local Muslim population were killed wildly. The only Shamakhi events are the open example how one nation is exposed to genocide. The actions done by Bolshevik-dashnak forces under the leadership of Lalayev in Shamakhi city which is historical-antic place of Azerbaijan cannot be discussed. Even the wildest animals do not act like that to their victims, but Armenians did against peaceful, armless Shamakhi population.
Khasmemmedov the chairman of Yelizavetpol Muslim National Soviet wrote in his telegram sent to the chairman of South Caucasus Government Seymin in 28th March of 1918, “in 18thMarch the s oldier groups consist of about 2000 best armed soldiers who had cannon and machine-guns went in direction to Shamakhi qeza. Band destroyed more than 15 Muslim villages on the way and destroyed Shamakhi city. Thousands of Muslims, also women and children were killed. It is impossible to describe the tragedy. Outrages and violence is out of limit. The help of government is need urgently”. (8).
Armenians attacked to 83 villages of Shamakhi, destroyed 52 villages, thousands of people were killed. Only in Engerakhan village situated 2 kilometer from Shamakhi Armenian gangs did terrible slaughters. In 18th March early morning there was sudden attack to Engerakhan village situated 3-4 verst (measure unit). There are names of 237 people who were killed in terrible tortures by Armenians in research materials about the wildness done by Armenians who entered to defenseless village. (Look: ARSA. F. 1061. Pag. 1, issue 100, lists 19-24). (9).
The hatred of blood drinker Lalayev to Turks was so cruel that the crimes he did even made protests in people around him. His comrade I. Boqomolov complained from Lalayev for his wildness in those events. In apply of I.Boqomolov to A. Caparidze is said: “Again I ask you to arrest Lalayev. He killed many women and babies, robbed homes. When Emirov wanted to arrest him he run and hid. Everybody affirm that he burnt mosque and killed many women there” (10). But it was open that Shaumyan and other Armenians were stood for Lalayev. That is why they did not arrest him, but also he signed to horrible crimes strengthening slaughters.
During events all people who could not run were killed in Shamakhi, people who survived died from suffer, hunger and cold. Neither in world war nor then no nation saw such tragedies which done in Shamakhi. Those slaughters were done under the flag of Bolsheviks who showed themselves as friend of Muslims by Armenians. (11).
The author of “Shamakhi slaughter” book historian Meherrem Zulfuqarli notes in his text: “there are different information about the count of killed people in Shamakhi in March-April months of 1918. In some information it is shown that 7 thousand people, in some 8 thousand, in some 8-12 thousand, in some 40 thousand people were killed. In 1920 year in migrant literature it is shown that about 12 thousand people were killed, in other source it is shown that about 17 thousand people were killed” (12).
In generally, while looking throw Shamakhi slaughters we can see that in 53 village of qeza Armenian army lead by Lalayev killed 8027 Azerbaijanis. 4190 from them were men, 2560 women and 1277 children. Armenians robbed the property of Azerbaijanis in Shamakhi city cost about 1 billion manat, burnt and destroyed all homes of the city. 13 mosque also “Cume” mosque which is considered all historical monument and is 800 year old were burnt. These facts are approved by Extraordinary Research Commission too (13).
It is noted in one article published in “Azerbaijan” newspaper about Shamakhi events that, the reprisals done by S. Lalayev to Shamakhi Muslims leave behind the whole horrors we faced during the war. (14).
The Extraordinary Interrogation Commission also researched the slaughters done by Armenians in Kurdemir, Goycay, Cengi, Qaravelli, Qarabucaq, Musafali, Khelil-Qasimbey, Ereb-Mehdibeyli villages, and in Sultanov and Sadali farmsteads. As a result of researches it was known that Armenians burnt 56 house, 127 farmsteads, 2 mosque and rich library about the interpretation of “Koran” in Kurdemir. (15).
Candidate of a degree of
History Institution under ANSA,
The founder of “OGUZ” Independent Research Group and
the member of Management staff.
- Y. Mahmudov “Big Armenia imaginary: “ideology of slaughter, terror and mastering other’s lands” . State and religion..-2009.-№4.-S.83-90
- Pashayev Atakhan. By tracks of unopened pages. Bakı, 2001, pg. 207-225
- H. Verdiyeva «Science and Life».-2009.-№2.-S.8-11.
- A. İskəndərov. “Azərbaycan” qəzeti, 01-02. 2005
- “Коммунист” (Ереван), 26 августа 1989, №199.
- ARDSPŞHA, f. 277, pg. 2, issue 16, list. 20)
- Kh. Məmmədov, N. Məmmədov, March slaughter of 1918 “Respublika”.2010.-30 march.-N 64.-S.4.
- Abışov V.Ş. The slaughters of Azerbaijanis. 1918-1920-years. Bakı: Qartal, 2001, s. 106.
- ARDA. f. 1061, siy. 1, iş 100, vər. 19 -24).
- “Azərbaycan” newspaper 1918-ci il, 21 October
- Central Committee of Azerbaijan Communist Party– f.1, pg.85, issue 462, l.518-522.
- M. Zulfuqarlı. “Shamakhi genocide –1918” – Bakı-2011, pg,16
- ARSA, f. 1061, pg. 2, issue 85, 87, 100 and so on.
- “Azərbaycan” newspaper, 1918-year, N:19
- Абдулбагиева С. Мартовский геноцид 1918 г. Бакинский рабочий газ. 30 марта 2010.