Latent period of genocide by means of moral terror, social and cultural oppression and other means aimed at expelling Azeris from Armenia or at least, to considerably decrease their number.
A new stage of hounding-out of Azeris began in late 1950s. The characteristic features of this stage is that, the ideas of internationalism and friendship among the peoples were proclaimed in the words, but in fact, the opportunities to live and develop were restrained more and more for Azeris in Armenia.
The following measures were taken for this purpose:
1 – Moral terror conducted against the Azeri intelligentsia. Higher education institutions, technical schools, publishing organs in Azeri language that existed before were all closed. Both regular and correspondence courses in four faculties of the Azeri sector in the Yerevan Pedagogy Institute (created in 1930) were closed. And only in 1955 one Azeri group numbering 25 people was organized to replace them.
The Yerevan Azeri Pedagogical College, which was created in 1925 and which had played an important role in preparing pedagogical specialists in very needed Armenia at that time was closed and transferred to the Khanlar region of Azerbaijan.
The concrete results of this moral terror were the following: 5000 people graduated the Azeri schools in Armenia yearly, and since they had no opportunity to have higher education in the Armenia, most of them had to leave for other republics, especially for Azerbaijan to get higher education. Since the young Azeri specialists who had graduated from the higher education institutions were not provided with work in native places, a new wave of migration of Azeris from Armenia took place. It’s true that we lack statistics regarding resettlement of Azeris from Armenia during 1950-1980, but it’s not a secret that the number of families moved to only Azerbaijan from the villages in Armenia, was twice as much as the number of Azeris left in Armenia by 1988. For example, from 300 families of the village of Sheherjik 280 families lived in only Baku and Sumgayit by 1988. There are hundreds of similar examples.
2 – Beginning from 1960, those Azeris, who worked in the leading positions, were replaced with Armenians. Without any grounds the first secretaries of the regional party executive committee’s (raikoms) of the Basarkecher, Krasnoselsk, Karabaklar, Zangibasar, Vedi regions, (where 75-90 % of the population were Azeris) were removed from their positions, and in ten regions, where Azeris lived mixed with Armenians, second or third secretaries of the raikoms were removed from their positions as well, just because they were Azeris. The Dramatic Theatre named after Jafar Jabbarly was closed (1966), newspapers issued in Azeri in the Sisyan, Kafan, Mehri, Karabaklar, Vedi, Zangibasar, Kalinin, Idjevan regions and also a number of publishing houses under the republican ministries and organs issuing literature in Azeri language were closed as well.
3 – One of the major reasons which led to the aggravation of the Armeno-Azeri relations and further resulted in the moral terror of the Azeri population of Armenia was the celebration on the state level of the 50th anniversary of the so-called «Armenian genocide» in 1965. This celebration was organized under the influence of the Armenian diaspora and with close participation of A. Mikoyan, one of the Armenian communist toadies in the Center at that time. During the whole year from the date the decree on celebration issued till April 24 1965 all mass media worked in only one direction – anti-Turk[ish], anti-Azeri propaganda, instigation and threats. The chauvinistic «Dashnaksutiun» party, which was operating underground for long years began to act openly namely during these years. The 50th anniversary of the «Armenian genocide», which coincided with the 100th anniversary of the hateful enemy of the Azeri nation, executioner Andranik, was the cause for expanding the dashnak activities. The Armenian leadership (the first secretary of the CC CP of the Armenian SSR at that time was Y. Zorabyan) once again thanks to Mikoyan, got the permission to celebrate this jubilee too.
All the republican newspapers including the «Sovet Ermenistani» issued in Azeri celebrated the Andranik’s jubilee, as a hero of the Armenian people (the articles were published without photo, but at the jubilee night the consent from Moscow to publish the executioner’s photo was obtained). The 400,000-strong demonstration held in Yerevan on April 23 1965 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the «genocide», the slogans, which were used there showed openly the goal of this movement. Following inscriptions attracted attention on the slogans: «Western Armenia (meaning Anatolia) should belong to Armenia», «Mountainous Karabakh is ours», «Nakhichevan is a land of Armenia», «Armenians, it’s time to revenge for 1915, unite!» and others. All of these confirms that the «Karabakh movement» committee organized by the Armenian nationalists and aimed at uniting Karabakh with Armenia is not a creation of perestroika period, as some Armenian «scholars» claim, but a creature aging 50-60 years old, which acted secretly before 1960, and afterwards transformed into a nationalistic movement blatantly sowing hostility among the nations.
First deputy of the chief of the Major Investigation Department of the Office of the Public Prosecutor of the USSR V. Ilyukhin gives precise information in his interview about the history of the Karabakh movement. «We investigated closely the actions of the «Karabakh» committee. The activities of the notorious committee are far from being peaceful, as it seemed to many at first. And the «Karabakh movement» is not a creation of the perestroika, as some people claim. First mentions about it applies to 1940-1950s».
4 – The Center’s decision on the creation of the national encyclopedias was greeted in all the union republics with satisfaction. But even here Armenia was an exception. Armenians used the national encyclopedia to rouse further interethnic hostility, to increase the national egoism and national psychosis. They began from obtaining the Moscow’s consent to increase already confirmed 10-volumed encyclopedia for two more volumes. From the first volume to the last the encyclopedia was permeated with one major idea – Armenia is a great state, Armenians are unique nation and they are scattered all over the world as a result of the «genocide of 1915» which put the Armenian nation on the verge of extermination. For this purpose, the encyclopedia gives a brief history of all existed or fabricated Armenian villages in Turkey and alleges that Turks massacred all the population of these villages. The carnage committed by Armenians themselves in the same Turkey is attributed to Turks as well. Any Armenian, who reads the article «The Armenian Genocide» («Great Carnage») can take arm and begin to fight. It’s enough to read this encyclopedia article to understand hate incited amongst the Armenian youth against Turks and thereby, against Azeris. There is an article «The villages of the MKAR» about Mountainous Karabakh, but there is no single mention of Karabakh’s belonging to Azerbaijan.
5 – There was so much national discrimination in all the regions of Armenia, where Azeris lived that it is impossible to enumerate all of them. We will recall just some facts: lack of schools in most of the Azeri villages, lacks of road leading to them, disrespectful attitude against Azeris etc. Despite a big part of the water and gas-pipes passed through the Azeri villages (moreover, the latter came mostly from Azerbaijan), Azeris couldn’t make use of them. There are thousands of similar examples.
Today Armenians claim that the rights and freedoms of Armenians living in Azerbaijan, especially in Mountainous Karabakh were severely violated as a result of policy conducted on a state level in Azerbaijan. But it is not quite true. Let’s turn to the historical facts to comprehend the degree of discrimination on national basis in both Armenia and Azerbaijan. While Azeris comprised 45% (575 thousand) of the population in Armenia in 1918, the Armenian population of Azerbaijan numbered 240 thousand in 1922. In 1979 the number of Azeris living in Armenia decreased for more than three times comprising 165,000 people. And in Azerbaijan the Armenian population increased twice and reached 487,000 people. The Armenian nationalists really got accustomed to put the facts upside down. They hid the truth about the situation of Azeris in Armenia and in the same time, cried and spread rumors about the supposed violation of the rights of Armenians in Azerbaijan. After 1988 no single Azeri lives in Armenia. In the meantime, more than 20 thousand Armenians live in Azerbaijan even today (as you know, Armenians living in the occupied territories are not included here). And really, the population growth of Azeris was twice or even thrice as much as that of Armenian. So, where the discrimination on national basis took place?
As the researchers ascertain, since establishment by the decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of the title «Mother-hero» (given to mothers who had 5 or more children) 7 or 8 out of every 10 mother-heroes in Armenia were Azeri women. But, unfortunately, the number of Azeris was always understated during the population census. Many Azeris living in the villages with mixed population, and also hundreds of the Azeri families engaged in animal husbandry in the Armenian villages were not noted down in the census lists at all.
Researchers will undoubtedly prove that the number of Azeris expelled from Armenia during 1988-1989 is not 165,000 or 185,000 and even not 200 thousand, as some sources claim, but much more. The territory left by Azeris is not 6,000 sq. km as shown in some sources, but as calculations prove- 9,800 sq km. One also should take into account that before 1918 Azeris lived in 33 regions out of 36 situated in the present-day Armenia. According to the administrative-territorial division, in the past there were more than 1200 Azeri villages in these regions, and in 1988 there were left only 185 Azeri villages in 22 regions.
Source: «Historical geography of the Western Azerbaijan» Baku 1998 (In Russian)