Ulviyya Zulfikar: Azerbaijan will continue engagement with UNESCO on its heritage destroyed in Armenia
The appeal of the Western Azerbaijan Community to UNESCO was first circulated as an official document of the UN, then followed by an official response of UNESCO to the appeal. The appeal contained a request to send a fact-finding mission to Armenia. Which facts is this mission required to study? What historical and cultural monuments do we have in Western Azerbaijan?
Ulviyya Zulfikar, spokesperson for the Western Azerbaijan Community, in response to Report's inquiry, said that a request was made to send a mission to assess the state of our cultural heritage, destroyed in the homeland of Azerbaijanis and presented as belonging to other countries: "As you know, on March 27, 2023, the Western Azerbaijan Community addressed UNESCO with a request to pay attention to the facts of the mass destruction of the Azerbaijani cultural heritage in the territory of present-day Armenia and send a mission to Armenia to assess the situation in this area. The appeal was circulated by the UN Secretariat as an official document of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the UN Economic and Social Council, followed by a response from UNESCO stating that the issue raised by the Community was directly related to UNESCO's mandate and that the issue was being studied using the relevant mechanisms in this area. This mission was requested to assess the state of our cultural heritage, which was destroyed in our homeland and presented as belonging to other countries. There were about 310 Azerbaijani mosques on the territory of the Irevan province. In Iravan itself, Demirbulag, Haji Novruzalibay mosque, Sardar mosques, Tepebashi neighborhoods and Tepebashi mosque were wiped off the earth, with their the demolition ordered by a decree, while the Goy mosque, Amir Saad mausoleum declared belonging to other countries. The same fate befell other mosques. The attitude towards these monuments also demonstrates the attitude towards the world cultural heritage, because each monument is part of global history."
The spokesperson recalled the words of the British researcher Thomas de Waal about the Goy mosque presented as a Persian mosque: "De Waal said about this that "The fact that the Armenians so easily wiped out the Azerbaijani mosque can be explained by a linguistic trick. By saying "Persian" when they talk about the "Persian mosque" in Yerevan, they want to make people to forget that it was Azerbaijanis who have prayed in this mosque since 1760. A large number of historical monuments, fortresses, caravansaries, tombstones, as well as cemeteries of Azerbaijanis were destroyed in Western Azerbaijan. Among those listed are Yerevan Fortress, Sardar Palace, Shah Abbas Caravanserai, Agadede Cemetery, Saral Cemetery, Ashagy Shorja Cemetery. In the village of Aghkilsa in Western Azerbaijan, the gravestone monument of Ashiq Alasgar, one of the pillars of our Ashiq art, built in 1972 and dedicated to his 150th anniversary, was demolished. This is the art of Ashiq, which was included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. It is precisely because of these facts that the answer to us said that the mentioned issues are directly related to the mandate of UNESCO. The Western Azerbaijan Community will continue its dialogue and interaction with UNESCO within the framework of international legal norms and mechanisms to stop the destruction of Azerbaijani cultural heritage in present-day Armenia and to restore what was destroyed."