BAKU: Azeris protest to OSCE against “Armenian vandalism” in NK

Azeri community leader protests against “Armenian vandalism” in breakaway

ANS TV, Baku
21 Feb 05

[Presenter] The head of the Azerbaijani community in [Azerbaijan’s breakaway
region of] Nagornyy Karabakh, Nizami Bahmanov, has appealed to the co-chairmen
of the OSCE Minsk Group to protest against archaeological excavations on the
outskirts of [Azeri Nagornyy Karabakh town of] Susa, which has been occupied
by the Armenian armed forces and has become an uncontrolled area.

[Correspondent, over video of scenes in Susa] Baku appealed to several
international organizations over the illegal archaeological excavations by the
Armenians outside Susa. Culture Minister Polad Bulbuloglu has sent letters to
UNESCO, ICOMOS [the International Council on Monuments and Sites], ICROM [the
International Centre for Conservation of Cultural Property] and the culture
committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He called for
repealing the decision by a public charity organization, called the Susa
foundation, to start the archaeological excavations in the area of a castle and of about
200 graves outside Susa dating back to the Bronze Age.

The Azerbaijani community of Nagornyy Karabakh has taken a similar step. The
head of the community, Nizami Bahmanov, appealed to UNESCO, the OSCE office in
Baku and the co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group today against the
archaeological excavations in Susa in defiance of international conventions.

[Bahmanov, head of Azerbaijani community of Nagornyy Karabakh, captioned,
shown speaking to ANS] The Armenians can never armenize that town by digging
there. It is impossible. This is another act of vandalism by the Armenians.

[Correspondent] The Armenians are looking for Armenian traces in Susa in
vain, because it has been Azerbaijani land since time immemorial. It is enough to
look at a map of the Caucasus dating back to 1801 and the maps of the first
independent state of Azerbaijan published in France. These maps illustrate that
the Azerbaijani khanates, Goyca [Krasnoselsk District] and Nagornyy Karabakh,
were part of Azerbaijan. Therefore, it is illogical for the Armenians to look
for the Armenian traces in Azerbaijan 204 years later and to exert efforts to
tout Susa as an ancient Armenian land. Now, the Armenians have started digging
in the castles and graves in Susa, which they have destroyed under the
pretext of archaeological excavations.

[Passage omitted: pictures of Azeri artefacts in Susa and their current
plight, Azeri busts destroyed, Armenian monuments erected in Susa]

Afat Telmanqizi, Sehrac Azadoglu for ANS