18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman

Thousands to stage rally in İstanbul commemorating Khojaly massacre

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19 February 2012, Sunday /LAMIYA ADILGIZI
Tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis along with Turks are preparing to stage a large rally in downtown İstanbul next week to remember what they call “one of the most brutal massacres” in modern history.

Thousands will chant “Justice for Khojaly” in memory of hundreds of men, women and children who were brutally killed or tortured to death on a single, cold February night two decades ago. The rally will take place in Taksim Square on Feb. 26, the 20th anniversary of the Khojaly massacre, said Orkhan Akbarov, head of the Azerbaijani Students and Alumni International Forum (ASAIF). He says Feb. 26 is going to be “a day

of solidarity” worldwide for Azerbaijanis. “On that day, everyone will be like a single fist in commemoration of the victims of the tragedy,

demanding international justice for every life lost during the Khojaly massacre,” Akbarov said.

He added that Feb. 26, 2012 will make history, as he thinks this event will become a symbol of solidarity not only in the history of Turkic countries but in the history of the international community.

Feb. 26, 1992 is one of the most traumatic dates for Azerbaijanis, as this date is a reminder for the South Caucasus’ Muslim nation of one of the most tragic chapters in its history. In the early hours of Feb. 26, 1992, Armenian Armed Forces, directed by current Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan, along with Russia’s 366th armored battalion, literally wiped Khojaly, a town in Nagorno-Karabakh, off the map.

At least 613 completely unarmed and defenseless people -- the majority of who were children, women, elderly, sick and disabled -- were killed in cold blood. Thousands were left disabled and hundreds are still missing. The Nagorno-Karabakh war took place over a predominantly ethnic-Armenian enclave located inside Azerbaijan and started in 1988, ending with a fragile Russian-brokered truce in 1994. The war left 30,000 dead and nearly a million displaced. Since then, talks to resolve one of the most worrisome “frozen conflicts” in the former Soviet Union have dragged on, with the enclave controlled by Armenian and separatist forces.

Noting that Azerbaijanis will always remember the Khojaly massacre, Akbarov said the aim of the rally is to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the massacre, and to make clear to the international community the extent of the savageness and brutality of the acts Armenians committed against helpless Azerbaijani civilians just two decades ago. He underlined that Armenians did not even refrain from ridiculing the bodies of the dead. He added that such actions should be noted as a threat to all of humanity.

The organizers of the rally are Azerbaijani youth studying and working in Turkey. Dozens of Turkish and Azerbaijani associations, non-governmental organizations, political parties and businesses have already extended their support for the rally. More than thousands of people from 11 different cities in Turkey will join in rally in Taksim. In a show of support for their compatriots in Taksim, thousands of Azerbaijani youth are also expected to arrive in İstanbul from France, Russia, Ukraine, England and other countries.

“We are expecting at least 10,000 demonstrators,” said one of the organizers, who wished to remain anonymous. Everyone, regardless of their political views, social status or class, will be able to participate, says Akbarov, adding that no exact number for how many people are expected to participate is available at the moment. However, he did say he thinks millions of people will join in the “Justice for Khojaly” rally.

Akbarov also stated that the adoption of a French bill by the French Parliament criminalizing the denial of Armenian genocide last month has forced their hand. Approval of the French bill was not only an injustice against Turks, but one more factor that made them feel a need to stage the rally. “Azerbaijani youth think that the adoption of the French bill once more proves that the international community has kept silent when it comes to the pain of Turks and Azerbaijanis. “France recognizes the so-called Armenian genocide in the early 20th century; however, it does not see the Khojaly massacre committed by Armenians that left thousands of innocent people dead just two decades ago,” says Akbarov, adding that with this rally Azerbaijanis want the international community to hear them and recognize their pain.

Directly after the French National Assembly adopted the bill penalizing those who refuse to recognize the 1915 killings of Armenians as genocide, senior Azerbaijani officials harshly criticized the move in a show of solidarity with Turkey. The Azerbaijani president stated during a meeting with French parliamentarians held in Baku last week that officials in Baku hope a French bill criminalizing denial of the so-called Armenian genocide will not come into force. The issue has caused outrage in Turkey and drawn condemnation from both Turkish authorities and opposition parties.

there's a book called ( the 18 year history of Azerbaijan ) written by Iranian Azeri ( ahmad kasravi ), according to the author, during 1914 - 1919 Armenians killed 150000 azeri turks in Southern Azerbaijan or today's Northern Iran, reading this book will open your ayes
Tamerlan Garayev's words are absurd. This is an outrageous lie spread by Armenians. Azerbaijan authorities just did not want the Azeri population of Karabakh to desert the territories for Armenian occupants. Nobody could even imagine that the innocent civilians would be mercilessly killed. The br...
Serzh Sarkisian (The current president of Armenia): ?Before Khojalu, the Azerbaijanis thought that they were joking with us, they thought that the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We were able to break that [stereotype]. And that?s what happened....
Elshen Muganli
I only wish one thing. We could exchange our sufferings with the azeris ! I wish what happened in Khojaly to have happened to us, and what happened to us in 1915 had happened to them. We lost 1.5 million, they say 663 people died ! Azeri mentality of counter-attacking our genocide recognition strugg...
Azerbaijani cameraman Chingiz Mustafayev, who took pictures on 28 February and 2 March 1992, had doubts about the official Azeri version and began his own inquiry. The very first report to the Moscow news agency "D-press" on the possible complicity of the Azerbaijani side in the crimes cost Mustafay...
The most tragic part is that instead of seeking his indictment in the International Court, the AKP 'president' shook hands with the armenian terrorist who partook in the Kocali Massacres, during Gul's unfortunate "visit" to the illegal armenian state in 2008. And AKP "foreign minister" went so far ...
The Armenians have so much blood on their hands. And they winge to France about a genocide LOL
The Khocali genocide shows the real face of the nationalist Armenians who want to wipe Azerbaijan off the map.If they can not remove the Azerbaijan Turk from Azerbaijan, They call them Azerbaboon. Armenia is a terrorist state which must be kept locked behind bar forever
I wonder if they going to use the slogan: we are all AZERBAIJANI..
Don't bother you people who try to defend the Armenians, we know how their small percentage of vile human beings committed this attrocity, no different are they of the Serbian mentatility in Sebranisca where the Christain Othordox militant mentatility is to commit attrocities to create hate and to s...
Tamerlan Karaev, former Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Azerbaijani Republic, testifies: “The tragedy was realized by the authorities of Azerbaijan”, and concretely – “somebody of those high standing” (“Moukhalifat” newspaper, April 28, 1992). The Armenian forces did their best to escape...
Truth from Azeris
Rahim Ghaziev, one of the former Azeri defense ministers who was jailed for 10 years on charge of state treason (He was accused of leaving Shushi to Armenians), said in the interview to www.realazer.com that a trap was prepared for Mutalibov in Khojalu (Khojaly) to remove him. Ghaziev said that h...
Truth from Azeris
Following is the testimony by Tamerlan Karaev, in due time Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijani Republic: "The tragedy was committed by the Azerbaijani authorities, specifically - by a top official" (Mukhalifat Azerbaijani newspaper, April 28, 1992).
amazing how 2 faced you and your azeri counterparts can be you think the world dont know who killed them ask aliyev clan their master who ordered this killings so he can stay in power longer
As we know, (-1)x(-1)=1, but two negative massacres do not cancel each other. Whether the Armenian Genocide took place or not, is it possible to demonstrate in the Taxim square against the Armenian Genocide?
Only Love, Empathy and Commensense can solve these kind of problems and avoid repetition of these type of painful acts.
i will go to İstanbul only to attend to the rally and say : WE ARE ALL AZERBAIJANI , WE ARE ALL TURKS...! Damn terorist Armenia..
It is essential that we condemn all massacres of civilians When will Turkey condemn the massacres of the Cypriots ( "Greek" Cypriots) perpetated under the aegis of the Turkish army during the 1974 invasion of Cyprus. I believe the number was seven thousand about 1.5% of the population
If you do not condemn the first genocide,and then others will follow.
I hope that they will also remember the hundreds of Armenians who were burned alive in the streets of Baku, Sumgit, Kirovabad and maragah. At least in Khojaly, the people were given a safe corridor for passage but were prevented by Azeri soldiers to take advantage of. It seems that rewriting history...
Saaten Maagar
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