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On February 19th a joint forum of International Organization of Unrepresented Nations and Talish National Movement was held in Еuropean Parliament (Brussels) which was dedicated to the issues on establishing peace in the Caucasus, particularly, problems of the national minorities, first of all Talish people whom were given 2 from total 6 reports.

Leader of Talish National Movement, Talish-Mugan Republic’s President Alakram Gummatzoda (more known as Colonel Gumbatov who recently had visited Armenia and Artsakh(Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) gave the main speech. The second speech was given by Talish Movement’s member, political analyst Mrs Farziya Lankony (Kerimova).

We talked about this Forum with Yerevan State University Iranian Studies Chair Head, Professor Garnik Asatryan.

– Let’s ask you first : are you familiar with the statement of the press service of the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan entitled as “Hard answer to Defense Minister of Armenia Seyran Ohanyan “?

– Yes, of course. This statement can definitely be classified as а typical product of Azerbaijani propaganda, i.e. “worked out” in the spirit of malice and falsification, not to mention the lack of basic knowledge practically in all areas. I have repeatedly said that the greatest tragedy of the people of Azerbaijan today is the lack of a clear sense of national identity which is clearly seen in the so-called “hard” statement. Look, contrary to the most important element of the Azerbaijani mentality at present which is brotherhood and unity with Turkey expressed in the slogan ” One nation, two states” , a sense of belonging to the Turkic ethnic group does not prevail among Azerbaijanis, moreover, on a subconscious level, in some sense, to be a Turk is not considered prestigious by an Azeri.

Then, how we could explain the reference of State of Manna, Atropatena, Scythian Kingdom ( although, however, such a kingdom did not exist ) and Aghvank as state formations on the territory of the contemporary Republic of Azerbaijan, and thus , so to say, evidences of the early history of Azerbaijan.

A people considering themselves Turks would have just said – “our outstanding ancestors were Seljuks, or these/those Turkmen tribes who captured with the arms this land and today we are proud that we are their descendants .” Or, if not captured, at least , they ” have lived here since the days of Noah” … Such a response would clearly show the prevalence of “Turkic vector” in the mind of an average Azerbaijani.

However, the aforementioned ancient states have nothing in common with the Turkic ethnic group, which is very well known, – including Azerbaijanis themselves. The population of those states were either uniquely Iranians or native peoples who, of course, by that moment, might not have any connection with the Turkic elements. For instance, the State of Manna (10-7th centuries BC), was situated in the Southeastern Iran – in the southeast of Lake Urmia, with the center on the territory of the current town of Mehabad. Atropatena was situated at the territory of the northeastern provinces of Iran. So you could judge for yourself: where today’s Azerbaijan is situated and where were ancient states/state formations mentioned in this very “hard” statement – even if forget for a while about the ethnic origins of the peoples living there. And about the so-called Scythian Kingdom I’ve already mentioned above.

I will add only that the Scythians were purebred Iranians and spoke Iranian dialects. Moreover, during the Scythians’ times Turkic ethnic element has just separated from the common Altay ethnicity and lived thousands of miles far from our region, at Far East.

As regards the second part of the statement of the head of the press service of Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan which includes negative statements about Armenians as if done by foreign travelers and authors, it probably belongs to the genre of the “kitchen gossips” or sweawords and actually contains no more or less serious grounds. I.e. it is pieces taken out of the context and nothing else. And absolutely blatant falsification is that in a list of foreign authors mentioned … the Patriarch of the Armenian historians Great Movses Khorenatsi. Probably they’re meaning his “Lamentation” which, even for a people who are not professional literata, but just know how to read, is a marvelous sample of deep patriotism of a man having fatherly attitude toward his own people, a masterpiece of the world literature. The author of the “hard answer … ” indeed, is “not noticing” the beginning of the work : ” I am distressed for thee, o Armenian land, grieve for your noble color in the midst of all northern peoples … ” (!!!)

… Only a person endlessly loving his people and bearing in mind the idea of the greatness of the people could grieve in this way for his nation.

As for the “balicose” threats voiced in a statement, – to solve Karabakh conflict with the arms, they are no more than an obvious sign of weakness.
…Presumably, the specified text has not been written personally by the head of the press service of the defense ministry of the country, but was ” created ” by ” mualims ” at the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan …


– Mr Asatryan, now let’s turn to the Brussels Forum…

– The thing is that this is for the first time that the Talish Cause becomes a discussion subject at such a high international instance which the European Parliament is. So this Forum we can qualify as a historical one.

– Please tell us: what was the essence of the Talish leader’s speech?

– Analyzing the unenviable state of Talish people in Azerbaijan and dangers that threaten them, Gummatzoda came to the conclusion that the only guarantee to ensure Talish people’s vital activities, tо preserve its gene pool, culture, language is its absolute independence from Azerbaijan. Yes, the independence, but not being a subject of a confederation (which was mentioned by him in Yerevan), not speaking about an autonomy in a federation. So that was a real historical breakthrough in the political ideology of Colonel Gumbatov as before that speech he has been speaking about the independence very little, and not in a clearcut way.

I might point out that his speech given in Russian was translated simultaneously in Azerbaijani language and aired by “The Voice of Talishstan”, a radio based in the City of Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR).

To note, Gumbatov’s speech in Russian has been placed in various websites.

– And what can you tell us about the second rapport, the one delivered by Mrs Lankoni?

– I might tell you that we heard a speech of young political activist having big potential who surprised us with her deep knowledge on the subject, balanced and clear approach to the issues.

And that made me really happy as I’ve seen in such a speech a real potential of the Talish Movement and its clear path ahead…

-Well, and what about the reaction of Azeris being present there?

-As it was expected, their reps started to shout and bother the speaker, so the organizers were forced even to put some of them out of the hall…

– To recap, what can give this discussion to the Talish movement?

– I’ll tell at once – many things.

I am confident that this would bring the Talish Movement at the international arena and turn it into an important regional political factor. However, with this the issue doesn’t finish but only starts. This is the beginning of those processes (about this I told many times) which would bring to dissection of the false state formations, created due to voluntarism and inherited from the Soviet period. This we see today in Ukraine. There are many similarities between Azerbaijan and Ukraine, however Azerbaijan is more vulnerable.

Category: #07 (1025) 27.02.2014 – 5.03.2014, Spotlight, Region