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MASSACRES OF BAKU ARMENIANS IN 1918
IN SEPTEMBER 1918, IN BAKU AROUND 30 THOUSAND ARMENIANS FELL VICTIM OF VIOLENCE AND MASSACRES.


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Violating the borders established by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, in the spring of 1918 Turkish troops invaded Transcaucasia. Under permission from the government of the newly formed Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the total number of Turkish forces on Baku front at the end of May exceeded 20,000, joined by 2,000 Kurdish detachments. On July 31, the “Caucasian Muslim Army” led by Nouri Pasha launched a large-scale attack, occupying Baku on the night of September 14-15. Despite the security assurances given to the Danish and Iranian consuls, Turkish officers under the command of Minister of Interior Khan Jivanshir with the participation of the regular Turkish army and the Tatars of the surrounding villages from September 15 till 17 had massacred thousands of people looting their property.

The first victims of Baku massacre were the local intelligentsia, including doctors, engineers, lawyers, educators, writers, journalists and others. Almost no Armenian family was able to escape the horrific massacres, destruction and looting took place for three days. Some of them were slaughtered right in their apartments and others in the streets and shelters. The Armenian quarter was completely demolished. They did not even spare the children and the sick; 360 patients were killed at Balakhani Hospital and 63 children were thrown from the fourth floor of an orphanage on Komandantski Street. The massacres continued in the country house of the joint-stock company belonging to the "Nobel Brother" company not far from Baku, where more than 200 refugee Armenians were killed. In order to hide the traces of the mass killings, most of the corpses of the Armenians gathered in different neighborhoods were thrown into the sea or set on fire. On the fourth day of the massacre, under order Khan Jivanshir 9,000 young Armenians were sent to forced labor in Mughan desert, of which only 400 were able to return.

According to statistics compiled by the "commission of inquiry" adjoining the Armenian National Council in Baku chaired by Bakhshi Ishkhanyan, massacre witness, before the fall of Baku, the Armenian population was 88,673 people. The total number of victims of the Genocide committed by the Turko-Tatar forces was 29,063. Baku pogroms of 1918 were a continuation of the planned Genocide committed against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. The horrific episodes of the massacres and violence were witnessed by many soldiers, journalists, diplomats and survivors.

P.S. On July 15, 1921 in Constantinople a young Armenian Misak Torlakian assassinated Bihbud Khan Jivanshir, the former Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan who was the main responsible for the deaths of thousands of Armenians in various parts of Azerbaijan. He was tried by the British military tribunal in Constantinople in the fall of 1921. By the decision of the court, Misak Torlakian was released.



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