BAKU: US Azeris protest gross mistakes in the by Bradt Travel Guides

Today, Azerbaijan
Feb 17 2008

The U.S. Azeris Network protests gross mistakes in the "Armenia with
Nagorno Karabagh" by Bradt Travel Guides Publishing House

17 February 2008 [04:13] – Today.Az

The U.S. Azeris Network (USAN) (), is a registered
non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian genuine grassroots advocacy
and voter education network that is facilitating political activism
and efforts by the Azerbaijani-Americans and other Turkic-Americans
and their associations, organizations, councils, conferences, and
other formal, semi-formal and informal groups, on federal, state and
local levels. Through the auspices of the U.S. Azeris Network, the
voice of the Azerbaijani-Americans is becoming unified and
strengthened. USAN is the first nationwide grassroots organization
uniting Azerbaijani-Americans, conducting successful fundraisers and
being created by the grassroots, for the grassroots.

Recently USAN members have picked up a copy of the "Armenia with
Nagorno Karabagh" and were outraged by the sheer number of gross
mistakes, misrepresentation and outright false statements. After
authoring an article by the USAN team for a leading Azerbaijani
online publication, Day.Az (
), and submitting a
negative review of the book to
( 21633/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img
), a protest letter to the publishers of the guide was adopted and
made available through the USAN network –
. The USAN letter follows this
Action Alert.

All USAN members and friends of Azerbaijani-Americans are urged to go
to and send the letter to their elected

# # #

USAN Action Campaign Letter: Protest Travel Guide mistakes over NK
and other parts of Azerbaijan

To the attention of the Bradt Travel Guide and The Globe Pequot Press

As a member of the Azerbaijani community, I am simply flabbergasted
and outraged by Nicholas Holding’s "Armenia with Nagorno Karabagh",
published by Bradt Travel Guide in the UK and The Globe Pequot Press
in the US (ISBN 1841621633). Both the maps and the text of the book
are misrepresenting the facts and plain false on more than one

Firstly, the Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as seven (7) other regions of
Azerbaijan that have been occupied by Armenia (a total of some 16% of
the territory of Azerbaijan, from which all of its 800,000 strong
Azerbaijani population has been ethnically cleansed), are recognized
by the international community, including both US and UK, as being
part of Azerbaijan (for a detailed review of all these aspects, read:
). Nowhere do you mention any of
these facts, nowhere does your book and author even attempts to cover
its utter bias with any kind of disclaimers. It is absolutely
unacceptable that your publishing houses serve as clearinghouses of
propaganda, separatism and distortion.

At the same time, the regional capital of the Karabakh region of
Azerbaijan official name is Khankendi. This is the historic name of
the city, which was changed by Soviets in 1923 to Stepanakert (the
only name which you use in the book), and was re-named back in 1992
by the independent Azerbaijan. Same applies to many other toponyms
and name-places which you use for the Azerbaijani regions, reflecting
your book’s absolute Armenian bias, with complete negligence and
disregard for well-known facts and international law.

Compare your maps with those from the following official or otherwise
respected sources:

CIA World Factbook:
The National Geographic magazine:
The U.S. State Department:
The UN:

Secondly, it is important to stress that there is absolutely no
evidence that Karabakh ever belonged to Armenia, especially before
the creation of the USSR. All relevant official maps and Soviet
documents of the time clearly show that Karabakh was part of
Azerbaijan, then upon Sovietization of Armenia was pressured to be
assigned to it but due to Azerbaijani resistance, was left within
Azerbaijan. All the relevant archive letters are available upon
request. A recent U.S. State Department historical background
clarifies the issue of historic land ownership irrefutably: "In the
late 18th century, several khanates [Azerbaijani states], including
Karabakh, emerged in the south Caucasus to challenge the waning
influence of the Ottoman Empire. After the Russian Empire eventually
took control over the region in 1813, Azerbaijani Turks began to
emigrate from Karabakh while the Armenian population of mountainous
(Nagorno) Karabakh grew. With the 1917 Russian Revolution, Azerbaijan
and Armenia each declared independence and sought control over
Karabakh during the Russian Civil War. In 1923, after the Bolshevik
takeover of the Caucasus, Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) was made an
autonomous region within the Azerbaijani Soviet Republic" (Source:
U.S. Department of State, "History of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict",
March 30, 2001).

Thirdly, the books makes many more other mistakes, such as the false
statistics figures from 1917, citing an official census which was
last taken 20 year prior, in 1897, and while overlooking the huge
Armenian influx into Caucasus since early 19th century, which has
been well documented by Russian, Turkish, Iranian, Azerbaijani,
European, American and even Armenian researchers. Perhaps the census
data from the Russian Imperial Census of 1897, the most authoritative
statistical document, should be considered as the most reliable
statistical document, and which shows Armenian population at about
40% – way below the 72% majority your book tries to push (see the
census re-print in: Prof. Audrey Altstadt, "The Azerbaijani Turks",
Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1992).

Fourthly, the wholesale declaration of all Christian heritage on the
territory of occupied Azerbaijan as being Armenian is simply not
true. Instead, nearly all churches, monasteries, cemeteries and other
tangible Christian heritage in Karabakh region is that of Azerbaijani
ancestors, the Caucasian Albanians, who as a nation officially
converted into Orthodox Christianity in 313. In fact, Dr. Hratch
Tchilingirian, an Armenian nationalist who is a researcher from the
London School of Economics, admitted that: "Beginning with the
fifteenth century, the monastery of Gandzasar became the seat of the
native Catholicos of the Albanian Church" ("Religious Discourse on
the Conflict in Nagorno Karabakh" / Religion in Eastern Europe,
Volume XVIII, Number 4, August 1998).

Finally, it is despicable when the books talks about massacres of
Armenians in Baku and Elizavetpol in September 1918, but completely
fails to mention that Armenians has committed the biggest massacre in
March 1918, by slaughtering no less than 12,000 Azerbaijanis in Baku.
This act, described in vivid details by British journalist and
historian Peter Hopkirk, was described by him as "genocidal" ("Like
hidden fire. The Plot to bring down the British Empire", Kodansha
Globe, New York, 1994, pp. 281-287). To commemorate that and other
Armenian atrocities against innocent Azerbaijani civilians,
Azerbaijan observed March 31 as the Day of Massacre since 1919, which
today symbolizes the day of the Azerbaijani Genocide.

I would like to once again express my utter disappointment and
outrage, and deplore your publication of this book, in violation of
every single ethical and moral standard as well as the law. You
should not only pull the book off all the shelves and initiate a
total recall of all of its remaining stock, but apologize in writing
to the Azerbaijani (and all other) readers for printing such a book,
and offer the Azerbaijani side to publish an authoritative travel
guide with editorial control done by a group of recognized American
and British specialists.


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