Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Passions, History Run Deep In Safarov Case

Azerbaijani military officer Ramil Safarov is now back in Baku after serving time in a Hungarian jail for murder.
Azerbaijani military officer Ramil Safarov is now back in Baku after serving time in a Hungarian jail for murder.
By Daisy Sindelar and Arifa Kazimova
The details of the crime seem anything but heroic: a young lieutenant hacking a fellow soldier to death in his sleep, with an ax he had stealthily purchased hours before.

But for many people in the South Caucasus nation of Azerbaijan, the picture is not so simple.

Not when the assailant is an Azerbaijani whose hometown was brutally seized by Armenian forces while he was still a teenager.

Not when the victim is an Armenian who allegedly insulted the Azerbaijani flag.

And not when the circumstances that threw them together were conceived by Western officials who had failed to consider the depths of the two sides' regional animosity.

So when Ramil Safarov returned home on August 31 after eight years in a Hungarian jail for the 2004 murder of Gurgen Margarian at a NATO Partnership for Peace exercise, many Azerbaijanis were unstinting in their welcome:

"I think he was a hero, because he protected the honor and dignity of the Azerbaijani people," one woman told RFE/RL on the streets of Baku. Another resident of the Azerbaijani capital said Safarov "did the right thing" in killing Margarian.

On the other hand, Safarov's extradition from Hungary last week outraged Armenians and surprised many onlookers with the lavish gestures that followed.

The 35-year-old lieutenant was not only granted an immediate pardon from his life sentence, he was also promoted to the rank of major, promised back pay, and presented with a free apartment.

Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev offered no rationale for the promotion, simply congratulating Safarov on his return to Azerbaijan and wishing him success in his future activities in the military sector.

Anti-Armenian Invective

Local newspapers added to the fanfare, with headlines crowing that Safarov's release "will improve the psychological mood of society" and calling him "a hero for the entire Muslim world."

Safarov's conviction as a calculating ax murderer did little to temper most Azerbaijanis' enthusiasm. If anything, the gruesome nature of his crime only added to his appeal in a country where the public narrative has been shaped to portray Safarov as the victim and Margarian as the taunting aggressor.

Many Azerbaijanis repeat the theory that Margarian had urinated on the Azerbaijani flag or used it to polish his shoes. Others allege that the Armenian was not even asleep when the attack took place, and that he had provoked the attack.

No evidence from Safarov's 2006 trial in Budapest suggests either claim is true. But some Azerbaijani observers say the legacy of the Nagorno-Karabakh war and a steady diet of government anti-Yerevan invective have combined to cement an almost pathological hatred of Armenians in the minds of many Azerbaijanis.

"It's not only the Armenian soldiers and officers who are occupying our land that Azerbaijanis consider their enemy," says Baku-based political analyst Zardusht Alizadeh. "It's not only the 'Armenian terrorists' who were killed in the fighting. Because of a very skillfully constructed propaganda campaign, it's all Armenians who are considered the enemy. That's why a man who killed an Armenian in his sleep is automatically categorized as a hero."

WATCH: A vox pop from the streets of Baku on Ramil Safarov's release
What Do Azerbaijanis Think Of Freed Killer Ramil Safarov?i
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September 05, 2012
Azerbaijan has pardoned Ramil Safarov, an army lieutenant convicted in the 2004 ax murder of an Armenian soldier for allegedly "insulting" the Azerbaijani flag. Safarov had been jailed for life in Hungary, where the murder took place. But he was handed over to Azerbaijan last week and given a hero's welcome. RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service asked people in Baku how they regard Safarov.

The 1988-94 war over Nagorno-Karabakh -- an Armenian-majority region within Azerbaijani territory -- ended with the deaths of tens of thousands on each side and the displacement of hundreds of thousands more.

It also left the region and surrounding territories under Armenian control -- for Baku, an unacceptable territorial loss of some 20 percent.

Nearly two decades later, the unresolved dispute remains the focus of international negotiations whose partners, including the United States and Russia, have frowned at Azerbaijan's zealous embrace of Safarov.

But Azerbaijan -- whose dynastic leader, Ilham Aliyev, is seen as using his country's massive oil wealth to buy silence on his authoritarian practices -- has shrugged off such criticism as hypocritical meddling.

Many in the country argue that the international community remained silent when a case similar to Safarov's unfolded years earlier in Armenia.

In 2001, Yerevan welcomed home Varoujan Garabedian, a Syrian-born ethnic Armenian militant who killed eight people in a 1983 bomb attack on a Turkish Airlines check-in desk at France's Orly airport.

Following a massive lobbying campaign by the Armenian government and diaspora leaders, Garabedian was deported to Armenia after serving 17 years of a life sentence in France. Armenia's then prime minister, Andranik Markarian, expressed "joy" at Garabedian's release.*

'Radical Elements Are The Only Winners'

Erkin Gaderli, a lawyer and a member of the Republican Alternative opposition group, says he believes "no one" in Azerbaijan "seriously" thinks of Safarov as a hero.

But at the same time, he acknowledges that ordinary Azerbaijanis are confounded by the continued deadlock over Nagorno-Karabakh, and have fallen into a tit-for-tat relationship with Armenia, with each side looking to best the other on even insignificant issues.

"There is an emotion growing in society, and it's a reflection of a deep frustration with the conflict in the occupied territories," Gaderli says. "And there is a growing expectation that somehow, someday this must come to an end. Many people think that something needs to be done in response to Armenia. So whatever Armenia has done, for good or for bad, should somehow be retaliated."

There are suggestions that Armenia may already be prepared to raise the stakes, with the parliament in Yerevan now considering a hastily submitted bill on recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent country.

The outcome of such a provocation is worrisome to many who fear the countries will return to a war footing.

Even without a resumption of violence, some observers find the Safarov case a depressing development in a year when Azerbaijan has attempted to buff its Western credentials by playing Eurovision host and joining the UN Security Council.

In a piece published by the BBC's Russian Service, Thomas de Waal, a South Caucasus expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote that the affair struck a blow to many activists and officials in Azerbaijan who have spent years quietly building a dialogue with Armenia. 

With Safarov's hero-sized welcome such critical efforts may now be lost. "After the authorities in Baku met the killer with open arms, the country's image has suffered enormous damage," he wrote. "Unfortunately, the only winners are the radical elements on both sides."

* CORRECTION: The text has been amended to remove reference to Garabedian being pardoned upon his return to Armenia. He was released from a French prison after serving 17 years of a life sentence and deported to Armenia, but received no official pardon. 

Written and reported by Daisy Sindelar in Prague with additional reporting from Baku by Arife Kazimova
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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 3
by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
September 05, 2012 16:07
I do not understand of some gentlemen outrage...
There was a scandal between two men and then one man killed another..
After all, he spent 8 years in prison..
Here I must remind the gentlemen that in Putin's Russia-country that we all "love" and "adore"of such а crime gives 6,maximum 7 years in this man spent his term..
so,why such a fuss?...
In Response

by: Garo
September 05, 2012 18:27
Sure if the victim was your true brother or sister, you would have written the trash that you wrote, wouldn't you? Do you have any sense of justice? What does 'LIFE imprisonment' mean to you? It's so easy to talk..
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
September 06, 2012 00:20
Do not be nervous, Mr.Garo, I just explained to "comrades", what a prison term usually gives in Russia for a similar crime...

We can consider this crime as a result of mutual insults..Life sentence here exaggerated punishment..
That is why so much controversy surrounding this and not only because of the mutual hatred of two ethnic groups...
In Response

by: Setta from: USA
September 06, 2012 16:56
Azerbaijan is trying to align with the West - the US and Europe. Aliev's been marketing an illusion that Azerbaijan has western standards and rule of law. If Safarov had not been pardoned, he would have spent a minimum of 25 years in prison in Hungary. If he had committed such a crime in the US, he'd be sitting on death row or - if he'd plead out - life without parole.

If somebody commits first-degree murder, it doesn't matter what their motives are. The fact that he planned it in advance, purchased the axe specifically for the crime and waited until his victim was asleep, makes it first-degree murder. If any of his allegations against the victim were true - and no evidence exists that they were - he had the option to notify his superiors at NATO for disciplinary action against his purported tormenter. What is actually known is the other soldiers at the conference testified that they never witnessed any inappropriate behavior from the Armenians.

The first responsibility of a civilized society is protecting the citizenry. The victim's rights always have precedent over the perpetrator's emotional state. Perhaps, someday, Russians will advance to the point that basic principles of justice don't have to be explained to you.

This issue has enlightened many Americans of Armenian ancestry as to the true nature of the Russia-Armenia relationship. It's obvious that conditions in Armenia would improve exponentially if she were aligned with the Western Powers. The benefit to Russia will be more time to devote to your Central Asian allies with whom you have so much more in common.
In Response

by: Anon from: US
September 06, 2012 17:03
"There was a scandal between two men and then one man killed another.."

You couldn't be any less informed. Safarov axed Gurgen Margaryan 16 times in his sleep because of ethnic hatred. There was no scandal and no insults were mentioned in his initial interrogation.

8 years for a murder fueled by ethnic hatred and a promotion to a an army major and national hero? You have to be joking me. Where has the world gotten?
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
September 09, 2012 23:09
Ethnic Russians are always behind national feuds.
I had it from Russians-Prussians-Cossacks, all life!
Once two assassinations attempts one after another.
I was about 13, ethnic Russians brought a youngster,
About 16, working in constructions, make us wrestling.

I won with simple move because he was affraid of them.
They brought two swords made from construction steel
And started to harrass and mock me: -"How you dared
Defeate Russia! Now you fight duel, Russia is insulted!
Your mother was Jew. Are you affraid as Jew be killed?"

So they made me fight. When I took my sword in hand,
I felt power. Russians were mortified under bright light:
- "Angel in the sky" said one. Indeed, military plain flied
After some UFO. Each Russian had a true "Ora" face,
Treachery, murder, horror and condamnation all over.

I desarmed opponent with a stroke - he was suicidal.
He jumped - open chest at point of my sword, to die.
I pulled it aside fast - save him and turn it into a joke,
Scratched durt of his skin as cross - "You baptised!"
Russians never stop, I was called again from home.

Same adult Russians said I shouldn't believe God
And other superstisions, like "Domovoy" repeiting it.
I sad: - "If you say USSR don't believe in such staff,
I don't believe in superstition "Domovoy", like a kid."
But I overheard, leaving: - "God is agains him now!"

Same moment a Cossack , I think name Koretckiy,
Grabbed me from behind, through two yards down
To lances, made from construction armature steel,
Sharpened day before, maticulosly, by welders fire,
Prepering my execution by ethnic Russia evil quire.

When I was falling flat back down, God turn me on,
I fail by side and bent lances - none pirced through.
I was all in bruzes, bleeding - God did not abandon!
Mother brought me to court. We were told as usual:
- "We will not allow you put on trial Great Russian"!

Koretckiy and others are here for years, same evil.
His descendents in my apartment building fighting
Against me, plagiarize acheivments and slowly kill,
Use Non Lethal Weapons, Telepathy and labeling,
Dancing on with CIA. They alredy killed my mother.

Even in Army (Khrutchev made law get me there,
From an University) ethnic Russians did the same.
I alone was provoked to have feuds with Ukrainian,
With Mountain Altayan - and even with Azerbaijani!
I avoided all of them, by reason - except two guys.

I ask forgivnes from the Ukrainian, even they used
Hypnosis and provocation, and also from Altayan,
Because I did not prevent innocent being punched
By ethnic Russian. I always in my thoughts repent.
As for Azerbayjani, on my eyes Rashka instigated:

"You can get him! Don't worry about it! Pull knife!"
He pulled knife on me I jocked that I had a knife too,
While he was dancing arround - in hypnotized kaif.
I showed him small pocket knife, to sober his brew,
Till more people came and telepaths told him leave.
In Response

by: Anonymous
September 13, 2012 08:25
I don't know how it is in Russia (and would be genuinely surprised if it were 7 years for a premeditated murder, there aren't too many crimes more heinous than this one that I can think of and don't understand what one would have to do in Russia to merit a longer sentence), but in most civilized societies, a premeditated murder is punished by a sentence far more severe than 7 years. In case you're hoping to argue that he was acting under provocation, I find that line of argument absurd. A man or a woman acting under heat of passion attacks immediately, doesn't leave the scene (which no one witnessed), doesn't go buy an axe, doesn't wait till the alleged offender falls asleep, doesn't sneak into his room in the middle of the night, and doesn't strike a sleeping man numerous times in the head while screaming something along the lines of "death to Armenians."
In Response

by: KillAzaribeHero from: USA
September 16, 2012 10:30
I don't care what they do in Russia. Every country has its own laws. But in this case there was no scandal. He killed a man in his sleep during a NATO training and he was welcomed as a hero in his country. If this are the Azeri heroes than this country is full of cowards. The problem is he was welcomed as a hero and promoted are any of your so called criminal in Putin Russia considered Heroes?
In Response

by: Ed from: U.S.
September 18, 2012 10:41
No scandal of a verbal form deserves 16 ax strikes, even if that is even true that Markarian did insult the Azeri Flag. Also, Safarv wasn't done yet. He did attempt murder on the second Armenian in another room locked. That is to be counted as a crime.

Also, Russia isn't a good example for the world to follow. Russia is not the world. We are talking about a NATO member nation, Hungry.
The one you call a man is not man enough to admit to his guilt and his country is also the criminal mastermind behind his heinous crimes. Life time in prison is actually a bonus for him, he deserves to be executed for taking a young man's life and hurting his family at a time when there is no wartime event.

by: Arto T from: Vancouver
September 05, 2012 16:26
As the article mentioned, there was not one shred of evidence presented during the trial that proved Margaryan insulted Safarov or his beloved piece of cloth. Actually they couldn’t even find anyone that could confirm that the two ever talked to each other. It’s just propaganda by the Azeri’s to give justify the murder. As if insulting one’s flag is grounds to axe that person to death while he is sleeping.

by: D. Antal from: Amsterdam / Budapest
September 05, 2012 16:35
Savarov murdered a man in his sleep with 26 strikes of an axe in a dormitory. I cannot imagine a more coward way killing a person. The fact that this man is a pardoned and immediately promoted officer of an Army tells a lot about the morale of that organization.

by: Art from: USA
September 05, 2012 16:40
Nothing justifies the barbaric killing a fellow human being with an axe while he is a sleep in a non-combative environment. I disagree with the way in which the writers present this article--almost rationalizing the killing. “Not when the assailant is an Azerbaijani whose home town was brutally seized by Armenian forces while he was still a teenager.” This statement is utterly deplorable. It condones killing the innocent. For every innocent Armenian who was killed by Azeri thugs during the 1990s pogroms in Baku, the descendents of those victims should seize the opportunity, wherever they are in the world, and avenge the deaths of their kins by killing Azeris? Is this the message the writers are conveying?
In Response

by: chung
September 05, 2012 18:46
I think your comment confirms the article's point that both sides see everything in black and white, and only the other side did wrong. Were there no innocent Azeris who suffered? And that the Azeri government, at least, also whips up a nationalist frenzy to suit its purposes.
In Response

by: Anon from: US
September 06, 2012 17:30
I am sorry chung, but just because there are two sides to the Armenian-Azeri conflict does not necessarily mean that they're both equally guilty or spread hate equally.

Just a few points to keep in mind:
Armenians of Karabakh were having peaceful protests requesting a referendum for autonomy; it was the massacre of Sumgait by Azerbaijan and similar agression in a few more places that started the war. Both sides suffered greatly during the war, but not equally.

Armenians in general are not filled with hatred towards the entire nation of Azerbaijan, and are certainly not being taught that in their schools. They do not have revisionism all over their textbooks and media to create a history, as their history is well-known and well-studied. On the other hand, Azerbaijan as a country first appeared in the history only in 1918, and instead of embracing that fact, Azerbaijan for some reason feels like it has to have a history as old as its neighbors to legitimize its own existence, hence Azeri textbooks stop nothing short of appropriating Armenian churches, monuments, and even feudal princes. It is so shocking that you find it hard to believe until you go look at their sources. This same state also continuously brainwashes its own population into thinking that Armenians are the scum of the earth, and in the words of Safarov himself, "we will suffer until they exist" and "my job is to kill them all".

Armenia's vision of a hero cannot even be compared to that of Azerbaijan. National novel of Azerbaijan (Ali and Nino) from mid 20th c. is about an Armenian who steals the love of an Azerbaijani. National epic of Armenia (Daredevils of Sassoun) from 8th c. depicts a hero who fights for justice, face-to-face and in fair ground to protect innocents, and impersonates values of fairness, justice, honesty and loyalty.

So if you see Armenians getting enraged, it's because they play by the rules, and they're interested in defending themselves and have never been aggressors, and then you have an Azerbaijan that is desperate to build a national hero from an axe-murderer that cowardly kills in sleep, and just because it is oil rich, the world tends to look the other way and justify by saying there are two sides to every conflict.
In Response

by: Ed
September 18, 2012 11:26
Azeris make a lot of things up to oppose damage Armenians. What happened during 80's has deeper roots than the 80's.
Before WWI ther was never a nation called Azerbaijan on the map, while Armenians existed for thousands of years in that location. After the Armenian genocide Russia, Turkey, and some other countries were looking into signing treaty to end conflict and give independance to Armenians and others in caucases. As a demand from Turkey, Russia incorporated a large portion of south caucases to Azeris and I am not sure Nakhijevan (another 98% poppulated Armenian region) was also given to them at that time or later.

As both Armenia and Azerbaijan continued to be part of soviet union, Armenians of Nakhijevan were slowly driven out of Nakhijevan by opression from Azeris and their contoling leadership. In Karabakh the significant Armenian poppulation remained under pressure without the full rights that Azeris enjoyed during the soviet period. At the end the bubble burst and Armenians had it.

During the 80's a serious of violent clashes took place between Azeris and Armenians. After the demostration by Karbakh Armenians, Azeris began to lunch anti-Armenian activities in many areas of Karabakh, Baku, and Sumgate.
The Azeris hurt Armenian beyond Azerbaijan. The 1988 earthquick that strunk Armenia was dependant of help from Russia in order to save lives. Unfortunately the train passed through Azerbaijan into Armenia and was looted and sent to Armenia with dead animal carcases. This resulted in 10's of thousands of dead in Spitak (Armenian region) and other areas struck by earthquick.
The Azeris also insulted Armenian history in their boarders, such as using our historic buildings to built schools, instead of protecting them.
Today there is no trace of our midevel history in Nakhijevan where the biggest midevel semetary with 26000 beautiful cross stones were destroyed gradually during soviet era and excellerated after Karabakh independance to almost non today. And Nakhijevan is still in Azeri control.

Both in the late 90's and in 2000's the Azeris have attempted to fabricate lies about Armenian brutality. Lies are also recently being fabricated by ultranationalist Turks about Armenians killing Turks instead of the genocide, to support their denial. These lies popped up after the silence regarding countless massgraves were revieled to the world in 2006 and after. Hummmmmm.

The Azeris will try to break as many international laws as possible to hurt and damage Armenia as they can possibly get away with. They are actively persuing anti-Armenian goals for years now.

Also, Safarov killed the Markarian because he was taught to hate Armenians and be an Anti- Armenian, which along with his own merderous instict decided to kill an Armenian in his sleep and continue killing his dead body again and again and again, without remorse.

This said, Perhaps many Armenians whose parents, brothers, and other family members who were brutally killed by Azeris, given that they were taught to hate Azeris and had the criminal minds to commit such crime they should of commited a similar one by now.

If Azerbaijan gets away with this then the world is in idiological, ethical, and moral trouble.
And for Armenias, we must be cautious where we go and be afraid. But, I hope we stand up to this cowerdous act and remain strong.

by: Greg from: Armenia
September 05, 2012 17:23
Its clear that the massive military buildup in the region suggests the two nations will go to war sooner or later. Cases like this have nothing to do with Safarov per se, it's about gaining political dividends or improving positions at talks. That's the cynicism of this entire situation. Meanwhile, the right thing would be to look at the matter from the point of view of law. What Hungary did is appalling and it must take the consequences and what Azerbaijan did is appalling. These two deserve international condemnation. But whether or not a war starts in Karabakh, it has a different rationale. The Safarov affair could only be a trigger. But I doubt either side is ready for a big war now or their political leaders will risk their wealths to unleash a war.
In Response

by: Ahmadov from: Baku
September 06, 2012 10:58
War by Armenia? Come on, you cannot be serious. The one who wants military operations to start is the Azeri side because it is our 20% of internationally recognized territories that are under Armenian occupation. Armenia will never dare to start war unless its boss Russia instructs so.
As for Safarov, never forget why he did so. He suffered from the hands of Armenian military and lost his home as a child. Later, he was insulted and took revenge. That is so simple. Why to make so much fuss out of this?
In Response

by: Anon from: US
September 06, 2012 17:40
Aha, Safarov himself said in his interrogation that "I hate [Armenians] so much" and "my job is to kill them all". So don't be a tool to Azeri media; do you have any proof that "he was insulted"?

Artsakh has never been Azerbaijani land; Azerbaijan as a country does not even have a fraction of Artsakh's history, which makes that claim so absurd. It was given to Azernaijan in the 20's by Stalin as an autonomous region to be under its control. The modern Republic of Azerbaijan declared itself a legal successor to the Azerbaijan of 1918 with no internationally recognized borders rather than a successor to Soviet Azerbaijan, which makes the claim you took to the UN after the independence invalid according to your own declaration of independence. How Azerbaijan lied to the UN into accepting it is beyond me.
In Response

by: Aynur from: Baku
September 15, 2012 13:32

Your response shows MUCH revisionism in your history books indeed and that was also present in the Soviet history textbooks. What Azerbaijan is doing now is RESTORING its history and doing it with participation of foreign scientists, to ensure legitimacy and validity. And the history as well as genetic evidence shows that indeed Azerbaijanis have been formed mainly based on the population of Caucasian Albania who we all consider our ancestors. Due to historic reasons, the people's religion was changed by concurrers and for some it's it not an immediate thought to link Christian Albanians with present day Muslim Azeris. Karabakh (Artsakh = Ar Sak's land = the land of Brave Saks (Scythians) in Azeri) has always been part of Caucasian Albania and due to it's geography Christianity there survived the most (mountains provided good sanctuary). Armenians who arrived here later assimilated part of these Albanians, the other (bigger) part contributed into Azeri nation's formation. The Albanian churches and Monasteries, after Russia abolished the Albanian Church which by that time under influence of Armenians turned from Orthodox into Gregorian like Armenian. Russia did not need two heretic churches in Caucasus, so they cancelled one, leaving Karabakh Albanians (also Turkic people and Caucasian people) to choose to either become Muslim like the rest of ALbanians or remain Christian and eventually adopt the Armenian language). The genetic evidence is showing who Azeris are and yea Azerbaijan has always been, and Caucasian Albania by that time became ethnically similar to the ancient Atropatena (no population replacement, simply fusion of various tribes into one under one language and religion) and to reflect that, in 1918 the North decided that name Azerbaijan is the most legitimate name for the new Democratic Republic. Caucasian Albania has EVERYTHING to do with the Azeris just like the name AZERBAIJAN. And your revised history books will not tell you that (it's a know fact that Albanian history has been misappropriated by Armenians since 19 century) Azeris are former Albanians who chose Turkic language as their principal language and this happened because Turkic people lived here always and the arrival of more in 11 century strengthened that element and let it take over WITHOUT ANY population replacement). This is how Christian, Shamanistic and Zoroastrian Caucasian Albanians of various ethnic backgrounds (genetically similar but ethnically differing: turkic-saka-scythian, caucasian-lezgic, iranic-medes) became Muslim Azeris of today. The people in the South (in Iran) are the same people which is proven genetically as well. Some Albanians fused into the Armenian nation (linguistically). Here, it is appropriate to mention that genetically that modern Armenians and Azeris are similar if not identical. Being at crossroads of human migrations, various populations from Anatolia to Caucasus and Iran have although genetically similar acquired different languages and religion under the influence of various invading elements. We all have to live peacefully with each other however, greater nations interfere and create various ethnic conflicts, we become victims of. Azerbaijan is formed within the borders of former Caucasian Albania from Caucasian Albanians (71%) and invading elements (29%), present day Azeris. Karabakh-Artsakh (ArSakh) has always been part of this formation and will remain so. Even when Karabakh Azeris fled Karabakh they went to Sheki region (Sake- centre of former region of Sakasena of Caucasian Albania) as always Karabakh and Sheki region were like one ethnic belt anyway (Caucasian-Scythian=Albanian). All my words can be supported by some scientific research OUTSIDE Azeri sources. This place is not the right place to present the sources as it will run into a full thesis.
In Response

by: Anon from: USA
September 17, 2012 18:37
Aynur, the joke's on your side when history books written by historians around the world say one thing, and Azerbaijani history books say the opposite thing, and you come here and call the non-Azerbaijani history books "revisionistic."

The first Turkic people got around Armenian Highlands around 7th century AD, and first Turkic stated didn't spring up until 11th century AD. The Tatars were one of these Turkic tribes, that came to Caucasus and though spread their language to some of the Persians of the region, they never had a state or government of their own. It wasn't until 19th century that these Tatars started calling themselves Azerbaijani, creating a national identity fueled by pan-Turkic tendencies stemming from the Ottoman Empire. The By the rise of this national identity and the nationalism associated with it, the Tatars killed thousands of Armenians in 1905 in Baku and then in Shushi, and afterwards for the first established an Azerbaijani state in 1918, because the Ottomans needed an oil foothold.

Go read some history from *any* neutral source and stop spreading the blabber that they teach you as history in Azerbaijan's schools. Your government is doing you a disservice by preventing you from learning the truth, and creating a self-image based on lies. It's credulity like this that gives rise to hate-crimes like that of Safarov's and is most worrying.
In Response

by: Ed
September 19, 2012 07:10
I call that international recognition an international mistake. You know your history and you know how many years Azerbaijan existed on this planet. No region with significantly poppulated by Armenians to begin with should of been recognized as part of Azerbaijan to begin with. This goes for both Karabakh and Nakhijevan.

The world forgot post WWI treaties and how it placed your country on the map. And the world went on to celiborate the fall of soviet union and recognized a less than one hundred years old country by mistake.
And the world has to know that Karabakh's liberation didn't end settle the case. Nakhijevan which was 98% poppulated by Armenians and had rich midevel history were forcefully emptied along with the history destroyed.

And now the world is stock with it so that they don't anger muslims.

We know better that what we have we still have more to get even. Our ancestors left Nakhijevan to scape another genocide of hundreds of thousands, because they wanted to save their souls, lives, and their families. That's just how we Armenians are, since unlike turkics, power and dominance is not the highest priority in our rich culture.

But, when time come we will go for fully restoring what was ours to begin with.

by: Samvel from: Yerevan
September 05, 2012 17:44
Very often I don't understand the journalistic "objectivism."
Reference to Varuzhan Karapetyan is totally irrelevant. He fully served his sentence in French prison. He was pardoned by the French authorities, not by Armenian, and he was not glorified and used as an instrument to cultivate ethnic hatred.
In Response

by: Ahmadov from: Baku
September 06, 2012 11:00
You wrote: <he was not glorified and used as an instrument to cultivate ethnic hatred.> You must be too young not to remember that. I myself remember he was glorified and used as an instrument to cultivate ethnic hatred. So everybody construes journalistic objetivism based on their interests.
In Response

by: RFE/RL editors
September 06, 2012 11:08
The text has been amended to remove reference to Garabedian being pardoned upon his return to Armenia. He was released from a French prison after serving 17 years of a life sentence and deported to Armenia, but received no official pardon.
In Response

by: greg from: virginia
September 20, 2012 17:41
thank you rfe/rl editors. Ahmadov, you may be correct that some armenians glorified karapetyan's release. But the armenian government did not issue a pardon to him. and there are many armenians like myself, who don't condone blowing up turks or anybody else at an airline check in counter just because they are of the same ethnic background as someone who wronged one of my relatives once upon a time (like in ottoman armenia in 1915 in my grandma's case).

by: Alissa T
September 05, 2012 18:03
What a shameful propaganda piece.

by: Ozgur from: Turkey
September 05, 2012 18:21
If you just follow the link ( these are the armenian peoples who nominates killers as hero.
Also president of Armenia is the well known war criminal who had the active role at Khojali Massacre. I don't know how people suing each other if they were exactly did same thing also still occupaing their land
In Response

by: RD
September 05, 2012 21:16
Here you go again, a Turk who justifies a crime using another crime as explanation. This is the justification Turks always use to explain why the Armenians of Anatolia had to be wiped out. "The Armenians were joining forces with the Russians, so they had to be exterminated from Anatolia". Ozgur, if you get Serzh Sarkissian charged with a crime by a noteworthy court and he is then pardoned by Armenia, then you can talk. Otherwise, you are embarassing yourself and should stick to reading comic books.
In Response

by: Rush from: Azerbaijan
September 05, 2012 21:21
Ozgur you should also imply death of Turkish diplomats by the armenian terrorist (ASALA) whose participants have been released later by the france and US although they had got life sentence too.
In Response

by: RD
September 06, 2012 19:30
Hence my point. Further justification of a crime using another event as an explanation. Rush, you and Ozgur should stick to comic books.
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
September 05, 2012 22:22
Just like your nation is occupying Western Armenia, You and your azeri pet project are the same nomadic tribal band of barbarians that's all you are to us, because we know the general history, and not the history that is fictional turkic version. Esher!!!
In Response

by: ilham from: Baku
September 14, 2012 19:35
Oh my God. There is no Armenia at all. remember that Armenians settled to Caucasus after Iran Russian peace declarations (Turkmenchay and Gulustan) from Iran, Turkey. This is Tzar Pyotrs politics. To have a slave with whom they can manage and use when they need. And i don't think killing an armenian will resolve Karabakh problem and will cure Ramil's wound. He was a witness of his family's, relatives, people's, nations tragedy. And this psycologically changed his view to armenians. and it's obvious that armenia was and still guest i Karabakh. They destroyed the monument which they made in 60th - 150 anniversary of settling armenians to Karabakh. they were only nomad tribes nowhere to live. If you are talking about barbarian stuff go and find khogaly massacre. Sarkisyan who is in position is one of the killers. I just can't understand, you lived with Azeris together and how could he stop his feelings all of this years. To hate azeri's and to live with them years. how human could be so atrocious. He is a killer, his hands are in blood of innocent people. He should be and will be punished. I believe the day will come and justice will vanquish and this will be soon.
In Response

by: Vic from: Melik
September 06, 2012 01:15
I'm just surprised at webmaster, to allowing this kind of propaganda to published. Judging by the names Arife Kazimov must be Azeri and Daisy Sindelar - not. So she has no knowledge what is happening otherwise she wouldn't put her signatures under the article. Dear Kazimova before saying that Armenians are to be blamed for everything, please go back a few years and try to recall pogroms in Sumgait and later in Baku where thousand innocent people were killed. Also don't forget that at the turn of 20th century Armenians built Baku they put the core stones for what Baku is today. Now about the pardoning. Azeri made a poor judgement, they gonna loose their credibility around the world. Who gonna believe them. They acted like a coward, like an Azeri. What they telling people? Go ahead kill your your enemy asleep you will be a hero. Common ....
And for Ozgur I'll say please....don't
In Response

by: Gohar from: New York
September 06, 2012 02:45
ozgur, don't you feel sick just by the fact that these blood-sucking psychopaths are your (citing erdogan) ''freres de sang''? though you are turkish, why am I even wasting my time here...
In Response

by: Anita from: Yerevan
September 10, 2012 11:38
The worst out all of this is that if the world does not properly react to this crime and the Safarov case, the world will go worse, and such crimes will repeat. I am very sorry for the Azeri innocent children who are being raised up in this atmosphere and who already have the potential to become criminals. shame on azeri nation for ruining their coming generations and deteriorising the whole world.
In Response

by: Ed
September 19, 2012 17:53
Stop with this Khojali crap. This Khojali v.s. Sumgate, the Khojali v.s. the nationwide Azeri porgorm. In the crossfire civilians died. But, nothing matches the Armenian genocide which Turkey still denies and lies about it to ditch responsibility.

Azeris hurt Armenians more than just controling our lands. one thing is true, and that's the reason for their country to exist in the first place. Turkey played big role, I understand your pain.
The Azeri controled Nakhijevan drove the 98% Armenians out of there and destroyed all traces of history.

And if Azeris get killed to take those lands back, we Armenians are willing to give our lives to achieve it.
Turkey has a big reputation for distorting facts, because they are just too proud and too afraid to loos the leftovers of Ottoman empire they are clinging to for now.

Just as Azeris should keep their noses out of the ASALA in order to justify that monster's crime (Safarov), Turks need to keep their noses out of this to justify your denial. Afterall you Turks have proven to be good at keeping silent about a lot of things that could of jepordized your denial success. Such example is the decades of keeping silent about the mass graves which belonged to the Christians Ottomans killed during genocides.

by: RD
September 05, 2012 21:22
The Azeris callling Safarov a hero etc. are pathetic. It is very courageous to kill a sleeping man. Bunch of cowards. Furthermore, there is no proof the Armenian officer insulted the Azeri rag. Regardless, the president of Azerbaijan promoted a criminal to a hero. I guess this is modus operandi in Azerbaijan.

by: Alex from: LA
September 05, 2012 22:28
Not a single photo of the victim, not even once in all the pieces that RFE/RL this is because they been paid to slowly to justify this murderer. Praise all the terrorist that killed cowardly and not just those that in the interest of other nations. If that the status quo over there in Prague and Washington offices. Justify the 'freedom fighters' that flew into the tower on 9/11, the militants that blew themselves up in Spain and UK, justify those too. If you can do it here do for all. RFE/RL is doing the same with North Caucasian terrorist by calling them militants, one day they will call them freedom fighter. This site should be shut down and removed from federal budget for their corrupt stories.
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