Armenians' attempt to appropriate Karabakh carpets by falsifying history is a part of another insidious plan
"Azerkhalcha" addressed an appeal to international carpet companies and influential media
Professor Vidadi Muradov, Chairman of the Board of Azerkhalcha Open Joint-Stock Company, addressed an appeal to carpet companies, international cultural organizations and influential media operating in various countries around the world.
The appeal provides detailed information about the attempts of Armenians to falsify Azerbaijani carpets, looting material culture and artifacts, including our carpets, in our occupied territories and the shelling of a carpet workshop in Tartar, where 71 women work, by the Armenian Armed Forces.
The appeal says: “Armenians, who were resettled in the South Caucasus by Tsarist Russia in the early 19th century, managed to establish their state in the territory of the former Iravan Khanate of Azerbaijan in 1918. Armenians seized Zangazur region, which was historically inhabited by Azerbaijanis during the Soviet era, and Zangazur’s occupation cut off Nakhchivan's ties with the main lands of Azerbaijan. They committed ethnic cleansing and unprecedented genocide against our people by occupying the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and 7 adjacent regions in the early 1990s.
In addition to destroying the historical monuments of our people in the occupied Azerbaijani lands, Armenians are trying to appropriate many examples of our national culture, including our carpets. We declare that carpet weaving is an integral part of the history of Azerbaijan, an example of our national art. Every place where the Azerbaijani carpet is woven, including Karabakh, is Azerbaijan.
Karabakh carpet group, which is one of the 9 groups of Azerbaijan Carpet School, includes carpets and carpet products woven in Shusha, Agdam, Fuzuli, Tartar, Khankendi, Khojaly, Kalbajar, Jabrayil, Gubadli, Aghdara, Lachin, Khojavend, Beylagan, Agjabadi, Barda and Zangilan.
The world community should know that historical roots of Azerbaijani carpet weaving are directly related to Turks. On all carpets woven in Karabakh there are dozens of elements and stamps symbolizing the Turkic tribes like Bayat, Kangarli, Kolani, Beydili, Demirchi, Kazanchi, Yayci, Muganli, Afshar, Gushchu, Otuzikiler, Yirmidordler, Javanshir, Garagoyunlular and others.
The attempt of Armenians, who falsify the history and have false and hypocritical past, to appropriate the Karabakh carpets is a part of another insidious plan. Carpet is one of the rare examples of art that is a rich source of information about the past history and the region which it belongs to. One of their main goals in armenianizing our carpets is to falsify the history of Karabakh. In fact, the carpets woven here for centuries, the patterns reflected in these carpets prove once again that Karabakh is one of the ancient cultural centers of Azerbaijan.
The whole world should know that Armenians learned carpet weaving from Azerbaijani Turks. Before they were resettled in the South Caucasus, they had no idea about carpet weaving and did not have their own carpet patterns. If carpet weaving is, as the Armenians claim, their ancient craft, then why didn't they bring a carpet sample with them when they were moved to Azerbaijan? Or why there were not any carpet factories in Karabakh with Armenian carpet weavers, both before and during the Soviet era? If the history of compact resettlement of Armenians in Karabakh dates back to the middle of the 19th century, how can they claim Azerbaijani, as well as and Karabakh carpet weaving, which had all the main compositions formed and technical standards improved by the end of the 18th century? They have been unable to find answers to these reasonable questions for many years, deceiving the world community with their fictional fantasies. Karabakh carpets presented by the Armenians as their own works of art are the products of the thinking of Azerbaijani people. There is just one name for the appropriation of another people's work of art - theft.
Long before the resettlement of Armenians to the South Caucasus, Karabakh carpets had already been famous all over the world. There are reports in many historical sources that carpet weaving reached a high stage of development in Karabakh. This information shows that Karabakh carpet weavers weaved carpet products and carpets with unique patters based on orders received from neighbouring and far countries. In the 19th century, as in most settlements of Karabakh, carpet weaving in Shusha had already become a commodity. Carpets woven here were highly valued in Russia, Europe and Asia. This proves once again that only Azerbaijanis were professionally engaged in carpet weaving in Karabakh.
We state that the national treasures of our people, including carpets, were looted from our museums which were destroyed during the Armenian military aggression against Azerbaijan. Moreover, when IDPs were expelled from their ancestral lands, they were unable to remove most of their ancient carpets. Today, carpets presented by Armenians as their works of art are carpets looted from the occupied regions of Azerbaijan in 1990s. Armenians are trying to present these carpets as their works of art at various exhibitions, international events and auctions. In fact, the authors of these carpets are Azerbaijani Turks, original residents of Karabakh.
Armenians changed the names of Azerbaijani cities, settlements and villages in the occupied territories, armenianized toponyms, as well as the names of our national carpet patterns. It is impossible to achieve anything by making illogical and unjustified additions to the carpet patterns created by Azerbaijani people. They will one day be held accountable for their actions and for deceiving the world community.
As carpet weaving is an ancient art of our people, Azerbaijani state has created a wide network of carpet weaving around the country. At present, 3 out of 21 branches of Azerkhalcha Open Joint-Stock Company operate in Karabakh, and 1 in the settlement inhabited by IDPs from Jabrayil region. Hundreds of Karabakh women weave Karabakh carpets on the basis of ancient patterns in these carpet factories.
We strongly condemn the fact that the carpet factory in Tartar, one of the civilian infrastructure facilities, has been seriously damaged as a result of the recent shelling of Azerbaijani towns, villages and civilians by the Armenian Armed Forces. 71 out of 78 people working in the workshop are women. The fact that Armenians opened fire on the carpet workshop shows once again that this terrorist state is targeting the civilian population of Azerbaijan, especially women, and trying to destroy our cultural property. The world's carpet weavers must protest against this vandalism and condemn the inhumane actions of terrorist Armenia.
Finally, it should be noted that Azerbaijani Turks will continue to be engaged in carpet weaving even after thousands of years. Because carpet weaving is an ancient art that has become an unbreakable tradition of these people, and carpet weaving is their inborn ability. As the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said: "Azerbaijan is the homeland of carpet art, the carpet is our national value and wealth as mugham and architectural monuments."