lundi 12 novembre 2012



Dr. Hayk Kotanjian

The proposal to publish the address of Political Science Association of Armenia was made by its Chairman, Hayk Kotanjian, Doctor of Political Sciences (RF), Distinguished Visiting Faculty at INSS, NDU (US). The following is the text of the address:


Recently, the Azerbaijani mass media has engaged in the dissemination of information on plans to build a memorial to the genocide victims on the mass burial site in Guba, a town in northern Azerbaijan, initiated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.[1] The construction of the memorial started in 2010 in compliance with the order of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.[2] This fact is becoming a point for political manipulation targeting an escalation of xenophobia and cultivating anti-Armenian sentiment. As a result of the visits at the given burial site by the President of Azerbaijan interspersed with Armenophobic comments, it is becoming a visiting site for foreign delegations in accordance with official state protocol.[3] Meanwhile, in terms of contradictory information on the examination of the cemetery, the very fact of burial and the objectivity of its identification requires international scientific review. The neighbouring country authorities’ official version actively circulating over the burial site is that the remains belong to the victims of the genocide allegedly committed in 1918 by the Armenians against the Jews living in Guba at that time. However, as the documents of the Central State Historic Archive of Russia attest, at that time, relations between the Armenians and the Jews were marked by exceptional friendliness and mutual trust: cases were observed when the Jews, in order to avoid persecution within the Russian Empire, expressed a “strong will to adopt Christianity according to the Armenian rite,” some of whom, thereby, under the cover of the Armenian Apostolic Church, besides protection from persecutions in Russia’s territory were also given an opportunity to covertly maintain their identity as well.[4] 

Before the campaign for engaging the Jewish Diaspora organizations in the political manipulation over the discovered remains there appeared a version that the discovered remains belong to Muslims. “Anthropological studies have confirmed that these people are Muslims,” according to an Azerbaijani source, Maisa Rahimova, the head of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of Azerbaijan said. She confirmed that the discovered burial site was evidence of atrocities committed by the Armenians in Guba in 1918.”[5]  In these terms, Dr. Asker Aliyev, PhD in History, having participated in the expedition attests to the fact that “among a great number of skulls and child’s bones only 35 undamaged skeletons were found. No hair, remnants of clothes or things were found in the pits.”[6] Namely, the Azerbaijani participant of the expedition affirms that there are not any archaeological facts which could be indicative of relevant religious-confessional features of the buried people. Thus, the version of Muslim victims which has no archaeological grounds is released. The given unproven hypothesis was adapted with time to the version of victims from the Jewish inhabitants of Guba. Lately, information was made public about the visit at the mentioned mass burial site by the delegation of the Council of Representatives of the Jewish Institutes of France which was on a visit to Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, there are also other versions explaining the discovered burial site. In the view of the president of the NAS of Azerbaijan, the remains discovered in Guba may be the result of both a mass destruction of people and an epidemic.[7] The authoritative “Britannica Encyclopaedia,” in the article “Azerbaijan,” refers to the 1918 expedition of Turkish forces of Nuri Pasha fighting their way forward with the locals to Baku which in September of the same year ended with a massacre of thousands of Baku Armenians.[8] As follows from the Turkish sources, Khalil Pasha having participated in the seizure of Baku confesses in his memoirs that the atrocities of Nuri Pasha against the Armenians, mass executions and massacres stirred up the resentment of the German officers serving in the Turkish army who described the actions of the Turkish command as “a mass massacre of Armenians,” and unwilling to be involved in it they resigned and returned to Tiflis.[9] The people of Guba could become victims of this military expedition during which in August of 1918 the Turkish forces seized Guba inhabited mostly by non-Turkic peoples of different faiths: Lezgins, Khinaligs, Krizes, Budugs (Muslims); Armenians and Udins (Christians); Mountain Jews (Judaists); Tats (Muslims, Christians, Judaists); and Molokans. [10]

The “Guban” impulse of xenophobia in relation to the Armenians, endeavouring to manipulatively involve the Jewish Diaspora in the process of intensifying anti-Armenian sentiment, as evidenced by the Azerbaijani sources, is set by the head of our neighbouring state, whose order to build a memorial of the genocide virtually canonizes the unverified version concerning the culprits of mass death of people buried in the excavated graves in the north of Azerbaijan as well as their ethnic confessional features. These days, the policy of stirring up anti-Armenian sentiment among the Azerbaijani people is becoming more and more evident, especially after the cynical acquittal and rewarding of the murderer of his sleeping colleague during the NATO training program, which aroused the indignation and criticism of leaders of numerous states and international organizations.[11] The policy of xenophobia in reference to the Armenian nation, widely cultivated by the head of the Azerbaijani state, who publicly announced to the world that Armenians as the enemies of Azerbaijan, not even being squeamish about falsifying the genuine history of the relationship between the nations, including the Armenians and the Jews, is now trying to draw the international community into the orbit of political manipulation.[12]

In January 2012, Professor Levon Yepiskoposyan, Doctor of Biological Sciences, aiming to academically establish the truth about the Guba mass graves, sent a letter to the President of the NAS of Azerbaijan, Academician Mahmud Kerimov. Professor Yepiskopsyan, as the Academic Head of the Group of Human Genetics of the Institute of Molecular Biology of the NAS of the Republic of Armenia and as the President of the Armenian Anthropological Society made a proposal to initiate a qualified international expert review of the human remains found in Guba. Unfortunately, up to this day that letter has received no responded. 

In assistance to its colleague, in his address to the President of the NAS of Azerbaijan, the Political Science Association of Armenia feels compelled to render to the international community the full text of Professor Yepiskopsyan’s letter seeking an objective expert examination of facts aimed at unveiling the truth and to put an end to the xenophobic speculations on Guba burial site.


11 January 2012

To Academician M. Kerimov, President of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Honorable Mr. Kerimov!

Once again I am requesting you to initiate a joint examination of human remains found recently in the mass grave in the north-western part of Azerbaijan to be conducted by Azerbaijani and Armenian experts (with possible involvement of experts from other countries).

What I mean is the discovery of the two wells with buried bodies in Guba town in April 2007. At that time Professor M. Rahimova, the head of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Azerbaijan, announced that “the anthropological studies confirm that those people were Muslims.” In your turn, on 18 April 2007, you declared that Azerbaijani scientists were to carry out a preliminary expert review of the remains found. It was also noted by you that the “remains found in Guba might be either the result of a mass massacre of people, or an epidemic.” That was a pure academic evaluation of the problem, and relevant experts were to be charged with its solution. 

Unfortunately, the results of the expected research, if they actually were carried out, were not published. Instead, some people, very far from of the academic science, undertook the political exploitation of this topic. Without any grounds the remains found were ascribed to the culprits of the punitive acts by the Baku Council, namely to Hamazasp’s unit, and as for the graves, depending on situation, they were acknowledged either Azeri, or Jewish, or Lezgin.

Today guests hosted in Azerbaijan are led to the graves found, and they are told about “the Armenians’ atrocities towards the Azerbaijanis.” On 30 December 2009, the president of the Azerbaijani Republic issued a decree on the construction of the Genocide Memorial Complex in Guba. This order by the Head of the state formally legitimated the politically engaged version of the cause of the people’s death, which was neither verified by independent experts, nor sustained by scientific research.

On 10 February 2010, I addressed to you and the Head of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan with a proposal to let our experts participate in the joint anthropological and genetic examination of the remains found in Guba. Alas, there was no answer.

We have all the grounds to presume that this very examination of the human remains found in Guba either was not carried out, or its results were not made public. Taking into account the consequence of future politicization of that problem, I again turn to you requesting to allow our specialists-anthropologists and genetics, highly experienced in the world’s leading laboratories, take their part in the examination of the remains found in Guba. I am quite sure that the results (whatever they may be) of an impartial joint scientific research will unveil the genuine cause and circumstances of the people’s tragic mass death which took place almost a century ago.

Yours faithfully,

Levon Yepiskoposyan, 
Doctor of Biological Sciences, 
Academic Head of the Group of the Human Genetics of the Institute of Molecular Biology 
of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia
President of the Armenian Anthropological Community.

[1] “Французские евреи испытали ужас от массового захоронения в Губе”. 27 октября 2012 АзерТАдж: -

[2] Французские евреи сравнили массовое захоронение в Губе с музеями Холокоста. 27 октября 2012: -

[3] Президент посетил место захоронения жертв геноцида в Губе”., 18 сентября 2009: -

“Делегация Ирака посетила массовое захоронение жертв геноцида в Губе”: -
“Группа депутатов и журналистов посетила в Губе место массового захоронения жертв армянского геноцида”,, 31 марта 2009 : -

“Молодежь Литвы посетила место массового захоронения жертв геноцида в Губе”,, 28 Авг. 2012: -

[4] “Почему и как Российские евреи принимали христианство по армянскому обряду (1910-1915гг.)”. Документы и материалы  Центрального Государственного  Исторического Архива России. Подборка. Составитель и автор введения академик НАН РА Вардгес Микаелян, Ереван, “Наири” 1999.
[5] “Комиссия, исследовавшая массовое захоронение в Губе, подтвердила принадлежность останков жертвам геноцида азербайджанцев в 1918 году”., 13 апреля 2007: -

[6] Там же. “: -


[7] “Махмуд Керимов: «Пока рано делать выводы по выявленному массовому захоронению в Губе”: -


[8] «Allied with the advancing Turkish army, in September 1918 the Azerbaijani nationalists secured their capital, Baku, and engaged in a massacre of the Armenians.» Independent Azerbaijan, Britannica:
[9] Halil Pasa, Ittihat ve Terakki’den Cumhuriyet’e Bitmiyen Savas, Istanbul, 1997, ss. 227-230. 
[10] Sevket Sureyya Aydemir, Suyu Arayan Adam, Istanbul, 1997, ss. 310-321

BAKU EXPEDITION OF 1917–1918: A STUDY OF THE OTTOMAN POLICY TOWARDS THE CAUCASUS.” CHAPTER IV: THE BAKU OPERATION BY CAUCASUS ISLAM ARMY (JUNE 1918-OCTOBER 1918)” by YALÇIN MURGUL, the Department of History Bilkent University, Ankara, September 2007, p. 113-209: -

[11] President Obama is deeply concerned by today’s announcement that the President of Azerbaijan has pardoned Ramil Safarov following his return from Hungary”. The White House. Office of the Press Secretary. Statement by NSC Spokesman Tommy Vietor on Azerbaijan’s Decision to Pardon Ramil Safarov, August 31, 2012: -

[12]  “First, our main enemies are Armenians of the world…”. Ilham Aliev, President of Azerbaijan, CLOSING SPEECH BY ILHAM ALIYEV AT THE CONFERENCE ON THE RESULTS OF THE THIRD YEAR INTO THE “STATE PROGRAM ON THE SOCIOECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF DISTRICTS FOR 2009-2013”, 28 FEBRUARY 2012: -