Our Garabagh

Garabagh is one of Azerbaijan’s oldest and picturesque places.  The name of Garabagh stems from two words – “qara” (black) and “bagh”(garden).  As in other Turkic languages, in the Azerbaijani language too, the word “qara” has other meanings, in addition to “black”, such as “dense”, “thick”, ”big”, “dark” etc.  From this standpoint, “Garabagh” has such meanings   as “Big Garden”, “Dense Garden”, “Thick Garden”.  Like Garabagh itself, the word “Garabagh” too belongs to the people of Azerbaijan.

Garabagh is one of the oldest human habitats in the world.  Scholars found interesting items in Azykh Cave near Fuzuli town of Garabagh showing the way ancient people lived. The oldest sample found here is the lower jaw bone of an ancient human.  The said human was called after the cave he  lived in – “Azykhanthrop”. For this find, Azerbaijan has been entered on the map of the “Oldest residents of Europe”. 

These territories had been included in Azerbaijani states since the ancient times. Our independent state had been created in the middle of the 18th century in Garabagh. This state used to be called the Garabagh Khanate. The foundation of the Garabagh Khanate had been laid by Panahali Khan.  To defend the Khanate, he first built the fortresses Bayat and Shahbulag, and gave instruction for constructing more grandiose fortress in Shusha.  In 1757, the centre of the Khanate  moved to Shusha Fortress.  The fortress had been named “Panahabad”, after Panah Khan.  Later this fortress was again known as Shusha Fortress. 

Shusha is located in the mountainous part of Garabagh, our country’s beautiful place, surrounded by dense forests and  crystal clear springs. Shusha’s being so called is associated with these places’ being located at the top of high mountains. Shusha is also famous for its extremely clean air, beauty, Isa Bulag, Turshsu Bulaq, Sakina Bulaq, Soyug Bulag, Yuz Bulag, Gyrkh Bulag, Charyg Bulag and other unique springs. Here are house-museums of poetess Khurshidbanu Natavan, general Samad bey Mehmandarov, great composer Uzeir Hajibeyli,  eminent singer Bulbul, poet and artist Mir Mohsun Navvab,  residences of Ibrahim Khan and his daughter Gara Boyukkhanum,  “Ganja Gates”, Fortress Wall and other historical and cultural monuments.

Early in the 19th century, the Russian Empire started to occupy Azerbaijani lands.  After the Russian Empire’s occupation, Armenian families living in Iran and Ottoman territories were resettled to Garabagh and other Azerbaijani lands – Irevan and Nakhchivan.  Lands were taken from Azerbaijanis and given to Armenians resettled to these territories.   

In 1923, regardless of the Azerbaijani people’s protest, the Soviet leadership granted the right of autonomy to Armenians resettled to our lands, and the Daghlyg Garabagh Autonomous Region was created. 
Although Armenians were resettled to our lands from other territories, they have always wanted to appropriate our  territories, and have committed genocides against our people. 

Today, as a result of the military aggression of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan, 20% of our lands – Daghlyg Garabagh and adjoining 7 districts – have been occupied.  As an outcome of this military aggression, our numerous fellow-citizens, including children, women and elderly, were killed, over one million people were forced out of their lands and became internally displaced people. 

The state of Azerbaijan does not want a war. It wants the conflict to find its solution peacefully and Azerbaijani territories to be freed from occupation. Therefore, starting from 1994, first President Heydar Aliyev  has held peace negotiations. Since 2003, President Ilham Aliyev has been continuing these negotiations. However, every Azerbaijani citizen must always be ready to defend his Homeland and fight for it. 

Dates of occupation 
Khojaly  –  26-02-1992
Shusha  –  08-05-1992
Lachyn –  18-05-1992
Khojavand –  02-10-1992
Kalbajar –  02-04-1993
Aghdere   -  17-06-1993
Aghdam  –  23-07-1993
Jabrail  –  23-08-1993
Fuzuli  –  23-08-1993
Gubadly –  31-08-1993
Zangilan  – 29-10-1993