Azerbaijan International

Autumn 1994 (2.3)
Pages 2, 54

Baku Name Changes Offers Rare Glimpse

As a researcher of names myself, I was delighted with the article by Dr. Vagif Aslanov, "Names Changes in Azerbaijan". I have already shared it with a number of colleagues. We are all looking forward to the second part which we hope to see soon.

Those of us who are in Name Studies know that Dr. Aslanov is giving us information that is not obtainable elsewhere. His article is short, concise, and loaded with important details. It is a model for studies of placename changes all over the world. After reading the article, one of my colleagues immediately started work on placename changes in Chile after Pinochet!

If Dr. Aslanov has any more articles (that he hasn't submitted to you). I am sure that one of the 34 onomastics journals (world-wide) would be interested. That part of the world is not well-known to the West. Let me congratulate you for providing a great deal of useful information about that country.

Edwin D. Lawson
VP, American Name Society
Professor Emeritus
State University of New York, Fredonia
July 17, 1994


Azeri Music Needed

Quite by chance I came across your magazine. I produce an Azerbaijani program, Odlar Yurdu, (Homeland of Flames - Azerbaijan). Since February this year, we air it every day for an hour for an estimated 10,000 Azeris living in Izmir, Turkey. So far we broadcast music from my own collection of long play records and cassettes. We have an archive but it's very small and lack of music is proving to be an obstacle for our work. I'm wondering if readers of Azerbaijan International could help us expand this collection.

In regard to your magazine, I would like to suggest that you produce all English articles in other languages as well; for example, Persian, and Azeri (both Cyrillic and Latin-based scripts). Thank you.

 Jemal Kerim Mehmethanoglu
Alichetinkaya Bulvari 34/1-103
Izmir, Turkey
Tel/Fax 0 232 4636666

Editor: Good luck in your search for music and thanks for your interest in Azerbaijan International and your suggestion that we expand to other languages, a suggestion which has been made to us on numerous occasions. (Someone has even suggested translating into Esperanto!) At present, our goals are very focused. We are trying to reach English speakers who have never had the chance to get to know Azerbaijan. Our magazine, now in its second year of publication, is currently sent to readers throughout the US and in 36 countries.


So Little in English

As an expatriate living and working in Azerbaijan, it was so disappointing to discover how little material is published in English about this country. As I plod along trying to learn the language, I know it will be a long time before I can use it for research and meaningful study. For that reason, Azerbaijan International is an incredibly important source of information. With each consecutive issue I find my eyes opened more and more to this fascinating country and its diverse people.

I especially appreciate the wide spectrum of subjects covered, ranging from the very painful refugee problem to the grand and colorful history of the oil barons. I'm in respect and gratitude for a job well done. I'm better equipped as a guest in this country thanks to your magazine.

Christine Cannon
July 6, 1994

Armenia Is Aggressor In Azerbaijan

To the Editor of NY Times (June 9, 1994): "Azerbaijan, Potentially Rich, Is Impoverished by Warfare" (front page, June 2, 1994) unfortunately perpetuates a myth central to the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia regarding Nagorno-Karabakh: "In 1923 Stalin made the region of Nagorno-Karabakh part of Azerbaijan, despite the fact that most of its population was Armenian." This is not true.

While the majority of Nagorno-Karabakh's inhabitants have been ethnic Armenians-at least since the end of the last Russian-Persian War in 1828-the territory has been part of Azerbaijan for hundreds of years.

It remained part of Azerbaijan after each Russian-Persian War in the 18th and 19th centuries. It remained so during the 1918 British occupation, in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 (at which the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh signed an agreement accepting Azeri jurisdiction) and when the two nations became Soviet Republic in 1920.

What Stalin did in the 1920's was refuse Armenian requests to transfer Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan to Armenia, which is not the same as giving Armenian territory to Azerbaijan because Nagorno-Karabakh was never part of Armenia.

A report by the United States Committee for Refugees notes that Stalin "retained the lines of the map that separated Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia" and "appeared to want to maintain the territorial status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh."

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is extremely complicated epitomizing the contradiction between two principles of international law: self determination and territorial integrity. However, it is indisputable that Armenia has violated the prohibition of the UN Charter against "the use of force against the territorial integrity...any state," for which the UN Security Council has condemned Armenia numerous times.

William Schaap
Managing Director
Institute for Media Analysis
New York City


We Azeris in US are Guilty

We, Azeris, living here in the US are also supporting Armenian aggression in Azerbaijan through our complacence and lack of concern.

When we pay our taxes, we have no way of knowing where our money goes. For example, the US has given Armenia $188 million in 1993 and nearly that amount in 1994. Azerbaijan has received almost nothing.

But there's more. Through the labyrinth network of departments and agencies in the US government, another $260 million has gone to Armenia for oil drilling and hydro-electric projects. As well, most Foreign Appropriations Bills, include something extra for Armenia including "Meals Ready to Eat" (military rations usually destined for military personnel) courtesy of Senator Dole.

Funding also goes through the U.N. and through non-profit and private voluntary sources. Armenia has been so successful in capturing US aid that they receive the second highest amount of CIS aid with the exception of Russia, although they are one of the smallest countries with only 3 million people.

US aid given is secured and distributed by Armenian organizations. As such, isn't this a case of putting the "fox in charge of the chicken house"? Yet there are no questions being asked as to how Armenians, who are starving, are able to purchase enough weapons and launch offensives so that they can occupy 20% of Azerbaijan territory.

There is practically no investment in Armenia except that from the US. Isn't it logical to presume that American money is buying weapons, fuel, and food for Armenians to kill Azerbaijanis? Unless Azeris work to bring lawmakers and bureaucrats back to reality then we, too, are guilty of spilling innocent Azeri blood.

Tomris Azeri
Exec. VP
Azerbaijan Society of America
New Jersey
July 11, 1994

The Real Question
"How Does Armenia Deserve US Aid?"

(To the Editor of Houston Chronicle)

Dear Senator Gramm,

In your July 6 article in the Houston Chronicle "US Aid Must Be Earned," you condemned the Azerbaijani government for strangling "innocent, weaker" neighbors. You failed to mention that six years of Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan has resulted in the following:

(1) Armenians were the first to blockade Azerbaijan via Nakhchivan--part of Azerbaijani land that is geographically separated from Azerbaijan mainland by a strip of Armenian territory.

(2) Armenians now occupy 20% of Azerbaijani land.

(3) The UN estimates that 1.1 million Azeris (1 in every 7 citizens) is now a refugee.

(4) More than 18,000 Azeris have been killed.

(5) Approximately 50,000 Azeris have been wounded.

(6) Consequently, more than 85% of Azeris live in poverty.

(7) The UN Security Council and the US, Europe and others have on numerous occasions condemned Armenian aggression.

Refugees are in a critical situation; they don't have enough food. Many don't even have a tent over their heads and are living in open fields beside the highways.

Under these awful circumstances, Mr. Gramm, how can you say that Azerbaijan has not "earned" American aid? How is it that you think Armenia has? You say that Armenians have earned it because you have been to Armenia and have seen thousands of people suffering and dying.

Did you visit Azerbaijan? Have you talked with a single refugee? Or with the parents and relatives of those who have been killed? Have you visited the wounded? What about the 200,000 non-Armenians (Azerbaijanis and Russians) who were deported from Armenia since 1988 in the "ethnic sweep" of their own country? Have you even spoken to any of the seven Azeris who are studying at Texas A&M? If not, how can you judge who has "earned" US aid?

You cannot believe, Senator Gramm, how much it hurts when someone like you bases decisions on one-sided information about the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict. Why is Azerbaijan the only one of 15 former Soviet Republics that has been banned from US humanitarian aid? This is not fair and it is creating a lot of ill will against the US government by the 35 million Azerbaijanis throughout the world.

I've been studying about the democratic process and the US government system in my economics and government classes, so when I saw your article, that's how I expected decisions to be made in this country. I believed what I read in books. But your assessment is very one-sided, very undemocratic, and very unfair, and it has left me very confused.

Azerbaijan will lift the blockade against Armenia as soon as your "innocent" Armenian friends in Yerevan stop blockading Nakhchivan, killing peaceful citizens, and when Armenian troops stop occupying Azerbaijani land. The Azeri government is trying to reach a peace accord, but Armenians are refusing to sign. Now I'm wondering if peace has not come to our region because Armenians are receiving monetary and moral support from people like you in the United States.

Shahin Aliyev
Petroleum Engineering Student,
Texas A&M University, Houston
July 8, 1994

From Azerbaijan International (2.3) Autumn 1994.
© Azerbaijan International 1994. All rights reserved.

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