“The Sumgait pogroms changed the atmosphere and everything not only in that town but also in Baku and elsewhere. We felt the change in attitude and relations with our neighbors, teachers,” Anne Turcotte-Astvatsaturyan, refugee from Baku, currently living in the US, told at a press conference on Friday. Astvatsaturyan’s family left Baku in September 1989.
“It hurts to remember what my family went through those days when we were forced to hide every time when attackers were passing by our house. A few times our neighbors saved us, one of them being an Azerbaijani. All our Armenian neighbors who didn’t flee the city in 1989 were killed, ” Anne Turcotte-Astvatsaturyan recalled.
She noted that in 1988 when Spitak earthquake hit Armenia, Azerbaijanis were congratulating the Armenians on the tragedy and the victims. “It was not only about physical pogroms but also phycological assaults occurred every single. It was impossible to attend school.”
She next said visiting Armenia twice or three times every year, she visits Artsakh every time. “For me, Artsakh is the symbol of what we went through and lived for. I do not want to see what took place in Baku and Sumgait ever happen in Artsakh,” said Turcotte-Astvatsaturyan.