The International Day for Monuments and Sites has recently been celebrated all over the world. The purpose of this history is to draw the attention of the world community to the protection of cultural heritage monuments and historical sites.
Monuments of cultural heritage in the world are being destroyed for various reasons. One of the reasons is wars.
Unfortunately, we still face wars, military conflicts and armed operations in the modern world. Nowadays, the whole world is folowing the war between Russia and Ukraine with excitement. Some time ago, there was another hotspot in the Caucasus region – Karabakh.
In September 2020, the Azerbaijani National Army launched an operation in response to the provocation of the Armenian state. As a result of the 44-day war, the Azerbaijani side liberated the territories occupied by Armenia for almost 30 years.
The problems posed by occupation and war are innumerable. One of them is the fate of Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage.
What happened after Azerbaijan liberated its territories …
It is known that the most important evidence of the historical existence of each nation in the area where it exists, proving its belonging to the region, are the monuments of material and spiritual culture. That is why the deliberate destruction and appropriation of these monuments is called a cultural genocide. İt became clear that Armenia had pursued a policy of purposeful and planned destruction of Azerbaijan’s cultural and archaeological heritage during the 30-year occupation.
This policy of cultural genocide has been implemented in various directions. First of all, efforts were made to appropriate the archeological heritage of Azerbaijan through various falsifications.
Archaeological monuments have a very ancient history in Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas. At the same time, stone and earth walls, remnants of ancient wooden or stone walls, religious sites, shrines, temples and monasteries, areas where religious ceremonies are supposed to take place, cemeteries and mounds date back thousands of years.During the occupation of our lands, Armenians, who did not lay stones in those lands, savagely destroyed archeological monuments.
Thoughtful falsification of history
Armenians carried out their cultural terror against Azerbaijan in a deliberate, planned and purposeful manner. Faig Ismayilov, chairman of the Azerbaijan Historical and Cultural Monuments Protection Organization, said he had made the decision as a result of his research. “During the occupation, the Armenian government set up a commission headed by Doctor of Historical Sciences Hamlet Petrosyan to conduct archeological excavations in Karabakh. The commission, which has been operating since 2000, has been involved in the destruction of archeological monuments in Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas, including Khojaly, Khojavend, Khankendi, Agdam, Shusha, Kalbajar and Lachin. Pupils and students of Armenian higher and secondary schools, as well as the Armenian population of Karabakh were mobilized to carry out the destruction. Representatives of the Armenian government and the Dashnaktsutyun terrorist organization internationalized the commission and involved experts from the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and Iceland. As a result of their illegal activities, mounds, pit graves, ancient farms, as well as all archeological cultural samples of Khojaly-Gadabay culture were destroyed in Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas. During these illegal archeological excavations organized by the archeologists of the enemy country, valuable samples of underground material culture were obtained by Armenians and transported to Armenia. Lack of control over Nagorno-Karabakh has led to the proliferation of such excavations and the transportation of historical artifacts to Armenia”.
The Azykh Paleolithic camp, located near the village of Salaketin in the Khojavend region, which was subjected to Armenian vandalism in Nagorno-Karabakh, is world famous. This cave was not left out of the Armenian forgery during the occupation. According to sources, the Azykh cave camp, which is more than a million years old, is the only monument that reflects the sequence of the most ancient stages of human history. Azykh Cave, where the hearths (700 thousand years ago) and the remains of the building were discovered (350-400 thousand years ago), is one of the few oldest monuments in the world with these indicators. Azykh cave is one of the monuments of exceptional importance in world archeology.
The Paleolithic archeological expedition of the Institute of History of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences under the leadership of Mammadali Huseynov conducted complex archeological excavations in the Azykh Paleolithic camp in June-July 1986-1986. Azykh cave, located in the Tug depression on the left bank of the Guruchay gorge in the Kura-Araz river valley, is included in the UNESCO list of cultural heritage as an ancient cultural monument. Studies show that Azykh Cave is the only monument in the world due to its antiquity, multi-layeredness and archeological richness. In this cave, it was possible to determine the degree of their evolution from the techniques of ancient and Middle Paleolithic stone tools.
Illegal excavations in the Azykh Paleolithic camp
The fauna and archeological materials found in the Azykh cave have created a broad picture of the economic activities of azykhantropes in Azerbaijan. Such a majestic monument was used by the Armenian government as an armory from 1992 to 2001, and since 2001 illegal archaeological excavations began in the cave.
The head of the department of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Tarikh Dostiyev in an article entitled “Medieval archeological monuments of Karabakh and the policy of cultural genocide of Armenians” mentioned that Albanian Christian monuments are the architectural and archeological heritage that was most appropriated and altered by Armenians in the territory of Karabakh during the occupation. The symbols of the Albanian Christianity on them have been changed and falsified with elements of the Gregorian sect and Armenian culture. From this point of view, it is possible to point out the illegal excavations carried out in the Amaras temple complex
The main purpose of the archeological excavations carried out by the occupying state’s illegal expedition in the Amaras temple complex near the village of Sos, Khojavend region, at the junction of plain and mountainous Karabakh, one of the religious centers of Albania, was to seize the Albanian Christian heritage.
Archaeologist Rashid Goyushov, who conducted legal research at the Amaras temple complex and scientifically proved that the monument is one of the earliest examples of Albanian Christian heritage, was subjected to biased and unfounded criticism. The aim of the Armenian archeologist H. Petrosyan is to falsify the facts, to present the Amaras temple complex as an Armenian cultural heritage, and ultimately to justify the occupation.
Also, the results of archeological excavations in Shahbulag were falsified and attempts were made to connect the ancient settlement with the Armenian ruler Tigran, and to present the monument to the Albanian early Christian as an Armenian cultural heritage. The transportation of the finds to Armenia in violation of international law is now shamelessly promoted as “saving the Armenian cultural heritage.”
Azerbaijani archeologist-scientist, historian Tavakkul Aliyev recalled that in 2016, Armenians spread information about the alleged discovery of their ancient city near the Shahbulag fortress near Aghdam. The scientist noted that the Armenians wanted to work on the Azykh Cave at the international level. At that time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan took serious steps to prevent the recognition of these investigations. There were also historical graves in Lachin. Those graves were looted and taken to Armenia. Then a fight broke out between the so-called “Arsakh”. Armenia said t belongs to me mine, and “Arsakh” said it belongs to me. In the end, some of those graves were auctioned off in London. The historical culture of Karabakh was plundered by Armenia and put up for auction on the world market. Thankfully, we have already taken back our lands and our monuments have returned to us. After that, everyone must do their job. A civil engineer must contribute to construction, a historian must contribute to history, and an archaeologist must contribute to archeological excavations.
The UNESCO Paris Declaration of October 17, 2003 states that a state that deliberately destroys cultural heritage of great importance to mankind does not take measures to prohibit, prevent, stop, and punish any intentional destruction of cultural heritage of great importance for humanity, is responsible for this.
BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Fighting terrorism is a shared responsibility of the international community, said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian. He calls for coordination and cooperation to combat terrorism.
Zhao made the remarks at a regular press briefing Friday when asked to comment on the UN Security Council's strong condemnation of the terrorist attack on the University of Karachi in Pakistan, which led to the deaths of three Chinese nationals and one Pakistani and several injuries.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service
Turkmenistan is a competent member of international politics as one of active UN-member states, makes its significant contribution to consolidate international community efforts in countering the threats against humanity, especially terrorism and radicalism. The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov underlines that, countering terrorism acquires strategic significance on the agenda of multilateral cooperation of Turkmenistan within Community of Nations along with global tasks in ensuring security such as disarmament and non-proliferation, transport and energy, environment and several other aspects defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Turkmenistan’s position rests upon fundamental concept of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov when state formulates approaches in ensuring global security. The concept covers the completeness and indivisibility of this idea in terms of geopolitics and interconnectedness of its concrete aspects. The backbone of this concept is that security of one state may not be guaranteed when there is no security in the region, continent and world. In similar way, political and military security will not be long-term and complete without ensuring economic, energy and food security, preventing and neutralizing risks, threats of environmental and technological character, countering effectively international terrorism, organized crimes, proliferation of mass destruction weapons and other global challenges.
Terrorism and its all forms are very dangerous threats to humanity irrespective of development level of one specific country or others and regions. Countering terrorism is becoming very important issue at present when globalization process is deepening and where one of the most important conditions is to ensure sustainable development of states and regions under peaceful and safe environment. Terrorist movements acquire new forms at the time of rapidly advancing technology, technological progress, mass media communication development, different types of information dissemination and this requires effective measures of countering
Turkmenistan takes all necessary measures and actions at the national and international level to eliminate threats against peace and security as well as counters terrorist and radical acts.
National legislation of Turkmenistan provides сlear definition and forms legal framework in this field. More particularly, the Law of Turkmenistan “On countering terrorism” stipulates legal and organizational base for countering terrorism, authorities and responsibilities of state bodies, social assosiations, other entities and competent authorities, as well as it defines guarantees for legal and soial protection of citizens involved in countering terrorism.
The Law of Turkmenistan defines terrorism as follows: «terrorism – is an ideology of violence and actions to influence central government, local government, either international organizations or other entities decision-making process; socially dangerous acts which use force intentionally for hostage taking, arson, murder, torture, intimidation of population and bodies of power or committing any offence against lives and health of innocent people or threats to commit any act for achieving such criminal goals»
The same Law defines international terrorism as follows: «international terrorism – is socially dangerous violent acts commited with terrorist groups or organizations on global or regional scale including the support of state bodies of other states with the purpose of achieving specific goals related to kidnapping, hostage taking, murdering innocent people or posing threat to their lives and health, destructing or threat of destructing important facilities, life support, communication systems or using or posing threat of using nuclear, chemical, biological other weapons of mass destruction.
It is evident that, the terrorism may be countered successfully with only joint efforts of states in close cooperation with international agencies. In this regard, Turkmenistan cooperates closely with other states, as well as, reputable international bodies, first and foremost the UN, EU and OSCE.
Turkmenistan closely coordinates its actions with the UN on countering terrorism, drug trafficking and other threats. Strategic partnership between Turkmenistan and the UN is long-term, implemented in systemic basis and similar principles and views on final outcome are shared. In this context, Turkmenistan supports efforts of international community to create effective mechanism for countering terrorism and is for fully implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
These facts demonstrate that, Turkmenistan maintains constructive and efficient cooperation with international agencies such as the UN Counter-Terrorism Office, UN Regional Center for Central Asia for Preventive Diplomacy and neighboring countries.
Turkmenistan demonstrates its strict adherence to UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in practice and attaches regional context to it taking into account historical, economic, social, cultural and other features of one or another region. In this regard, high level dialogue in the region will give political impetus to adopt necessary, complementary and coordinated strategic approach to counter terrorism for Central Asian States. Consolidating efforts and developing commonly accepted approach in the states of the region to address existing issues will lead to explore and find effective ways of addressing them.
It is a fact that, International community recognized the peaceful policies of the President of independent and neutral Turkmenistan – Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov when the Resolution on «The role of UN Regional Center for Central Asia for Preventive Diplomacy» was adopted.
Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force was created with the purpose of ensuring the consistency of UN activities in given field. The Office coordinates membership in CTITF which covers 36 UN agencies, World Customs Organization and Interpol. United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center (UNCTC) which was established within CTITF in 2011 provides assistance to member states in capacity building in Strategy implementation.
Turkmenistan participates in project implemented jointly by Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) of United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center (UNCTC) and UN Regional Center for Central Asia for Preventive Diplomacy (UNRCCA) in Ashgabat with the support of EU and Norway. UN Regional Center for Central Asia for Preventive Diplomacy implemented project on applying abovementioned UN Strategy in Central Asian States jointly with Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and EU. On November 30, 2011, Joint Action Plan on implementing UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Ashgabat Final Declaration were approved in the high level meeting jointly organized by the Government of Turkmenistan, CTITF, EU and UNRCCA in Ashgabat. This Action Plan was the first document ever adopted. The projects on Action Plan items were implemented in the past years. On June 13, 2017, the final event in the second phase of project “on implementing Joint Action plan to realize UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy” took place when “High-level UN Central Asian Dialogue among countries and the on implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia” was held in Ashgabat. The main objective of the meeting was to discuss the issues related to improving stability and security and the ways to achieve them.
General Secretary of the UN Antonio Guterras, ministers, senior officials, the representatives of countering terrorism agencies and national security agencies from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan participated in the sessions. The review of joint Action Plan for Central Asia to implement UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy at the regional level was presented.
Joint Declaration on strengthening regional cooperation in countering terrorism was adopted at the end of meeting. UN General Secretary Antonio Guterras welcomed Ashgabat Declaration on countering terrorism adopted by Central Asian countries and their permanent efforts to implement UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and joint Action Plan for Central Asia. The Declaration represented support given to General Secretary’s initiative of to reform the UN countering terrorism office by creating new Office for countering terrorism and recognized the importance of efforts to counter terrorism in the region by the community of nations.
There was a high-level meeting "Towards a comprehensive implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia" at the end of April 2018, in Ashgabat and the third phase of a joint project on supporting the Joint Action Plan for Central Asia was launched. The first and second phases of the project were implemented in 2010-2017 and are dedicated to consider four main directions of the Global Strategy for drafting recommendations for the development of the JAP, which was adopted in December 2011 in Ashgabat.
While delivering speech , the UN Under-Secretary-General and head of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office, Vladimir Voronkov underlined that the main activities of the project would include providing targeted support in developing national and regional strategies to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism, further strengthening the capacity of the Central Asian countries in priority areas identified in the JAP for Central Asia and facilitating the exchange of best practices in the region and beyond it.
During the meeting, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov stated the readiness of Turkmenistan to cooperate with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center (UNCTC) on the implementation of the Ashgabat Action Plan of the UN Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In this context, the Turkmen side made several concrete proposals by using the UNRCCA in given direction.
The Statement on the outcomes of High-level meeting "Towards a Comprehensive Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia" was adopted at the end of the forum. It is expected in the long term that the new phase of the joint regional counter-terrorism initiative of UNRCCA and the UNCTC entitled "Towards a comprehensive implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia" will be aimed at further strengthening the capacity of the Central Asian states in the field of countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism in a strategic basis.
One of the emerging and acute problems is the elimination of terrorist financing sources, where special attention needs to be paid to combat drug trafficking. Enormous work is being done in this direction under the leadership of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, including legal framework and the organizational basis development for this work in Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan maintains close, effective and targeted cooperation with neighboring states, as well as with specialized UN agencies, primarily with the UNODC. Long-term national programs for combating drug addiction and drug trafficking have been adopted and are being implemented and good results are obtained.
Thus, Turkmenistan pursues foreign policy directed at eliminating threats and dangers against peace and makes its significant contribution to consolidate international efforts.
The International Information Department of the MFA of Turkmenistan
A HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON THE UN GLOBAL COUNTER TERRORISM STRATEGY IN CENTRAL ASIA WAS HELD IN ASHGABAT
On April 30, 2018, in Ashgabat, the High-Level Meeting "Towards a Comprehensive Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia" was held, and the third phase of a joint project supporting the Joint Action Plan for Central Asia (SAP) was launched.
The event was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), with the participation of the UN Under-Secretary-General, Head of the UN Counter-Terrorism Department Vladimir Voronkov, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Asia, the Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive diplomacy for Central Asia Natalia Herman, deputy foreign ministers of the Central Asian states, as well as UN regional structures.
As is known, the first and second phases of the project were implemented in the period 2010-2017 and were devoted to the consideration of four main directions of the Global Strategy for drawing up recommendations on the development of SAP, which is the first of its kind and was adopted in Ashgabat in December 2011.
In the long term, it is expected that the new phase of the joint regional counter-terrorism initiative of UNRCCA and the UNCCT, entitled "Towards a comprehensive implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia", will be aimed at further strengthening the capacity of the Central Asian states in the field of combating terrorism and preventing violent extremism in a strategic basis.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Voronkov noted that the main activities of the project will include the provision of targeted support in the development of national and regional strategies to combat terrorism and prevent violent extremism, further strengthening the capacity of the Central Asian countries in the priority areas identified in the SAP for Central Asia and facilitating the exchange of best practices in the region and beyond.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan S.G. Berdimuhamedov stated about Turkmenistan's further readiness to offer cooperation with the UNFC on the implementation of the Ashgabat Action Plan of the UN Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In this context, the Turkmen side made a number of concrete proposals in this direction using the UNRCCA.
In turn, Ms. Herman noted that in accordance with her mandate in the field of regional and preventive diplomacy, UNRCCA will jointly implement this initiative and promote regional and cross-border cooperation in preventing violent extremism and combating terrorism in coordination with other regional partners active in this field in Central Asia.
At the end of the forum, a Statement was adopted following the results of the High-level Meeting "Towards a Comprehensive Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia".
At the end of the meeting, a press conference was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan for foreign journalists, accredited in Ashgabat and representatives of the national media.