What Do Armenian Media Write about Azerbaijan?

Shahin Hajiyev, Editor, Turan Agency

Messages and articles related to Azerbaijan and the Karabakh conflict occupy a central place in the Armenian press. This is not just the realities of today, but already a long-standing tradition. Probably, there is no need to explain the reasons behind this, it is clear. The content and nature of these publications are more important and interesting.
For the 30 years of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, a certain approach has been developed, which, depending on the political situation, may change. However, in general, it remains unchanged.
If we try to systematize by the topic-based approach, publications can be classified by the following aspects: history, psychology and mentality, geopolitics, war, “artificial” education called Azerbaijan, the role and influence of oil on the conflict, legal validity of the withdrawal of Karabakh from Azerbaijan, etc.

Perhaps the main thing is that in the Armenian press there is no alternative opinion on practically all the issues mentioned. In short, the general opinion is as follows: Armenians are right, Azerbaijanis are aggressors and nomads who seized the lands of Armenians. There is a consensus on these issues, which practically no one from the media disputes. The difference is only in the degree of assessment of the “savagery” of Azerbaijanis and the timing of their appearance on “historical Armenian lands”.

In general, the theme of Azerbaijan as a nation is one of the most beloved in Armenia. Writers, historians and politicians compete in the search of evidence, testifying to the emergence of the Azerbaijani nation 70 years ago with Stalin’s help. This “fact” is presented as one of the trump cards in a dispute with Azerbaijan over the ownership of Karabakh.

The caustic and derogatory publications by David Babayan, an adviser and press secretary of the “President” of Nagorno-Karabakh, about the origin of the Azerbaijani nation may serve as a vivid example of the above-mentioned. Pretending to be a historian, Babayan draws his “conclusions” without any references and proofs! (1)
Here is an excerpt from Babayan’s work, which quite fully describes the author’s attitude to the topic:

“The first part of the study, published on January 8, 2017 (https://regnum.ru/news/2224735.html), pointed at the Azerbaijani origin of the forefather of humanity Adam and his wife Eva, which is confirmed by the fact that in the Azerbaijani language adam "is translated as" man." However, recent studies have shown that the word "adam" goes back to the proto-Azerbaijani "atam", the root of which "ata" means "father", i.e. in this context, the "forefather of humanity". This discovery provides the key to the ultimate understanding and identification of the location of mythical Atlantis. After all, the toponym "Atlantis" originally sounded like "ATAtlantis", that is, the land of the fathers, the fatherland or the ancestral homeland of humanity. The name of the Atlantic Ocean that previously sounded as "ATAlantic"derived from the same root and meant "the sea fatherland of humanity." By the way, the Russian word “fatherland” is also a borrowing from the Azerbaijani and earlier sounded like “ATAtechestvo”, bearing the same meaning.

In this context, the results of the study of the “Manhattan” toponym came as quite unexpected. According to the dominant theory, the name of this island, which now forms the heart of the city of New York, was given by the Indian tribe Manahata inhabiting it. However, in reality, the roots of the word “Manhattan” are Azerbaijani words “myan” and “H Atam”, which means “I am Atam or Adam”. Thus, did the forefather of all humanity Adam first respond to the voice of God and His question “Who are you?”, answering: “I am Atam or Adam”. This fundamentally reshapes the idea of the localization of heaven on earth. After these revolutionary discoveries, anthropologists, paleontologists and biologists seriously began to consider the hypothesis that people did not migrate from Eurasia to America through the Beringian land, but vice versa. This hypothesis is indirectly confirmed by the name Chukotka, which is based on the two Azerbaijani words “choh” and “orta”, which means the very middle. And indeed, if you look at the map, on the way from Manhattan, that is, the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, to Europe, the center of Eurasia and Africa, Chukotka occupies a middle position. And here the ancient Azerbaijani navigators and migrants not only accurately indicated the geographical position of Chukotka as the middle link of the migration of the proto-humans, but were also the first to introduce the word "equator", which is based on the Azerbaijani word "iki" - "two", i.e. the line dividing the globe into two halves. And it originally sounded as “IKIvator”. We have already talked about the etymology of the Atlantic Ocean. So, the Azerbaijanis gave the name to the Pacific Ocean, too. The word “Pacific” has in its root the Azerbaijani word “pishi” - “kitten” and initially sounded like “Pishifik”, i.e. “playful and peaceful”.”

In the given case, the reference to the Russian agency Regnum is not accidental. From the very beginning, Armenian journalists occupied key positions in this resource, and this resource will always be distinguished by its pro-Armenian position.

Pandukht, an author on Voskanapat website, writes about Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis in a similar spirit.

The terms "Transcaucasian Turks", "Askerians", "Nomads", etc., are favorite expressions.

Here is a link to a series of his articles entitled.

"The whole truth about the ‘internationally recognized borders’ of the Republic of Azerbaijan," designed to prove the inconsistency of the principle of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and the illegality of Nagorno-Karabakh’s inclusion in its composition (2)

In general, the major direction line of this publication, considered to be among the most aggressive ones, is to exclude any compromise for the sake of reconciliation with Azerbaijan. Therefore, the rest of the site’s publications are distinguished by extreme intransigence and aggressiveness.

The website “Epress.am”, which occupies a relatively balanced standpoint may be cited as the opposite position. Perhaps this is the only permanent site where there are publications about the persecution and murder of Azerbaijanis in Armenia.

“Events in Gugark. How Azerbaijanis fell to pogroms” (3).

On this site, you can find publications that cast doubt on the theory of the exclusivity of Armenians, the universal guilt of Azerbaijanis and the need to fight with Azerbaijan until complete victory.

This media outlet publishes materials on the need to seek peace and reconciliation with Azerbaijanis and Turks. An example is the joint appeal of peacekeepers George Vanyan and Zardusht Alizadeh to the authorities of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the article by Vanyan about his trip to Azerbaijan in 2018 (4).

In continuation of the topic on exchange travel, I would like to give an example of reactions in social media to such visits. For example, last February, I visited Yerevan as a journalist. This is what the reaction was in the social media in Armenia, which took place on the page of an active Armenian blogger who was indignant at the admission of an Azerbaijani journalist to Yerevan:

“Andrei Grigoryan: Are you total nuts? ...
Yelena Dadayan: They will soon drink Azer-tea "Akhmat" or "Akhmakh"
Zohrab Isoyan: And what's the problem?
Norayr Markaryan: Vladimir, is it good or bad? What do you think?
Zohrab Isoyan: And where is the sign of surrender?
Katerina Tish: Are you sure that he will not deploy espionage there? And does Azerbaijan have a similar Armenian correspondent?
Dilbaryan Araik: This is a duck or something, I do not understand.
Elena Dadayan: IT'S GOOSE
Rudolf Ayriyan: Geese and ducks in power)
Elina Babayan: Cattle is in power
Norayr Mikayelyan: Who will be responsible 'for all this!!!
Katerina Tish: Norayr Mikayelyan, our human government will be responsible, it wants to show the world that we have a democracy, and in fact we have anarchy.
Dilbaryan Araik: Who is now a Turk – Serjik, Robik or Nikolik??
Garegin Grigoryan: We must act, tomorrow will be too late...
Armine Martirosyan: This is awful; they are completely stupefied.
Katerina Tish: Armine Martirosyan, no one is stupefied, this is a special program (in Ukraine it was tougher, in Armenia it is done in a slightly different way).
A person’s coming to power with an ultimatum of "either I or no one" shall be called terrorism. Power is in the hands of terrorists. When compared with former leaders, this is the most unpredictable power.
Tatul Tigranyan: Armenians, who are citizens of the RF, are not even allowed to go to Baku, whereas their journalists come to us for work. Quite interesting.
Katerina Tish: This is a new way of espionage under such a cover, tomorrow this journalist will bring the necessary information to his country.
Emil Osipyan: So this is what they had agreed on.
David Bakhshiyan: A talker is a godsend for a spy!!! To give the enemy information about internal matters is a very stupid act.
Karina Sargsyan: Where do you see people????? And where do you even see the unity of the nation and patriotism...... This is a flock of stupefied rams who never needed anything...... And this flock of rams is worthy of such a government that is now in power......
Sofia Sargsyan: Friendship started??!! ((((Those responsible for making such a terrible decision must be tried and imprisoned.
David Bakhshiyan: Some in power stole, others in power surrender the country to enemies! Our country not only has no diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan, but is at war with it, how can the Foreign Ministry give accreditation to the media workers of the enemy side? They do not understand that they are potential spies! People sitting there are not in their right place, they are not professionals, stupid and incompetent people. They surrender the country without a fight.
Karen Grigorian: Turks certainly will not understand this, but the world will understand this diplomatic step. But how could one think that the country is surrendered, do not make hasty conclusions?
Sarkis Oganesyan: This is not a diplomatic process, but and a direct sale of interest. When a country invites an agent of its enemy’s special service, is this called a diplomatic process in the world??? Then I am commander marshal Zhukov???)))))))) He is just a traitor...
Svetlana Korkotyan Karen Grigorian, this may still be a provocative move by Azerbaijan. They will kill their own people to put the blame on us and raise a howl all over the world ...

The focus of the Armenian press with full negativity against Azerbaijan is expressed in the fact that journalists are competing in the search for "facts" exposing Baku’s insidious policy towards all its neighbors. So, according to the Yerevan publications, Baku is preparing coups in Iran, supports the separatism of local Azerbaijanis, and supplies Israel with intelligence about Iran. In addition, Baku seeks to grab a part of the territory of Georgia with its historical heritage - the David Gareji Monastery.

This is how famous sites – Armenpress, Aravot and Lragir –   write about these topics.

Here are the conclusions made by the Armenian expert for a publication by Armenpress:

1. “Over the years, as a result of active military-technical cooperation with Azerbaijan in areas bordering with Iran, which in the American-Israeli anti-Iranian programs were constantly viewed as an important springboard, a fairly effective network of Israeli special services was formed. About a year ago the operation of the latter focused on the export of several tons of documentary archive on Iran’s nuclear program through Azerbaijan.

2. The Turkish-Azerbaijani tactics of “action by proxy”, following the example of the Syrian conflict, but in this case through the introduction of Turkic and Islamic radical groups, was practically tested at the active military stages of the Artsakh issue. The latest example of this is the activation of the military situation in April 2016. At the same time, after Turkey, another regional adversary of Iran, Saudi Arabia, created an effective infrastructure in this direction. This could be proven by the recruitment and introduction of thousands of Azerbaijanis into Middle East conflicts.

3. Iranophobia occupies a historically dominant place among the authorities, but in a much more obvious way, also in the socio-political circles of Azerbaijan, which with its influence may compete only with anti-Armenian sentiments. This circumstance, in its deepest sense, has always troubled Iran, instilling uncertainty about all the regimes in Baku throughout history of independent Azerbaijan” (5).

And this is how the Aravot publication reveals the "cunning" plans of Azerbaijan with regard to Georgia:

“Azerbaijan supplies Georgian libraries with books containing hate speech against Armenians. Although the libraries themselves do not see problems in this, some Georgian Azerbaijanis fear that this may contribute to the emergence of ethnic tensions. When Georgian Azerbaijani Imran Gafarov discovered in the public library in Marneuli - a city with an ethnic majority of Azerbaijani population in Kvemo Kartli region in southern Georgia - a book full of territorial claims and hate speech against Armenians, he could not believe his eyes.

“When I visited the Marneuli library, I saw the book “Monuments of Western Azerbaijan”, written by Aziz Alekperli. I thought that the book would be about historical monuments, located in the west of Azerbaijan. However, when I read the book, it became clear that the book is about monuments located in Armenia. The book contained an element of hostility towards Armenians,” Gafarov said to OC Media.

The library has two copies of the book. Page 13 of the 2006 edition tells about territorial claims to Armenia. On page 21, the author claims that Armenians committed a genocide against Azerbaijanis four times. The 2007 edition contains a map of “Western Azerbaijan”, on which toponyms in Armenia are written in Azerbaijani version. "The Georgian state should not allow the importation of such books into Georgia."

Aida Tagiyeva, an ethnic Azerbaijani woman and a public figure from Georgia, believes that books containing hate speech should be removed from libraries. “It’s just wrong to call people" low-grade "or" two-faced. " The Georgian state should not allow such books to be imported into Georgia,” she told OC Media. According to her, such books have a “psychological impact” on Azerbaijanis living in Georgia. “As a result of pressure from Azerbaijan, about 80% of Georgian Azerbaijanis are currently experiencing a certain hatred towards Armenians. Although it is not obvious on the surface, it is felt in certain contexts. Such books increase this pressure,” said Taghiyeva. She also stated that this pressure is part of the policy of Azerbaijan. “The government of Azerbaijan sees us as part of the country. They can make use of Georgian Azerbaijanis, filled with hatred against Armenians. If a conflict arises here, they will use them to their advantage,” she said. However, she added that Georgia understands that Azerbaijan suffered greatly during the war. “We regret it, and we have always condemned the genocide in Khojali. However, justice is not born out of hatred. This does not mean that we should be enemies with Armenians in Georgia. Innocent people who lived during the war should not be targeted. Those who live in Georgia, for the most part, did not participate in the conflict. These issues should be decided not by us, but between states” (6).

Here is a publication from the Lragir on the same subject of Azerbaijani-Georgian relations:

“The Scientific Council of the History Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan stated that part of the Georgian lands are historical Azerbaijani territories, and the capital Tbilisi carries Azerbaijani culture. Azerbaijani scholars claim that the southern and eastern provinces of Georgia were part of the Albanian kingdom; Azeris, as is known, have for some time considered themselves descendants of Albanians.

In fact, Azerbaijani scientists declare the beginning of an attack against Georgia, like the one that they have been carrying out for many years against Armenia, Yerevan, Armenian monuments, declaring them their own.

The attack on Georgia was caused by a dispute over the Georgian David Gareji monastery, on the very border of Azerbaijan with Georgia. Part of the monastery complex is located in Georgia, but a small fragment is located in the territory of Azerbaijan. A few weeks ago, Azerbaijani border guards did not allow Georgian pilgrims to visit the monastery.

Then the incident seemed to have been settled - the Azerbaijanis said they were carrying out repairs. But the statement made by the scientists testifies to serious political and military claims.

Although it is unlikely that Tbilisi will be surprised, and there is hardly any person in the Georgian establishment who hoped that Baku’s appetites would be saturated with

Armenia, including Artsakh. These claims and appetites are based on something much deeper, which determines the prospects for the presence of the Turkic element in the region and impacts its security for others.

If it seems to the Georgian establishment that the issue is purely Armenian-Turkish, this is a serious misconception, which Azerbaijani scientists reveal, confirming that there is no separate security of Armenia and Georgia, they are organically spliced.

Meanwhile, some in Georgia explain what is happening between Georgia and Azerbaijan by the “Armenian factor”. The Russian agency Regnum quoted a Georgian expert who determined the behavior of Azerbaijan by the Artsakh problem. According to him, since Armenians present Christian monuments as historical arguments, Baku puts forward a hypothesis that not only Karabakh, but also Saingilo region are monuments of Albanian culture.

The Georgian expert believes that, despite the good-neighborly relations of Georgia and Azerbaijan, the latter do not serve as grounds for Baku to make concessions, believing that in this way it will give new arguments to Armenians” (7).

A real bacchanalia has unfolded in the Armenian press around the possible participation of Armenian footballer Heinrich Mkhitaryan in the Europe League Final in Baku. Here is a publication in the same edition of Lragir, where the theme of Mkhitaryan is “explained” in terms of the fact that hatred against Armenians and Armenian heritage has historical roots in Azerbaijan.

“The 43rd session of UNESCO will be held from June 30 to July 10 in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, where issues of preservation of world heritage will be discussed. And this causes at least bewilderment - UNESCO is meeting in a country that systematically destroys the heritage of Armenian culture. The scandalous facts about the destruction of khachkars in Nakhijevan, in Jugha took place before the whole world, including UNESCO.

Thus, Baku can put an end to the history of UNESCO, if the leadership of this organization does not hold Azerbaijan to account. Although, if desired, this could have been done long ago, and there would be no decision to hold a session in Baku either.

In order to ask questions, you do not need to go to Baku. The city, of course, has its historical appearance, including, thanks to the Armenian culture, but as a result of the policy of the leadership of this country, the city turned into a lair of anti-Armenian phobias and anti-civilization shame.

The recent events related to the finals of the Europe League, which have become a fiasco of the Azerbaijani leadership, may testify to this. There were a lot of examples of shame - people were detained for the fact that they went outside in Heinrich Mkhitaryan T-shirts.

But it was a fiasco not only for Aliyev, but also for the UEFA, which in September 2017 for some reason decided that the Europe League Final should be held in Baku.

The UEFA decision created not only the Heinrich Mkhitaryan problem, but also led to a discomfort for millions of fans. Both fans, and experts condemned and sneered at the choice of the city and the stadium. In the international press, information appeared that after the first half of the match, the country's leadership decided to open the gates of the stadium and let in the fans for free to fill the empty seats, although this did not improve the sad picture.

And this is despite the fact that the UEFA has made a decision to hold the matches of the European Championship games in 2020 at the same stadium.

Now UNESCO is actively moving towards a fiasco, having decided to hold a meeting in a country where the heritage of Armenian culture is being destroyed.

How are such decisions made, bypassing the policy pursued by Azerbaijan? And not only in relation to Armenians. Historical and political aggression against Georgia has been launched, too.

Has the caviar diplomacy, which has already been exposed in a number of European capitals, been the basis for such decisions?

Or are decisions made to show the contrast and make Baku pay for its own discomfort?

What do the Armenian authorities intend to undertake on the eve of the 43rd session of UNESCO in Baku?” (8).

What are the conclusions?

The recent trip of the author of these lines to Yerevan allowed to make an, at first glance, unexpected conclusion that in the ordinary life the authors of the above publications are quite peaceful. Communication with fellow journalists, experts and politicians was quite correct. However, both in Armenia and in Azerbaijan there is a public order to expose insidious neighbors.

There is no uncontested rule in the media to protect national interests, which implies condemnation of everything connected with Azerbaijan and depiction of the representation of Azerbaijanis in a negative light. The situation is exactly the same on the opposite side.

To better understand the reason for such sentiments in the society of a country which we are in a military conflict with, it is necessary to remember: there are a number of issues that are of vital importance for Armenia and Armenians, these are the events of 1915, the political role of the Armenian Church and Karabakh.

These issues are the main connecting element of this nation. Armenians look at many questions through this prism and explain many of their actions (if not all) by the consequences of these events or the threat of their repetition.

One can hardly agree that the assessments of the Armenian society are objective, rather the opposite. At the same time, in private conversations, interlocutors from among the press workers, civil society and ordinary citizens made it clear that they did not quite agree with the “national idea” of confrontation with Azerbaijan and the struggle to the bitter end. However, an open opposition against this line is tantamount to suicide.

At the same time, the most ardent opponents of reconciliation and compromise did not hide their readiness to reconcile and cooperate with Azerbaijan, but only after Baku recognized the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh and the loss of the occupied territories around it.

A common “task” facing the Armenian media is also a series of theses, repeated with constant frequency: Azerbaijan will soon run out of oil, so there is no need to compromise with Baku; Azerbaijanis do not know how to fight, because they do not feel that they belong to Karabakh; the demands of the Armenian side have always been legitimate, and

Azerbaijan is an artificially created country, where the autochthonous peoples - Lezghins, Talyshs, Avars, Kurds – operate, and this state does not have a future. Finally, the most important thing is that in Azerbaijan they cannot ensure the rights and freedoms of their own citizens, hence, how can one believe that they will be able to ensure the rights and freedoms of Armenians there.

Another important point concerns the fact that in the Armenian press there are virtually no materials - articles, analyses, interviews on the topic of finding ways of reconciliation with Azerbaijan. There are no ideas and programs for finding peace and compromises. There are also no positive examples from the past, on which one could build reconciliation between the two peoples.

Now in Armenia and Azerbaijan they are talking about the need for steps for the parties’ reconciliation. One of the elements of this process should be the exchange of delegations of journalists. It would be extremely useful to use this opportunity to make the first breakthrough in the consciousness of the societies of the two countries.
In our situation, the mass media is becoming an essential tool that can incline people both towards either peace or the opposite direction.

1. https://regnum.ru/news/2314482.html
2. https://voskanapat.info/?p=35200&l=ru
3. https://epress.am/ru/2015/04/29/%D1%81%D0%BE%D0%B1%D1%8B%D1%82%D0%B8%D1%...).
4. (https://epress.am/ru/2018/09/06/%D0%9E-%D0%BA%D1%83%D0%BB%D1%8C%D1%82%D1...).
5. https://armenpress.am/rus/news/968512.html
6. (https://www.aravot-ru.am/2019/06/02/305678/).
7. (https://www.lragir.am/ru/2019/06/02/149678/).
8. https://www.lragir.am/ru/2019/05/18/148720/



30 January, 2014
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