Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. nuotr.

On February 18th, 2019, Hyperallergic, a digital outlet based in Brooklyn (New York), had published a long essay glorifying, revering the Armenian religious architecture and culture in the ancient land of Azerbaijan, Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The authors of this long and misleading publication, Sarah Pickman and Simon Maghakyan have unleashed a barrage of slander, as well as spitted numerous academically shaped insults against Government of Azerbaijan.

Pickman and Maghakyan lead the reader into an abyss of misinformation, attempt to destroy and tarnish the well known historical facts about Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and its ancient history. With their misleading citations and science fiction photos throughout the article, the two authors aim to achieve international notoriety and prestige at the cost of Azerbaijan’s millenary culture; openly attacking and attempting to cover with an Armenian mantle the rich heritage of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is absolutely an act of bigotry, chauvinism and depicts once again the harmful agenda orchestrated by U. S. based Armenian interest groups whose only purpose is to destroy global interfaith dialogue, denigrate multiculturalism and promote hostility in the Caucasus region, instead of peace and prosperity.

Pickman’s appalling remarks illustrate an insidious political offensive and information warfare that is clearly orchestrated by Yerevan’s top officials, while Armenia commemorates three decades of being an aggressor state by occupying over twenty percent of the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan and daily violating the ceasefire across the borderline with Nakhchivan and along the seven surrounding districts of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia’s domestic state of affairs are in dire situation: economic stagnation, high level of unemployment and increased levels of grey economy as well as a malnourished Armed Forces. The media coverage of all these determinant nation building factors would bring more progress to every Armenian citizen and regional progress, rather than contaminate digital newspapers with manipulated facts and photos, as well as Armenian ugly propaganda machine artifacts, fake news and grossly unreliable information.   

It is evident that Armenia’s fascist regime at home and inflammatory Armenian Diasporas abroad have constantly issued offensive press releases and abhorrent remarks against the hardworking and suffering nation of Azerbaijan.  It is non-sense to addressing and responding to every manipulated source in the so called tedious and unscrupulous research presented in Pickman’s essay (as it certainly becomes a dreary read), it is unfair for the reader to address matters that have never happened throughout ancient and modern history of Julfa and Nakhchivan – Azerbaijan; the two authors even write incorrectly, misinforming the public opinion, all names of locations in the territory of Azerbaijan.

Simon Maghakyan and other sources have proved and confirmed that during the Soviet Union period, all grave stones were carried by Armenian nationals from Julfa region of Azerbaijan to Armenia.  The perfect examples are the Grave stones placed in the yard of Yerevan Brandy Factory and in Yerevan State History Museum.

An original Julfa khachkar (above) is one of a dozen surviving grave stones that were removed from Nakhchivan during or before the Soviet Union era, displayed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Armenia! exhibit (September 22, 2018-January 13, 2019), on a loan deal from Armenia’s Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

As a Ph. D. degree candidate at Yale University, Pickman should make an fairly scientific effort to write an essay about the current situation of Azerbaijan’s religious, cultural, grave stones and ancient historical monuments in the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan that have been under the occupation of Armenian Armed Forces for over thirty years and are fully destroyed, including the districts of Agdam, Kalbajar, Lachin, Qubadli, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Fuzuli.  Perhaps a research article on Sarsang Reservoir that is under the Armenian Control and is an imminent threat to over 450 thousand Azerbaijani citizens living in the regions nearby Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh, is truly among pressing matters that require a global attention, instead of pursuing American ambassador Morgenthau’s tarnished legacy during World War I. 

2019.03.18; 02:30

The Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan is located in the southwest corner of the Lower Caucasus. It is a mountainous terrain and stands at 600 to 1000 meters above sea level.

amerikietisThe Climate of Nakhchivan is mostly continental and dry; it is characterized by cold winters while summer seasons are hot and dry.  This landlocked territory of Azerbaijan has a border of 246 km long with Armenia that rings Nakhchivan from the north to the southern border where it connects with the Iranian border that stretches for 204 km from the south towards the northwest, and then Turkey shares a narrow border of 11km wide.  The prosperous autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan has a population of 390.000 and its territory is only 5500 square kilometers.

Some of the highest peaks in Nakhchivan exceed the 3,000 meters (Ishikhli mountain is 3,552 m), although 1,500-2,500 m are more common. Highland ranges of Zangazur and Daralayaz rise along the boundary of Nakhchivan. The peak of the Zangazur range – Kaputjukh Mountain is 3,904 meters; it is the tallest non-volcanic point of the Trans-Caucasian highlands. The southern foot of the Zangazur range is washed by the Araz River which is over 1.072 km long and stretches in Azerbaijan, Iran, Armenia and Turkey. The Talysh Mountains have a medium height; their highest point is Kyumyurkey with 2,477 meters.  The most north-eastern slopes of these mountains are in Azerbaijan. They are divided into three parallel chains by valleys and hollows. The main river bed creates the boundary of Azerbaijan and Iran so the Talysh slopes entirely lie on Iranian territory.

Azerbaijan is situated on the southeastern part of the Caucasus, which stretches for more than 800 km from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. Lying at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, the country has a unique geographical position, and retains its significance for world economic and cultural links.

Nakhchivan is one of the smallest regions in the nation of Heydar Aliyev, its founding leader, however it is almost impossible to find a similar place in the world with almost the same territorial size that would contribute as much to human history as this region of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has been a very strong country in almost every period of its history, particularly in the XII century. The name ‘Nakhchivan’ derives from Noah-Jahan. It is believed that the name of the city of Nakhchivan is related to Prophet Noah. According to archaeological sources, this area has the traces of the big floods in antiquity that were described in the Koran and the Bible.

More than half of the territory of Azerbaijan is mountainous, to the north is the Greater Caucasus with the highest peak: Bazardyuzy, 4,466 meters (its south-eastern part reaches Azerbaijan), to the southwest is the massive Trans-Caucasian upland extending to Armenia and Georgia, bordered by the Lower Caucasus, and to the south there are the Talysh Mountains. These highly striking territorial surfaces, along with geographical particularities, profoundly determine the diversity and abundances of its unique nature, encompassing the features of the Caucasus and Middle Asia region.

In 1920, due to the Bolshevik transfer of Azerbaijan’s Zangazur province to Armenia, the territory of Nakhchivan was separated from the mainland of Azerbaijan.

Under the rule of the Soviet Union, Nakhchivan had access to a railway that provided a connection with the mainland of Azerbaijan by using a corridor of the former Azeri region of Mehri. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Armenian Armed Forces attacked Azeri lands and occupied seven more regions and at this time the railway connecting the mainland of Azerbaijan was cut off by Armenia. Since 1991, Nakhchivan does not have any infrastructure connection with the mainland due to the blockade imposed by Armenia. The only way to visit the other regions of Azerbaijan is by plane using the air corridor through Iran and the road on Iranian territory.  Every day there are six scheduled flights that travel from Nakhchivan to Baku and in the past there have been direct flights, weekly, to Moscow and Istanbul, Turkey.

Peter Tase is a contributor, freelance journalist and a research scholar of International Affairs, Paraguayan Studies, Middle East Studies and Latin American Affairs, located in the United States.  Educated at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and Marquette University Les Aspin Center for Government; Tase is the author of “Simultaneous Dictionary in Five Languages: Guarani, English, Italian, Albanian and Spanish” and “El Dr. FEDERICO FRANCO y Su Mandato Presidencial en la Historia del Paraguay.” He’s a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy News. His personal website is

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Tags: ArmeniaAzerbaijanSouth Caucasus

In foto: Peter Tase.

2014.11.04; 20:11