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Appeal of the Kurds Living in Azerbaijan to the Kurds of the World

April 2, 1993

Baku

We, the thousands of Kurds of Azerbaijan, have lived for centuries in peace and friendship with the Azerbaijanis. As regards the development of democracy in Azerbaijan, there is respect for our language, customs, and practices. We print newspapers and books in our language, and have radio broadcasts as well. There is even a Kurdish cultural center. But during the past five years, the Kurdish people, like the other peoples of Azerbaijan, have suffered greatly due to continued Armenian aggression. The Kurds of Lachin were subjected to genocidal politics: hundreds of the elderly, women, and children were killed or taken as prisoners and the honor of the Kurds grossly violated. Twelve Kurdish villages were erased from the face of the earth.

The politics that led to the expulsion o f the Kurds from their lands at the hands o f the Armenians continues to this day. The population of 60,000 civilians in Kelbajar have now been surrounded, and an even greater disaster than the Khojali Massacre is now at hand. The Kurds of the region are now being slaughtered along with the Azerbaijanis who live there. Houses are being looted and then razed, and the people destroyed.

History cannot be allowed to repeat itself up until today, tens of thousands of Kurds have been repeatedly dislodged and hounded out of Armenia-1905, 1908, 1937, 1947- 1948. In 1988-1989, over 20,000 Muslim Kurds were driven out of their ancestral homes in Armenia, of which 12,000 chose to settle in Azerbaijan. Now, once more, due to the unfounded territorial claims of Armenia against Azerbaijan, all the peoples living in Azerbaijan are bleeding as the result of yet another expulsion from their homes. We, in the name of the Kurdish community, wish to reiterate that Azerbaijan is our country, and that the Azerbaijanis are our closest friends.

Dearest kinsmen! Please inform all comrades of the disaster visited upon us by the Armenians! Accept the disaster visited upon the Kurdish men and women of Azerbaijan as your own! Let them know that the Lachin and Kelbajar disasters are merely a continuation of the Khojali Massacre!

We call on the world Kurdish community to join us, the Kurds of Azerbaijan, to start a massive, international campaign of solidarity to free our country from aggression and occupation! We call on you to help us save our ancient homeland in Azerbaijan in the name of justice and peace!

Signed: ‘Ronayi’ Kurdish Cultural Center