This is an attempt to research the roots of the protracted conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the way scholars from both countries looked on the events of 1905-1906, which are described by many as “the Armenian-Tatar massacres.” (In the Russian Empire Azerbaijani Turks were called Azerbaijani Tatars or simply Tatars- F.Sh.)
These were the first bloody clashes between two ethnic communities, which had co-existed peacefully side-by-side for centuries. What was the reason for the animosity and did how the massacres 1905-1906 affect the current situation?
It is no easy task to restore a picture of the events because both ethnic communities lived under the Russian Empire where the media was not an impartial observer. Many scholars and experts believe that the Russian authorities were either interested in, or actively encouraged, the ethnic clashes in the Caucasus. At the very least, the Russian authorities did not act to stop the bloodshed or restore order.
In this article I analyze the historical context of the events which led to the massacres, the socioeconomic causes which fed the conflict as well as the overall course of events. Despite the fact that the current conflict – which began in 1988 between the two countries – was caused by a territorial dispute, namely the Armenian claim to Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, historical and ethnic myths, partially associated with the events of 1905-1906 played an important and tragic role in propelling the conflict.
Political and Social Background Preceding the Massacres
In her research on the Russian conquest of the Caucasus, Firouzeh Mostashari rightfully pointed out that many conflicts and problems within the former Soviet republics were caused by the colonial legacy of the Russian Empire and its peripheries. (Firouzeh Mostashari, On the Religious Frontier. Tsarist Russia and Islam in the Caucasus (New York: I.B.Tauris, 2006), p.3) The Soviet rearrangement further complicated territorial-ethnic problems.
After the Russian-Persian wars of 1804-1813 and 1826-1828, the modern day territories of Azerbaijan and Armenia were transferred to the Russian Empire. Those territories had belonged to several small Turkic khanates – Kuba, Ganja, Sheki, Erivan, Karabakh, Nakhichevan, Baky and Talysh, most of which had some kind of vassal relationship to the Persian throne ruled by the house of Gadjar, which was of Turkic origin. In accordance with the Treaty of Turkmanchay of 1928, Azerbaijan was divided in two parts. The northern part – modern day independent Azerbaijan – fell under Russian political, economic and cultural influence. There are different opinions about the scope and quality of these influences – on one hand, Azerbaijan became modernized and to some extent westernized, on the other hand, Azerbaijani land was employed for the interests of Russian geopolitical strategy, which resulted in the loss of territories, wars and conflicts.
After the conquest of the South Caucasus, Russian authorities planned on setting up a Muslim province, which would incorporate local rules and customs. However, Russia later abandoned this plan and opted to create several “classical” Russian provinces – guberniya. In 1830, Russia’s chief commander and envoy (namestnik) in the South Caucasus, General Paskevich, together with senators Kutaisov and Mechnikov, elaborated a project which diminished the local influence to a minimum and envisaged the full incorporation of the Russian administration, settlement of Christian population, the establishment of nobility based on Russian colonizers and local beks. His successor Baron Rozen planned modifications to the project to enable more space for Muslim authorities and sharia but his idea was rejected. Eventually, the Paskevich model was implemented. Russian authorities maintained that the rapid transformation of “savage tribes” into civilized people might be implemented through colonization by educated people, and therefore their policy had no room for local rule. (Mostashari, p. 30) This policy was in conformity with other colonization processes of Western powers – Britons called it “the white man’s burden”, French – “la mission civilisatrice.”
One of the key aims of the Russian administration was to create a resettlement policy in the South Caucasus. The issue of resettlement of the Armenian population has been covered extensively in many academic articles and primary sources. Nikolay Shavrov wrote of the settlement of forty thousand Armenians from Persia and eighty four thousand from the Ottoman State in the Caucasus in the first two years of Russian rule – 1828 to 1830; more Armenians were transferred from the Ottoman Empire in the end of the nineteenth century. (Nikolay Shavrov, Novaya ugroza russkomu delu v Zakavkazye. Predstoyashaya rasprodaja Mugani inorodtsam (Sankt-Peterburg, 1911), pp. 63-64) Renowned Russian poet and diplomat Alexander Griboyedov noted that the Armenians were basically settled on Muslim lands, which caused the discontent of local landowners and beks. (Alexander Griboyedov, “Zapiska o pereseleniyi armyan iz Persiyi v nashi oblasti”, in A.Gnboyedov, Polnoye sobrabiye sochineniy. Volume III (Petrograd, 1917), pp. 267-270 (e-version at <http://feb-web.ru/feb/griboed/texts/ piks3/3_4_ v3.htm>)) As well, the Russian administration settled Germans, Russians, including sextants (so called old-believers), in the South Caucasus. (For more information about settlement policy see Firouzeh Mostashari)Russian authorities regarded the massive settlement policy as a tool to strengthen their position in Muslim-populated territories. The reliance on Armenians was a strategy designed by Peter the Great who saw them as element for his advancement against the Persian and Ottoman States. Luigi Villari, a contemporary observer of the massacres of 1905-1906, noted:
The wily Romanoffs saw in the Armenian people a most useful instrument for the advancement of his Middle and Near Eastern policy, a race widely scattered over the dominions of Turkey and Persia who might be employed against those powers at the opportune moment. Armenians were granted many exemptions and privileges and admitted into the ranks of the Russian army and public service, while Armenian commercial colonies were established in all the chief towns of the Empire. Peter’s successors followed a similar policy and the immigration of Armenians continued and increased (Luigi Villari, Fire and Sword in the Caucasus (London: T.F.Unwin, 1906), p. 145 (e-version at <http//www.armenian-house.or/villari/Caucasus/fire-and-sword.html>))
This century-long migration policy resulted in a change of the ethnic composition of the regions comprising most of modern Armenia and Nagorny Karabalch region of Azerbaijan from predominantly Muslim to majority-Armenian areas. (Stuart Kaufman, Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001), p. 50)
Tadeush Swietochowski noted that Armenians enjoyed a Russian protective shield that enabled them to advance at a fast pace and to capture important economic positions in the region. (Tadeusz Swietochowski, Russian Azerbaijan, 1905-1920. The Shaping of a National Identity in a Muslim Community (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), p. 39) Twenty-nine per cent of enterprises in the Baky guberniya belonged to Armenians, while the Azerbaijanis had control over eighteen percent.( D.V.Seyidzade, Iz istoriyi azerbayjanskoy burjuaziyi v nachale 20-go veka (Baky: Elm, 1978), p. 25) Many industries, such as fishery, tobacco and winemaking passed into the hands of Armenians who had driven the Azerbaijanis out of competition. Armenians held skilled jobs while the Azerbaijanis were employed in low-paid labour. The Armenians were present in large numbers within the State apparatus while Muslims were almost non-existent in the civil and military administration. The oil boom that began in the Absheron peninsula around Baky in the mid-nineteenth century attracted a large number of workers – Armenians, Russians and Azerbaijanis, including from Persia. Many Armenian oil tycoons emerged in Baky – Mantashev, Gukasov and others. Audrey Alstatd also acknowledged that the Armenians were a wealthy minority who enjoyed special relationship with the Russians. Imperial laws benefited the Armenians more than the Azerbaijani Turks. On the other hand, she noted that the Azerbaijani Turks, being largest indigenous group in Baky, with their network of extended families throughout northern and southern Azerbaijan, commanded wealth. However, growing competition created a basis for conflict, particularly in agricultural areas. (Audrey Altstadt, The Azerbaijani Turks. Power and Identity under Russian Rule (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1993), p. 40)
Grigoriy Golitsyn, the new Russian envoy in the South Caucasus, tried to even the Armenian- Azerbaijani balance and increased the total number of Muslims employed within administrative structures. He also ordered the confiscation of the property and lands of the Armenian Church and closed Armenian schools in 1903. The Armenians tried to assassinate him but failed. During this period certain anti-Armenian sentiments emerged among the Russian ruling elite in the South Caucasus. This was manifested in an anti -Armenian publication of a Russian publicist Vasiliy Velichko, who argued that instead of favoritism toward the Armenians, the Russian authorities should try to develop and enlighten the Muslim community which would bring the latter closer to Russians. (V.L.Velichko, Kavkaz. Russkoye delo i mejduplemenniye voprosi. Publitsisticheskiyi sochineniya. Volume I (Sankt-Peterburg, 1904).)However, the period of the Russian bias against Armenians was short-lived. In 1905, Count Vorontsov-Dashkov, a newly appointed Russian envoy, well-known for his pro-Armenian and anti- Turkish stance, returned the confiscated property of the Armenian Church. (Swietochowski, p. 43)
Against this background of growing ethnic tension, the overall political and social situation in Russia was worsening. In 1905-1907 a first armed revolution erupted in the Empire while the Caucasus was caught up in inter-communal violence. Baky, as a large industrial oil city, was replete with revolutionary ideas, particularly among lower-wage workers. Renowned Russian writer Maksim Gorkiy described the city’s oil industry as “a brilliantly drawn picture of a gloomy hell.” (Cited from «Tpyбопроводный транспорт России (1860-1917 гг.)», see at <http://www.transneft.ru/About/ History/’ Default.asp?LANG=RU>.) In December 1904 Baky oil workers, including both Armenians and Azerbaijanis staged a huge strike, which appalled the Russian administration.
The Causes of the Massacres
This ongoing Russian colonial policy served to intensify discontent of among the Azerbaijani population. The perception of Russian favoritism toward the Armenians exacerbated ethnic relations in the South Caucasus. A British diplomatic source noted:
Unfortunately the Russian authorities, instead of trying to improve the relations of the two races by impartial administration, have endeavoured to save themselves trouble by acting on the ancient principle of divide et impera so dear to oriental governments. For some time they favoured the Armenians at the expense of the Tatars. All small offices were given to the former, who thus gained further ascendancy over the Tatars, whom they exasperated more and more by their corruption and extractions. The Russian authorities later changed their policy, thinking perhaps that the Armenians were becoming too predominant, or possibly because they became alarmed at the growing activity of the Armenian revolutionary societies, (“Armenian Revolutionary Societies (Committees)” was a term used for Armenian nationalist party “Dashnaktsutsun” -Armenian Revolutionary Federation) whose propaganda has undoubtedly been encouraged by the progress of events in other parts of the empire. (Dominic Lieven, Kenneth Bourne, Cameron Watt (ed.), British Documents on Foreign Affairs: Reports and Papers From the Foreign Office Confidential Print. Volume 3, Russia 1905-1906, pp. 185-186)
An overwhelming majority of sources and scholars blame the Russian authorities for the worsening situation, pointing out their apathy and ineptitude in dealing with interethnic violence. Some sources claim that the Russian administration even facilitated and instigated the massacres. Luigi Villari reported:
In the meanwhile a number of murders of Armenians, attributed to Tartars, had been committed on Shemakhinka street (Street in Baky city ) and on the other hand, several mutilated corpses of Tartars, supposedly murdered by Armenians, were discovered under the snow which had just melted away. There is a strong presumption that the police was at the bottom of these affairs, which it had instigated with a view to promoting Tartar-Armenian hatred, but I cannot say whether the suspicion is well founded. The authorities were perpetually telling the Tartars that the Armenians were meditating a massacre of Muslims and that theyshould be on the qui vive. (Villari, p. 193)
The same British diplomatic source reported that the authorities armed Tatars against Armenians. (Dominic Lieven, Kenneth Bourne, Cameron Watt, p. 186) The instigation by the Russian authorities is viewed as a major factor in the outbreak of the massacres.
Sources also opine that another major cause of the massacres was the activity of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutun). This party was founded in Tiflis (modern day Tbilisi) in 1890 with the aim of creating an independent Armenia, a goal for which they envisaged both political and armed struggle, including terror.( Gerard Libaridian, “Revolution and Liberation in the 1982 and 1907 Programs of the Dashnaktsutun”, in Ronald Suny (ed.), Transcaucasia, Nationalism, and Social Change: Essays in the History of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia (Ann Arbor: MI, 2nd ed., 1996), pp. 166-167) Its role in the massacres was notable. Even pro-Armenian envoy Vorontsov-Dashkov acknowledged that the Dashnaks bore a major portion of responsibility for the massacres. He wrote that the Dashnak squads had attacked Muslims and exterminated the entire population of settlements (“Vsepodaneyshaya zapiska po upravleniyu kavkazskim krayem generala-adyutanta grafa Vorontsova-Dashkova” (Sankt-Peterburg: Gosudarstvennaya Tipografiya, 1907), p. 12). Another contemporary observer, James Henry, who wrote Baky: an Eventful Story, cited a journalist of The Times:
I found, somewhat to my surprise, that at Shusha, as well as in other towns, the Tartars were unanimous in ascribing the collisions which had taken place to the activity of the Armenian committees and I was assured also by many witnesses who might claim to be considered impartial, Russians and Georgians, that the charge was true. It is noticeable also that at Baky the general opinion of non-Armenians, whether Russians or foreigners, inclines to hold the Armenians responsible for the outbreak and for the continuance of the hostilities.(James D. Henry, Baky: an Eventful History (With many illustrations and a map) (London: Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd 16, James Street, Haymarket, November, 1905), pp. 150-151)
Other contemporary source noted:
For the Armenian population it is no secret that the Dahsnaktsutun played a significant role in the Armenian-Tatars massacres. Frequently they [the Dashnaks] resorted to provocations to prove their necessity [as defenders of Armenians] such tactical assault of ‘fidayees’ [Armenian fighters] on neighbouring Tatar populations which, certainly, responded in due manner. The Dashnak’s tactics were explained by a plan to create territories with a homogenous Armenian population in order to establish a future Armenian autonomy (Karibi, Krasnaya kniga (Tiflis, 1920), p. 49-50).
There were other opinions expressed concerning the reasons behind the massacres. A popular view, particularly among Armenians, blamed Pan-Islamist ideas, which were propelled by agents from the Persian and Ottoman States.( A.V.Amfiteatrov, Armenskiy vopros (Sankt-Peterburg, 1906), p. 53) A majority of the Azerbaijani population, particularly in rural areas, was religious and, therefore, could serve as fertile ground for activities encouraged by foreign emissaries. However, a contemporary Russian bureaucrat Vladimir Mayevski questioned this:
If one assumes that there is a strong basis for the pan-Islamist idea in the Caucasus, it is then difficult to comprehend why these ideas manifested themselves among the Tatars in the form of hostility exclusively against the Armenians, leaving aside all other peoples of the Caucasus. Surely, in this case a Russian element, against which Pan-Islamist ideas should work, must have become a major target. However, the reality was the opposite. Why did the Tatars only attack the Armenians and not attack Georgians, Kurds-yezids [Christian Kurds], and Greeks? Discussing such questions is not in the interests of the Armenians. (V. Mayevskiy, Armano-tatarskaya smuta na Kavkaze, kak odin iz fazisov armenskoogo voprosa (Tiflis, 1915), cited from <http://www.karabakh -doc.azerall.info/ai/istoch/is010.htm>.)
Other scholars also assert the prevalence of religious tolerance among the Azerbaijanis. Tom Reiss stressed that Baky, where the massacres started, was the only place where, for example, Jews could feel safe. (Tom Reiss, The Orientalist (Random House, 2005), p. 9) “During the Soviet times Jews suffered from many problems, however, Baky was the least anti-Semitic city of the Russian Empire, and, for sure, of the USSR.” (Lev Nussimbaum – Assad Bey – Kurban Said. Istoriya zagadki”, interview with Tom Reiss. Washington Profile, see at < http://www.washprofile.org/7q = ru/node/5393>)
Luigi Villari referred to a conversation he had with one of local beks about the theory of Pan- Islamism as a cause for the massacres. The bek said, “there is more chance of a union between Tartars and Armenians than between Sunnis and Shiahs. He concluded by stating that the government was largely to blame. This is the one point on which Tartars and Armenians agree.” (Villari, p. 283)
The Western and Russian media of that time described the interethnic violence as a clash between “civilized Armenians and wild Tatars.” («Le Matin», 20.09.1905, «Le Temps», 15.09.1905) Luigi Villari maintains that the clash was “also part of that wider feud between modern ideas and Asiatic barbarism.” (Villari, p. 191) Modem Russian scholar Pavel Shehtman, known for his anti-Azerbaijan research on the massacres Flame of Old Fires forwarded this as his central argument. (Pavel Shekhtman, Plamya davnix pojarov. “Pro Armenia” (Moscow, 1992-1993), (e-version at <http://www.armenianhouse.arg/shekhtman/docs-ru/reason.html>)Such myths were well developed and established in the Western and Russian media and many perceived the massacres as a fight between civilized Christian Armenians and barbaric Muslim Tatars. These stereotypes continue nowadays and play a negative role in depicting the current conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
This view of the conflict as a fight between progress and barbarism barely merits discussion. Firstly, much evidence shows that the Azerbaijanis developed ideas of modernity and autonomy in that period. (See the abovementioned works of Audrey Alstatdt and Tadeush Swietochowski. Also see I.S.Bagirova, Politicheskiyi partiyi I organizatsiyi Azerbayjana v nachale XX veka (1900-1917) (Baky: Elm, 1997), (e-version <http://www.karabakh-doc.azerall.info/ru/azerpeople/ap040-l.php>).) Audrey Alstatd noted that both ethnic groups experienced a cultural renaissance, which carried political implications and both established organizations to pursue national goals, though the Armenians operated on a larger scale. But the difference was the following: the Azerbaijanis wanted to reach their goals at the Russians’ expense, the Armenians at the Azerbaijanis. (Altstadt, p. 43)Secondly, revolutionary ideas threatened the Russian authorities, not the Azerbaijanis who themselves were under colonial rule. Thirdly, accusations of Azerbaijani barbarism were disproved by many contemporary sources who described the Azerbaijani Turks as peaceful, hard-working and law- abiding. In his report of 1860, the Governor of Baky wrote:
In the city “everyone is characterized by obeisance, loyalty and incredible diligence. They never loiter, they work the entire year in their husbandry or for a wage and they carry heavy cargo. There is no robbery among Muslims; crimes are rare but they are inclined to religious fanaticism under the influence of neighbouring States”. (Cited from T.F.Gumbatova, Baky i nemtsi. Chapter “Kaic Baky stal stolitsey: 1859-1869 – 10 burnikh let istoriyi”, “Echo”, Baky, 14.03.2007)
In another report dated of 1869 Baky Governor Kulyebakin wrote:
Tatars perceive the authority to be a force of suppression, cruel and merciless; but at the same time they respect it. If the authority is just they abide it in their deep conscience. Cases of disobedience are rare. In general, they are kind, humble and satisfied with small benefits. They could give false evidence against Christians for the benefit of their coreligionists but this is regarded as excusable crime. A few people resort to robbery due to laziness but those are exceptional cases”. (Ibid)
In the beginning of the Twentieth century the crime rate, particularly in Baky had increased but this was related to the kidnapping of oil tycoons and their children. These stories were attractive to the media, and newspapers paid much attention to those crimes, which created relevant opinion about the situation in Baky. Many stories were told about “gochu” – informal leaders of street gangs, some of them cooperated with the police. (At the same time, the crime rate among Armenians, especially migrants from the Ottoman Empire was also high). (Velichko, p. 137) Overall, Tom Reiss described Muslims in Baky as incredibly modern. (“Lev Nussimbaum – Assad Bey – Kurban Said. Istoriya zagadki”, interview with Tom Reiss. Washington Profile, see at http://www.washprofile.org/?q=ru/node/5393)
Nevertheless, Azerbaijani writer and columnist Mammad Seid Ordubadi mentioned Azerbaijani illiteracy and ignorance as being among the four causes of the massacres. He wrote:
Illiterate and ignorant about political affairs, Muslims did not consider the opinion of bureaucrats with regard to the Caucasus whereas the Armenians exploited this factor. The reason of the continuation of the Armenian-Muslim clashes was illiteracy and backwardness of our compatriots, and the lack of arms as well. (Mammad Said Ordubadi, Ganli Iller (seneler). 1905-1906-ci illerde Gafgazda bash veren ermeni-musulman davasinin tarihi (Baky, 1991 (reprint of 1911 edition)), p. 9. (There is also Russian e-version of this book, which, however, contains some error: <http://www.azeribook.com/history/ordubadi/krovaviye_godi.htm>))
He mentioned another cause of the massacres – “an Armenian dream of autonomy.” I touched upon this issue briefly when discussing the activity of the Dashnaks. Ordubadi wrote:
After their party was banned in Turkey, the Armenians turned their sights to the Caucasus, dreaming of restoration of Armenia, destroyed in ancient times by Iranian bijans. [T] hen, following the precepts of Arsruni, they provoked the Baky events with the goal to pressure Muslims, expel them from their native lands and create their own [Armenian] State. (Ibid., p. 10)
This opinion of the Azerbaijani writer might be biased. However, another non-Azerbaijani source says:
Before the emergence of Armenian revolutionary activists, particularly the Dashnaks, Transcaucasia lived in peace and safety. No one remembers anything similar to what we witnessed in the Armenian-Tatar massacres. [A]s the Dashnaks came with their propaganda of the creation of homogenous Armenian territory for the Armenian autonomy in the future, hatred and animosity penetrated the lives of Transcaucasian villages. (Karibi, pp. 49-50)
According to the Azerbaijani newspaper “Hayat”, the Armenian aspiration of autonomy was directed against the Azerbaijani’s because the latter was the largest ethnic group in the Caucasus. If they could be defeated, no other ethnic group in the region would be able to stand up against the Armenians. Secondly, war with the Muslims could be easily portrayed as long-term animosity Thirdly, because of the religious factor, the Armenians would be able to play on existing biases to claim that they have been attacked and to use an alleged threat as an excuse to stockpile weapons, (Cited form Altstadt, p. 42)which indeed was done. This opinion, expressed in the Azerbaijani newspaper, might be biased. However, we know that the Dashnak party program stipulated the establishment of independent Armenia in eastern Anatolia and the western Caucasus.(Gerard Libaridian. See also Louise Nalbandian, Armenian Revolutionary Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1963)
The British diplomatic source quoted earlier offered another explanation for the violence. “The religious antagonism between the two races has for long been carefully fanned by revolutionary agents, with the object of creating difficulties for the authorities and of producing a state of anarchy all over Russia, by which they hope to overthrow the present government”. (Dominic Lieven, Kenneth Bourne, Cameron Watt, p. 68)In this case responsibility perhaps rests on the Dashnaks and Russian revolutionary activists. At the same time, Russian government officials might have suggested this explanation to the British diplomat. One modern writer, the journalist Van Der Leeuw, also noted that the Bolsheviks were involved in cultivating ethnic conflict in order to take advantage of it at the appropriate moment but he wrongfiilly points to a Bolshevik of Armenian origin Anastas Mikoyan as the mastermind (Charles van der Leeuw, Azerbaijan: A Quest for Identity (Caucasus World) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2000), p. 247) – Mikoyan was 10 years old at that time. Taking into account that the Bolsheviks and the Dashnaks cooperated closely (a cooperation that was later evident in the massacres of the Azerbaijani’s in March 1918), the Bolsheviks might have been somehow involved in the interethnic clashes, if not as instigator, at least as supporters of the Dashnakist revolutionaries. Meanwhile, many observers believe that the interethnic violence diluted the revolutionary unity in the South Caucasus. The Social-Democrats made many efforts to stop the violence – they succeeded in reconciling the two communities in Tbilisi in the fall 1905.
Western and Russian sources also opined that the Azerbaijanis supported the massacres because of their economic weaknesses as compared to the Armenians. (Shehtman, Ibid) Audrey Alstatd rejects this opinion and maintains that the Azerbaijani Turks, particularly the upper classes had significant commercial and civic interests, especially in Baky, interests that included oil enterprises. She believes that “the root of the conflict must be sought in historical differences manipulated over decades by tsarist colonial policies meant to incite jealousy and perhaps, violence, as a means of control. (Altstadt, p. 43)
Finally, in Armenian historiography and some Russian and Western sources, there is the belief in an idea of ancient hatred between the Armenian and Turkic races. Despite vast literature in contemporary Armenian history it is hard to identify any significant massacres or even clashes between the Armenians and the Turks before the 1890s. There were some classical mediaeval wars in which the Armenians sometimes took part as vassals of various Turkic or Iranian kingdoms. There is strong evidence that the two peoples co-existed quite peacefully before first clashes erupted in the Ottoman Empire in the 1890s. The renowned Russian writer Maxim Gorky wrote in 1905:
[B]eing in the Caucasus I saw everywhere how the Georgians, Tatars and Armenians worked together in a friendly manner, how they joked with each other, sang and smiled. Now it is hard to believe that these peoples massacre each other following a dark and evil power instigating them. (Maxim Gorkiy, Sobraniye sochineniy v 30-ti tomakh. Volume 23 (Moscow, 1953), pp. 337-340)
Stuart Kaufman stressed in his internationally award winning book Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War that the real cause of conflicts was “symbolic politics”. He argued that existing perceptions about neighboring ethnic groups provoked violence and once violence breaks out, those perceptions justified themselves. Yet it can be ethnic hatred that is falsely perceived to be a prolongation of historical animosities. If ones reads Armenian history it sounds as though Turks have been slaughtering Armenians for hundreds of years. That myth has been used to justify Armenian hostilities in Turkic-speaking Azerbaijan. (Kaufman, pp. 52-56)
To be continued…
“Diplomatiya aləmi”. 2008.-N18-19.-S. 14-29