Caucasian Albania, from The Cambridge Ancient History, volume XIV, chapter 22b, page 662,

Azerbaijan’s Weak ‘Weapon’ (Again on History Falsification)

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By Henrik Bakhchinyan

Translated by Artsvi Bakhchinyan from the Armenian 2018 original published in Azg.

YEREVAN – In 1965, the ill-reputed Azeri historian Ziya Bunyadov’s book Azerbaijan in the 7th-9th Centuries was published in Russian in Baku. It is one of the classic examples of falsification of history.

Excessively “developing” the “theories” of the editor of his book, Caucasian Albania’s “specialist” Zelik Yampolski, Bunyadov came to the conclusion that the land of the Aghvans (Caucasian Albanians) – the Great Aghvank (Greater Caucasian Albania) had existed for centuries. It extended from the Caucasus Mountains to the Araks river and besides Aghvank proper, included Syunik, Utik, Artsakh and other regions. The Albanians living in that large country had their church and culture until the 8th century, but the “aggressor” Armenians conquered Aghvank through the Arab invaders, forcibly “Armenianized” the Albanians, forced them to convert to the Armenian religion, and appropriated its country and culture. In the 11th-13th centuries, the Albanians did not exist as a people, but its direct blood heirs are the Azerbaijanis, who converted to Islam for some reason. And since the Azerbaijanis are a Turkic people, the Albanians and other peoples of Albania are also of Turkish origin. And since the Albanians are the same Azerbaijanis, then Great Aghvank, with its aforementioned territories, is the same as Azerbaijan.

With such delirium, this representative of one of the Oghuz-Turkic nomadic tribes that penetrated the Caucasus only in the 11th century, “occupied” in a way typical of his tribe historical Aghvank and a number of provinces of Greater Armenia, declaring them Albanian-Azerbaijani. With the same delirium and looting mania, he considered the Armenian culture and literature created in those territories as Albanian-Azerbaijani. The first blow, of course, was given to the 10th century great historian of Aghvank, Movses Kaghankatvatsi, born in Utik. It was announced that his study The History of the Country of Albania was originally written in Albanian, and then the Armenians translated it into Old Armenian and destroyed the original. The poet Davtak Kertogh, who lived in the city of Partav of Utik province, the great chronicler Vanakan Vardapet, born in the province of Tavush, famous chroniclers and educational and cultural figures from the same state, Mkhitar Gosh, Kirakos Gandzaketsi, Davit Areveltsi, also the great Hovhannes Sarkavag Imastaser (born in the province of Parisos in Artsakh) and others were also considered to be of Albanian origin (i. e., Azerbaijanis), and their works were “Armenian language” monuments of Albanian-Azerbaijani literature.

However, Bunyadov was not satisfied with this (as they say, the appetite comes with eating). He considered Azerbaijan not only Great Aghvank, but also the historical Atrpatakan and almost all the territories of Soviet Armenia, where he did not see anything of “Armenian origin.”

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Naturally, such savage distortions of historical facts and realities and delusional conclusions, even under the conditions of the pseudo-fraternal propaganda of the Soviet peoples, could not remain unanswered, and were therefore refuted by serious academic arguments. We mean the extensive Russian review articles of the great philologist Asatur Mnatsakanyan, Paruyr Sevak and historian Karo Melik-Ohanjanyan (see Historical-Philological Journal, 1967, No. 1, pp. 177-190; Review of the Archives of Armenia, 1968, No. 2, pp. 169-190). At this time, the term “Bunyadovism” emerged as a synonym for history falsification.

Bunyadovism originated before Bunyadov, especially among the parasitic Turkic tribes that sought to establish themselves as ancient and cultural peoples by plundering the history and culture of other nations (mostly Armenians). This phenomenon spread mainly in the “historiography” of the Ottoman-Turks (also of Oghuz origin), who came to raid with the Seljuk Turks and also later. Many “Bunyadovs” performed here – Ziya Gokalb, Halide Edib Adıvar, Arin Engin (who declared that King Tigran the Great and Armenian noble families were Turks and the Armenian nation never existed at all), Şemsettin Günaltay and Murat Hocaoğlu: the list of these unpleasant names can be continued. By mercilessly distorting both ancient and recent Armenian history, they have even denied the existence of historical Armenia, considering the Turkic tribes as natives of Western Armenia and tracing the origins of Turkish history to… the ancient times of Sumer.

But let us return to Bunyadov himself. Even after receiving a crushing blow from Armenian experts, he continued his anti-Armenian activities, brilliantly confirming that the falsification of history is being done to serve the insidious policy pursued by that country. Especially noteworthy is Bunyadov’s article “Why Sumgait?”, “investigating” the causes of the Armenians’ massacre in Sumgait. According to him, the Sumgait pogroms had been planned by the Armenians themselves in order to discredit Azerbaijan and boost the Armenian nationalist cause…

We also consider it appropriate to recall that Ziya Bunyadov was murdered at the entrance of his apartment in Baku in 1997 by his own compatriot “Albanian”-Azerbaijanis. By the way, according to the official version, the murder was organized by members of Hezbollah’s Baku branch, who considered Bunyadov a member of the Israeli special service “Mossad,” which spread Zionism in Azerbaijan. Here is the image of Bunyadov the “scientist,” who became the father of Azerbaijani “historiography,” a guide-mentor, whose “theories” were further developed by his students, the newest “Bunyadovs.”

The “female Bunyadovs” are especially aggressive; among them Farida Jafar Gizi Mammadova stands out the most. The latter herself admitted that Heydar Aliyev demanded Azerbaijani historians criticize academically all the studies on Aghvank published in Armenia, so she began to engage in Caucasian Albanian studies and to break the “Armenian knot,” that is, to better distort Armenian history, she even studied Classical Armenian.

Bunyadov himself warmly welcomed Mammadova’s “Albanological” anti-Armenian works (which, by the way, were also published in Russian, German and French), assessing the establishment and development of her “ideas” in them. And Heydar’s son Ilham called Mammadova a “knight of truth” who is relentlessly fighting “against the Armenian falsification of history.”

In the past, Mammadova’s anti-scientific works also received a worthy counter-blow from Armenian specialists (see Historical-Philological Journal” 1987, No. 3, pp. 166-189). Non-Armenian specialists also criticized them; especially noteworthy is the well-founded objection made by the Russian historian, ethnographer Victor Schnirelmann in the famous book Wars of Memory (Moscow, 2003), wherein the author, in conclusion, considered Mammadova, who deliberately distorts history with state support, the main preacher of the so-called “Albanian legend.”

Nevertheless, continuing her forgeries, Jafar Gizi Khanum published a monograph in 2005 entitled Caucasian Albania and the Albanians (in Russian). Contrary to her expectations, however, the book was received with hostility in Azerbaijan’s “academic” circles, and the author was considered a “traitor to the homeland,” an “Armenian spy.” The main reason was that Mammadova presented a map in the book with the words “Great Armenia.”

According to her words, Mammadova was not only persecuted and insulted by the new generation of “Bunyadovs” of both sex, but also persecuted and threatened with physical revenge. She tried in every way to prove that she “was not sold to the Armenians,” but actually has written a completely anti-Armenian monograph.

To restore her lost “honor,” she later made harsher anti-Armenian speeches in the press and on television. In her speeches that flooded the Internet, she expressed the belief that the Azerbaijani people, the heirs of the “whole Caucasian Albanian culture,” were not directly descended from the Albanians, but consisted of three powerful ethnic and cultural strata – Caucasian, Turkic and Iranian, and that “Albanian-Azerbaijani” cultural roots originate from Zoroastrian, Jewish and Muslim backgrounds. This is already a shocking new “doctrine,” especially on its Jewish side (come and do not believe that Mammadova’s spiritual father Bunyadov was really a Zionist).

For obvious reasons, Jafar Gizi Khanum (like modern Azerbaijani “historians” in general) mostly refers to Artsakh, liberated from Azerbaijan’s dictatorship (hopefully – finally). With new inventions she seeks to confirm Bunyadov’s “ideas” that Artsakh was a part of Albania, that it has nothing to do with Armenia, that the Armenians of Artsakh are Albanians who consider themselves Armenians, that Gandzasar is the prelacy of the Albanian Church occupied by Armenians, etc., etc.

The “researchers” of the newer generation of Azerbaijan, on the direct orders of Ilham Aliyev, have gone much further, reaching the peak of nonsense that Armenians are not natives not only in Artsakh, but also in Eastern Armenia. In Transcaucasia in general, they are latecomers, and all these territories are Azerbaijani. As with Western Armenia and Asia Minor, they have always belonged to the Turks (what has long been circulating in Turkish “historiography”). And “Great Armenia” is a contrived, anti-scientific concept, and it has never existed. All this, with the generous use of Azerbaijani petrodollars, is presented to the world in various ways – through the Internet, monographs, articles, films, events. Noteworthy are the film “Armenians Were Not in the Caucasus,” the celebrations of the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the Albania-Azerbaijan state and the 500th anniversary of the founding of the “rich center of Azerbaijani culture” Yerevan (Erivan), and especially President Aliyev’s delirious announcements about considering the Republic of Armenia’s space Azerbaijan.

As we see, Bunyadovism has already turned into Aliyevism, which is accompanied by daily military encroachments on the borders of Armenia and Artsakh, putting our national security under a much more serious threat.

We mentioned that the Azerbaijani falsifications of history were repulsed by Armenian specialists. Here we would like to remember also Ruben Galichyan, a distinguished geographer and cartographer, who published studies in Armenian, English, Russian Persian, and Turkish (in particular, his book Azerbaijani Historical and Geographical Forgeries), and skilled historians Valeri Tunyan, Gevorg Stepanyan and Artak Movsisyan. The latter stood out in this field, especially with his films “The Capital Older than Rome” and “The History Falsifiers: Azerbaijan.” All these, however, are unsystematic, personal initiatives, and as Movsisyan said in an interview: “Unfortunately, there is no state approach to such falsifications.”

We have a Ministry of Defense that organizes the protection of our country’s borders. We must also have a strong state structure that protects the borders of our centuries-old history and culture.

Finally, in one of his anti-Armenian speeches, Ilham Aliyev (I apologize for mentioning this unpleasant name several times) stated: “We need to become stronger, have a stronger army and ensure economic development.” This is more about us Armenians. Only by creating a strong state will we be able to protect ourselves reliably from the Bunyadovism and Aliyevism that endanger our national identity.

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