Azerbaijani NGOs send open letter to UNESCO Director-General regarding Tapabashi neighborhood

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay


Azerbaijan's non-governmental organizations have sent an open letter to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay concerning the Tapabashi neighborhood.

AZERTAC presents the letter: “We, representatives of Azerbaijan’s civil society, are appealing to the Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs. Audrey Azoulay, urging UNESCO to take action to stop the destruction of the material and cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people in the Republic of Armenia.

A policy of extermination of the entire heritage of the Azerbaijani people has been carried out and attempts have been made to erase its historical evidence in the Republic of Armenia, where Azerbaijanis have historically lived. Only one of the 269 mosques registered there in 1870 has survived to this day, while hundreds of Azerbaijani cemeteries have been destroyed.

The Tapabashi neighborhood, which has now been renamed to Kond, is one of the last remnants of Azerbaijani cultural heritage in Iravan, a city that was once home to Azerbaijanis.

We, representatives of Azerbaijan’s civil society, declare our readiness for dialogue and interaction with UNESCO within the framework of international legal norms and mechanisms in order to stop the destruction of Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage in Armenia and restore what has been destroyed. In particular, we call on UNESCO to take the Tapabashi neighborhood under its protection as a unique example of world cultural heritage. We are ready to work closely with UNESCO in monitoring work.

The aggression of the Armenian authorities against cultural sites, including Tapabashi, represents a flagrant violation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Conventions on the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The same policy of vandalism was carried out in Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur during the years of occupation. The once prosperous region with hundreds of historical and cultural sites has been turned into endless ruins. We regret to say that despite numerous appeals and calls made to USECO during the years of occupation, your organization did not investigate these issues even once or send a fact-finding mission to the region.

We call on UNESCO to send a fact-finding mission to the Republic of Armenia and demonstrate courage in taking immediate action in relation to the Tapabashi neighborhood. We are ready to discuss these issues with UNESCO experts and provide additional information.

Signed by:

Fuad Mammadov - "Simurg" Azerbaijan Cultural Association

Aziz Alakbarli – Western Azerbaijan Community

Fariz Khalilli – "Miras" Public Association for the Promotion of Cultural Heritage

Narmina Aghayeva - "Promotion of Iravan Cultural Heritage" Public Union

Haji Abdulla - "Zangezur" Societies Public Union

Umud Rahimoghlu - International Eurasia Press Fund

Novella Jafarova - D. Aliyeva Azerbaijan Women's Rights Society

Saadat Bananyarli - "Azerbaijan National Unit of the International Human Rights Society" Public Union

Saltanat Gojamanli - "Protection of Human Rights and Legality" Public Union

Mubariz Asgarov - "Objective" Public Union for the Promotion of National Values

Zaur Ibrahimli - "Prioritet" Social Economic Research Center Public Union

Shahla Naghiyeva - “Sonmez Mashal” Cultural Relations Public Union

Sheyda Allahverdiyeva – "ICOMOS Azerbaijan" Public Union

Gamar Baghirova - Jafar Jabbarli Public Association for the Development of Culture, Science and Education

Ulviyya Babirova - "Culture Volunteers" Public Union

Turkay Gasimzada - Association for the Protection of Azerbaijan’s Cultural Heritage and Support for Tourism

Esmira Fuad - Eternal Turan Book Fund

Azer Allahveranov – "Eurasia Migration Initiatives Platform" Public Union

Elchin Mirzabayli - "Baku School of Speech" Public Union

Sevda Tahirli - Mirza Alakbar Sabir Foundation

Shahin Gadirov - "Zirva" Culture and Art Public Union

Farida Mirishova- "Iz" Culture Development and Support Public Union

Samad Vakilov - "Muvakkil Law Center" Public Union”.