Foundation of new mosques in the Armenian settlements of Artsakh

After the occupation of the significant part of Artsakh by Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev systematically organizes visits to the seized territories, during which he makes various statements. Among the main topics announced by him is one that the Armenians are newcomers in Artsakh and in whole Transcaucasia, and they settled there only in the 19th century. He accuses them of the Armenization of the Christian monuments of the region, etc., and at the same time, declares the Armenian cultural heritage is Albanian-Udi.

During his visits, the president of Artsakh is being present at all events dedicated to the foundations and openings of various infrastructures – especially highways, power plants, military units, etc. The foundation of the two sites deserves special attention and is supposed as provocative. That refers to the construction of mosques in the city of Hadrut and in Karintak village.

The construction of a mosque at the highest point of Hadrut was started on October 9, 2021, and in Karintak village - on November 7. The days of the founding of mosques are associated with the dates when these settlements went under the control of Azerbaijan. The provocation referring to the construction of these mosques lies in the fact that both Hadrut and Karintak throughout their history had an exclusively Armenian population and an Armenian environment (Davitbekov I. 1888, Osipov G. 1898). Even during the Soviet period, when the Azerbaijani side tried to transform the ethnic composition of Hadrut, nevertheless, the Armenian population was predominant. The same situation was in Karintak village near Shushi.

The Azerbaijani side explains the construction of mosques as satisfying the needs of the Azerbaijani settlers, “revival” of the cultural heritage destroyed by the Armenians, creating new heritage, etc.

After the occupation of a large part of Artsakh, Ilham Aliyev laid the foundation of the first mosque in the city of Shushi on May 12. The construction of this mosque has a symbolic meaning. That is expressing "the liberation of Shushi from the Armenian occupation." The highest point of the city, the place dominating the area was chosen for the mosque construction in Shushi.

Our response

Cultural genocide does not refer only to the physical extermination, but also to distortion and falsification of history and religious affiliation, ignorance of facts, memory erasure, and creation of false cultural or religious practices. Azerbaijan, building mosques in Armenian settlements, violates the cultural and religious rights of the Armenian Christian community, hurts its religious feelings, denies the history of the city, and makes it impossible to transmit the heritage in its original form to the future generation.