Milliyyet, 15 March 1992
By Rahbar Bashiroghlu
I was born and grew up in Karabakh. I wouldn’t change a stone of Karabakh for the most beautiful mountain towns of Switzerland. Now blood streams down the cold, clear valleys of my native village which once was a place of heavenly beauty… Those streams are the blood of thousands of my compatriots… The streets, the roots of the bushes are full of my neighbours whose stomachs were riddled by the bayonets of cruel Armenians, my uncles whose nails were pulled out, their ears and noses cut off, my nephews and brothers on whose hands cigarettes were extinguished and whose eyes were put out…
All this is what I saw… However, there is witness that your heart cannot stand to hear:
At first the baby sucked milk and then blood
“We met our compatriots who had escaped from Khojaly and been tortured in Garagaya forest. People whose eyes had been put out did not know where they were going. The ears and noses of some had been cut off… During the Armenian attack an old man who had lost his foot was killed by the frost…”
All this was reported by Zahid Agdamli, one of Aghdam city’s volunteer army commanders; he had tears in his eyes…
But, for me, the story I heard from another was the scariest:
“A young woman was killed while she was breast-feeding her baby. Her breast was cut off. The cut off breast was still in the mouth of the 6-month-old baby. The baby sucked milk for a while and then blood. Later the baby froze to death…”
Elman Mammadov, head of the Khojaly municipality, spoke bitterly in his review of the massacre: “Neither the German fascists during the Second World War, nor fighters in Vietnam had been so brutish. However, the Armenians in Karabakh subjected Azerbaijani Turks to such savagery.”
Stories of witnesses
I talked with witnesses of crimes in each village I visited. 72-year-old Huseyn Ibrahimoghlu was one of them.
“I am a Turk. I was exiled twice – from Ahiska in Stalin’s times and from Uzbekistan in Gorbachev’s times. However, I had never seen such atrocities committed against us. Armenians razed our village to the ground within 2 hours… The whole village was in flames. While they were brutally killing our children and infants, they cried “You are Turks”.
69-year-old grandma Khatun’s story is more bitter still:
“My two grandchildren – a boy and a girl – were killed in front of my eyes. I was badly wounded. The Armenians were saying: ‘We are not going to kill you but you must watch how your grandchildren die’. I begged them to kill me and not to touch my grandchildren but they did not listen to me”.
Nizami Sultanoghlu, a 23-year-old soldier in the National Army, reported what he had witnessed:
“In Garagaya village in Khojaly the Armenian soldiers ploughed (buried) Azerbaijanis into the ground with tanks”.