Destruction of Armenian Khatchkars in Old Jougha (Nakhichevan)
14-16 Dec. 2005
Cultural Vandalism or Raping History?

Where is the civilized Europe? Where is UNESCO? Why does no one intervene?

This movie clip, dated December 14-16, 2005, shows how Azerbaijani soldiers, with heavy machinery, destroy the last evidence of Armenian presence in Nakhichevan, the historical Armenian province which together with Nagorno Karabakh was given away to the neighbouring Azerbaijani Republic. As a result of the implemented Soviet policy, Nakhichevan was at last depleted of its entire Armenian population. The clip confirms firmly the fact that the organiser of this cultural genocide is none other than the Azerbaijani government. Obviously, Azerbaijan is firmly determined to prevent “another Karabakh” by erasing the slightest indication of Armenian existence in Nakhichevan. The living Armenians have since long time ago forced to leave the region, but apparently there is also a fear of the dead and buried Armenians and their cries beyond the grave.

Nakhichevan is an exclave which belongs to Azerbaijan but Armenia’s territory separates them apart. Nakhichevan borders, however, on Armenia, Turkey, and Iran. It was from this area that the Persian King Shah Abbas, during the Persian-Ottoman war, forcibly relocated about 150,000 Armenians year 1620 and resettled them in the outskirts of his capital, Isfahan.

The place for this barbarian action caught on tape is a cemetery with thousands of Khatchkars, “Cross stones”, invaluable historical and cultural monuments from the period between 15th and 16th centuries.

Several Armenian organisations and authorities, among other the Foreign Ministry, have handed in official protests to UNESCO and other international organisation, but also to the US embassy in Azerbaijan.

This action makes one to recall the recent desecrations of Jewish cemeteries in different European cities. But unlike the immediate media coverage and attention given to these criminal acts it seems that no one bothers to care about this last act of cleansing the last evidence of Armenians in Nakhichevan.

Will the world and Europe just stand by and watch while this rape of history takes place?
Movie clip part 1, part 2, part 3.

A better quality video segment can be viewed at www.julfa.cjb.net.
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Here is some old pictures fram the same place taken by A. Ayvazyan.