An story of war
Since January 1991, the situations in the frontier regions of my country were getting worse. The Armenians, who were living in Azerbaijan, were being deported back to Armenia and at the same time, we were receiving thousands of refugees from Armenia and the frontier regions. Those refugees were ethnically Azerbaijanis, and because of past events of skirmish in Azerbaijan about the ethnically Armenians, they been forced to get out of Armenia.
When I was young, I had a dream of beautiful future and I believe that this is the same for most people...
I use to dream to continue my studies and to become a person with as least two-or three qualifications: ma ybe an advocate, a diplomat, or a journalist. Besides, as my father said once:
-It is never too late to educate yourself, so study as much as you can.
I really wanted to continue my education to a higher level and make everybody in my family, hometown, and last-myself proud.
Starting from the night of Black January, my dreams were changed. I had no idea "how", but I had a new dream-I wanted to protect my country from its enemies. I had decided that I would become a soldier; join the military resistance, or the army...Besides, I knew there would be always other chances and live my early dreams.
Those days I was coming back from my work (I was working at the Major's offices as an assistant) much earlier than the usual time and I would spend hours and hours in front of television: watching the live programs about the ongoing War. I was disappointed that our government was still calling the situation- a conflict...
By the end of 1991, fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh had escalated into a full-scale war.
Day by day, I was ready to make my final decision. I tried to find right time to tell my father about my desires and decision.
Nevertheless, that right time never seemed to come. I was fearful that if I told my father of my decision, he would not agree with me.
A few times when we were watching the news, our family was discussing the war. My point of view was that is too late to go back and that we have to regain our strength by building strong army and fight against the wrong that was happening. No body was agreeing with me. In spite of the fact that my whole family was not trusting my words, or me, or believing that, even I could do something good to change our country situation.
Maybe because I always wanted to be different, and that my difference has made me appealing to my family and to other people as well, but at the same time somehow kept me a apart from them.
I was afraid to disappoint my father. Worst than that, I was afraid of to losing the connection between my father and I. He has always meant so much to me, even if from time to time he had disappointed me... Then I would remember the history of our family. They were good patriots and fighters.
I was born in a family of teachers with five brothers and sisters. In my family history, there were many freedom fighters from different times and with different aims. However, none of them were women. It was my dream to be the first, not for me, but for my country to live my dream.
My great grandfather was one of the commanders in Legendary 11th Red Army in a time of Lenin era. Then my grandfather was a hero in Soviet Union Army in Second World War. Back in the 16th century, some of my ancestors were warriors in the Shirvan region of Azerbaijan.
My father being a teacher gave him a very strange kind of love. I began to understand why the traditions of the past were so complicated.
Not all the doctor's sons or daughters will be doctors like their parents, but there is a high percentage of possibility, because of the genes.
My grandfather was also a teacher. He had taught history classes at a local school. He was also a communist and at the same time, a people's person. Besides teaching history classes in school, he taught the poor people on the streets after his classes how to read and write.
Like other Soviet Union Republics, my country was affected by Stalin's purges in the 1930s .His special target was the intelligentsia, but also purged communist leaders who had sympathized with the opposition.
In the year of 1938, when Josef Stalin was in a peek of his dictator regime, my grandfather's neighbour asked him to help kill a sheep and give it to the hungry people. He helped him without thinking twice. They killed the sheep and together fed the hungry people.
My poor grandfather had no idea that the sheep had been stolen from a public herd ...
Very soon, my grandfather and his neighbour were called to appear before the government. They never came back, and no one ever knew what happened to them: exiled or shot to death...
That period was sometimes referred to as a the Red Terror, thousands of people were exiled and killed, including notable Azeri figures such as Mikail Mushvig (poet) and Ayna Sultanova. Directing the purges in Azerbaijan was Mir Jafar Bagirov, the first secretary of the Communist party of Azerbaijan, who followed Stalin's orders without a question.
I have personally searched many archives for the name of my grandfather and my research always ended up with zero information. Maybe the reason for this is that his case was not a political. The names of many others had also disappeared from the archives as well.
There are many thousands, whose records have been burned to ashes: especially the names of people, who were originally coming from Bek, Khan, and Zade aristocratic families. In the Soviet regime, all our last names were being changed, to begin with a new name and end with ââ‚¬"ev, eva, ov...
We concluded that they most believe that if we lost our names, we would loose our history and be less likely to fight for it. Nevertheless, we fought for our freedom. At times, it was total confusion.
My father does not remember my grandfather very well, because he was just 2 years old when he lost his father.
However, my father had become a great teacher with his own methods and was rewarded from the Ministry of Education for adding his own ideas to the teaching methods. He was and he is a great father and the greatest teacher to me in all these past years, now and forever.
My father used to give us many lessons, based on examples of real people's lives. He was very proud of himself and used to say and believe in these words:" We are all visitors in this life. So, live and leave in that way, that after you have gone, people will say:" Thank you for coming in to our lives and thank you for making great differences to us!"
I have no idea how I can make a great difference in someone's life if he or she would not allow me to be in it. Maybe my father was living different dreams and different destinies. He was such a strong and a proud person, as he still is today. However, with all his pride he had his sins as well...
I cannot explain why I love my parents so much and why I forgive them for the pain, which they have caused me many years ago. I would still do many good things for them. I love them, no matter if I have been raised in confusion- nice, hard, happy, and unhappy family...
Therefore, I guess all those thousands exiled and killed in Siberia were still loving their countries and still forgiving the "Great Father" Stalin for the pain and the caged- life they had. No matter, they were living their whole life in a cage; they always had good hearts and remarkable personalities.
Of course, that is does not includes those, who were building the huge cage and keeping keys forever in their hands, so that no one could escape, and no one could breathe the fresh air of a freedom...
Nevertheless, a day came when we melted those "cages" like ice with our flaming hearts and unlimited hopes...
It was now my time try get out of that cage and fly- to try to fight and win freedom to many more thousands- to free ourselves from the slavery of communist regimes and to enjoy helping to make my motherland independent.
The 10th of January 1992, almost 3 months since the war had officially declared by our government. That was the day that I wrote a letter to the Army Commissariat of my hometown. In that letter were only a few words:" Sir, I would like to volunteer, I want to protect Azerbaijan against the enemy."
I used to know a lieutenant colonel Madatov, he was our neighbour, and I always believed him to be a great man. He had a good reputation in the neighbourhood. Therefore, I went to visit him and after the greetings, I gave him my short letter. He looked at the letter very shortly and shook his head automatically, saying with commanding voice:
-My answer was -No!
Moreover, he added:
-Don't throw yourself into this fire! It would be suicide for a young girl!
Then he tore my letter and made me leave his office.
I had no clue what he meant with those words. Now I do. I did not know why, but hearing those words, I felt a shamed and I went out of his cabinet with tears in my eyes.
I remember those feelings. Those feelings were equal to, when you have committed a sin...
I had been judged unworthy, as a woman to defend my country, I would not be treated as an equal, as if somehow I cared less than a men. I could feel the blood flowing through my veins, like those, who were dying in the fields for liberty and freedom of the land.
I kept the visit a secret from my family. This was the beginning of my secret: no one from my family or friends knew that I had such a desire.
I was feeling very alone...That kind of aloneness that was very profound, private, and inexpressible, and before I realised how much I needed the people around me-I was culminated of a downward swirl of self-pity and anger. I was angry because I had to live by the rules of others, buy the rules of culture and the pride of my family.
Our normal family life was gone. We no longer watched family movies or played board games with father. This was not unique to our family, but also true in most Azeri families, harmony and balance no longer existed...
In early February 1992, the Armenians were facing a debilitating blockade put in place by my country. Karabakh had with Armenia only one land connection and that was trough the Lachin mountains, which could only be hard to reach it, unless using the air force..
The fears of the Armenians lead them to accomplish the next massacre in the Khojaly...
The Khojaly was a small town with population of 6,000-10,000, ethnically Azeri. The only airport existed in Karabakh, which was about 7 kilometres north of Shusha-the capital of the Karabakh, in Khojaly. By late February, Khojaly was been largely cut off.
On February 25-26, 1992, Armenian forces, with the aid of armoured vehicles to occupy Khojaly. The Armenian forces proceeded to massacre several hundreds of civilians, expelling them from the town. The airport's runway had found intentionally destroyed, rendering it useless for any aircraft to land upon it.
The aggressive military then went on to hunt those escaping people all the way through the corridor and murder the innocents. We witnessed a video shot on TV a few days later-showing the corpses of women and children, some burned, some dismembered, and some mutilated to unrecognizable degrees...The official death toll provided by our authorities is 613 civilians, including 106 women and 83 children...
Most of those people were tortured, threatened, and assaulted before had being killed. Women and children were killed in the most violent of ways. One of the witnesses said that they put some of the children, women, and elderly people together inside a pipe and welded it. Then they rolled those pipes down from the mountains...They have seen their family members beheaded...
An excerpt from the book "The resurrection of our souls" written by Zori Balaian (an Armenian), one of the major instigators of the Armenian "movement" for the seizure of Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan , wrote : "...only Armenian, the heart of whose nation was pull out and thrown to the fire of sorrow, can feel a pride and satisfaction from these words. Under the dictate of civil duty and sacred man's duty, I also dealt with the massacre of this stink of Mongolians (i.e. Azeri's). When with Khachatur we entered into basement where they kept, our soldiers already pinned one child to a window-frame on his elbows. To stop him making noise, Khachatur pushed his dead mothers cut breast into his mouth. Then with a Turk boy, 13 years old, that what his ancestry had done with our children. I excoriated and striped his scalp off from his breast and belly. He died because of loss of blood after 7 minutes. As a doctor (my first specialty) I am humanist, I did not feel happiness from what I did with this child. However, my soul triumphed that I could avenge my national pain. Khachatur cut up the corpse and threw to dogs from which this Turk was born. In the evening, we did it with three Turk boys in the same way. However, I fulfilled a duty of Armenia, patriot and citizen Khachatur douched himself. Moreover, I saw in his eyes and then in the eyes of others a fight between revenge and strong humanism. Then the major Suren, my childhood fellow said:" We are not animals, but we must keep a cold heart. The souls of victims killed by the Turks-hangmen, should be soothed."
This was how an Armenian describes humanism. Do you have some comments on what you have just been reading? I think you already know that, this is not a scene for a movie - this is the truth. No matter how much we want to scream-the revelation of the painful truth shuts something down in our hearts...
When the British journalist Thomas de Vaal asked Serge Sargsyan to tell him about the seizure of Khojaly the Armenian Minister of Defence responded," We prefer not to talk about that out loud. However, I think that the principal issue was completely different. Before Khojaly, Azerbaijanis thought that they could trifle with us; they thought Armenians were incapable of raising a hand against a civilian population. We were able to break this stereotype. This is what happened."
The mass media and television channels in the world have covered these tragedies and brought these facts into the world to take action community's notice. Nevertheless, unfortunately, these acts of genocide were not given the right political and legal assessment at that time. Because of this act of genocide, several families had been completely annihilated, the people were exterminated with unprecedented cruelty, and those taken captives were subjected to ruthless torture.
Those the actions mentioned above were deliberate and intended to completely, or partially annihilate the people on the base of their ethnic belonging proves them, according to the international and domestic laws, to be an act of genocide. The evil deed and vandalism committed by the Armenian butchers must been regarded in the same way as the above-mentioned tragedies recognized by humankind as true genocide.
Peace-loving people all over the planet, the civilized nations, authoritative international organizations, and the global community should be aware of this bitter truth, and that crime against humanity should receive its legal assessment.
The followings are excerpts from articles about Khojaly genocide published in foreign press:
"Krua I Eveneman" (Paris), February 1992: "Armenians attacked Khojaly. The whole world witnessed disfigured corpses".
"Sunday Times" (London), March 1, 1992: "Armenian soldiers kill thousand families".
"Le Mond" (Paris), March 14, 1992: "Foreign journalists saw among women and children killed in Khojaly, three scalped, with their nails pulled out. It is not Azerbaijan's propaganda, but a reality".
"Izvestia" (Moscow), March 13, 1992: "Major Leonid Kravets: "I saw about hundred corpses on the hill. One boy are been found headless. Dead bodies of women, children, and old men everywhere been seen to be killing with special cruelty.
R. Patrik, journalist with the "Fant men news" (he visited the place of incident): "Nothing can justify the evil deeds in Khojaly".
The lands of my country were occupied and peaceful and innocent people killed, but the world kept silent...
Starting from February 1992, my country began to experience political upheaval brought on by a series of battlefield disasters in Karabakh such as the Khojaly massacre.
In a sort of paradox, immediately following the rise of the new regime, in my country, the number of political arrests increased because of disagreement between parties for solving these dangerous issues of started war. The Popular Front ââ‚¬"led by the Ministry of Internal Affairs began arresting soldiers and volunteers that chose not to participate in military battles.
Officials also gave orders to arrest activists of national minorities and citizens of Armenian origin, with the intention of exchanging these citizens for prisoners from the Karabakh conflict that were Azerbaijan origin.
I was horrified by those events. I was still holding my wills deep inside my heart, without revealing them to any of my family and friends. My inner voice was telling me all the time that there was something wrong. I was struggling with my self and my beliefs. I couldn't get out of all the complications to follow my wishes, to help those who desperately needed my help.
I was stressed out to the maximum trying to maintain even a shred of independence, because my greatest fear was to become a burden for other people thinking in differently way than my family and society that I had grown up with it. Deep down I felt weak, paralyzed, and unable to cope with the situation on my own...
Article name: An story of war essay, research paper, dissertation