Armenophobia in Azerbaijan and its historical roots
Armenophobia in the Azerbaijani reality is not a new phenomenon, it has deep roots and originates in the 17th century, when Turkic-speaking tribes appeared on the Kur-Araksian territory of the South Caucasus, who in fact did not even have an idea of their ethnicity, they only knew they were Muslims. That is, they considered the religious affiliation as their ethnic difference from other nations and nationalities.
Striving to strengthen its power in the region, Iran settled loyal Turkic-speaking tribes here, thereby displacing indigenous peoples from these territories. The first victims of this policy were the Armenians, who were not only ethnically the most numerous people in the region, but also differed in their way of living, high level of culture and deep Christian roots. This circumstance complicated the appropriation of territories by the Turkic-speaking nomadic tribes, which, confronted with a rather powerful civilizational phenomenon, could not assimilate the Armenians and resorted to force methods, violence and physical extermination.
In the absence of statehood, Armenians hardly resisted the difficulties that arose. It was possible to defend themselves only in the areas where certain elements of self-government still existed - in Lori, Syunik, and Artsakh. However, the defensive actions, as a rule, were not well organized, the Armenians yielded under the Turkish nomadic tribes’ pressure, who enjoyed Persia’s protection.
Later, after the arrival of Tsarist Russia in the region, these contradictions were partially frozen, as the displacement of Armenians from the region did not enjoy the support of the northern neighbor. However, the Armenian- Caucasian Tatar contradictions continued and deepened further, as a new period of land redistribution began, where former nomads, moving to sedentary life, required territories for settlement.
To preserve its influence in the region under the name of Transcaucasia, Russia often used the Armenian-Caucasian Tatar contradictions, provoking clashes to strengthen its own influence. These contradictions became especially deep during the period of rapid development of capitalism, when the Armenians’ ability to quickly take over the dominant positions in trade and oil-extracting industries in the region was revealed.
Armenophobia among the Caucasian Tatars, later, with a light hand of Stalin - the Azerbaijanis, manifested itself especially during the World War I, when their bandit groups raided Armenian villages, plundering and destroying civilians.
Even the independent First Republic of Armenia suffered from the aggression of the Tatars, who did not miss the opportunity to attack unarmed people and organize their mass pogroms.
The Artsakh war and further developments in neighboring Azerbaijan once again proved that armenophobia is an integral part of the "culture" of this people, and that this is not a new phenomenon. It has only been raised to the state level and enjoys the country’s current authorities’ support.
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