YEREVAN, AUGUST 18, ARMENPRESS. Historian Ashot Melkonyan reacted to Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev’s “overt fake and manipulations” over his latest bizarre statements regarding Armenian provinces and towns.
Aliyev’s latest target was Vardenis, a region in the Gegharkunik Province of Armenia, which, perplexingly enough, he decided to call “Basarkechar” and ordered the media of his country to do the same.
Although these kind of ridiculous statements don’t even require a refutation, nevertheless renowned scholar Ashot Melkonyan took the time to respond as a historian for anyone who might be confused over the matter.
Scholar, Director of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Ashot Melkonyan told ARMENPRESS that the Azeri leader’s latest fake statements seek to falsely present the region as a Turkish-Azerbaijani one.
Melkonyan says that when Aliyev rants “Syunik, Sevan, Vardenis and Yerevan are historical Azeri lands”, historically the present-day territory which is called Azerbaijan republic doesn’t have anything to do with the historical Atropatene – Iran’s northern regions, from which the Turks simply stole the naming when they created an artificial state in 1918.
Secondly, he said, to speak about any Turkish toponym or Turkish element in our region – including Eastern Armenia, Georgia, Eastern Transcaucasia and Northern Iran prior to 14-15th century, when Turkmen tribes penetrated the region, and moreover before the 11th century when Seljuk-Turks appeared in the region for the first time, is simply ridiculous.
“Therefore, starting from the Azerbaijani capital of Baku – the territories of Atropatene, Shaki, Shirvan, provinces of Utik and Artsakh, Paytakaran of Mets Hayk, all had Armenian names, populated by Armenians and were Armenian, and to speak about any Turkish element there before the 11th century is simply ridiculous,” Melkonyan said.
“What Aliyev is saying today is obviously false and is a manipulation in an attempt to falsely present the region as a Turkish-Azerbaijani one.”
Melkonyan notes that the civilized world, including the scientific and academic communities, are very well aware of this and understand that the Azerbaijani historiography is entirely fabricated and doesn’t have anything to do with real science. However, he warns, it is another matter that the Azeri authorities are utilizing their funds to spread these falsifications all over the world in hopes that “if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth.”
“I think that most of the civilized world, namely Europe, the United States and Russia, with their scholarly circles and specialized communities, very well know real history. Whenever there is an occasion, for example Russian scholars always say that it is ridiculous to speak about ‘an Azerbaijani ancient culture’, because it is a made up, fake culture created on the basis of Turkified Iranian element in Eastern Transcaucasia, not to mention the political entity of so-called Azerbaijan republic.”
Interview by Aram Sargsyan