Salı, Mart 2, 2021
Ana Sayfa KÖŞE YAZISI The January 20 tragedy

The January 20 tragedy

A wound that has been bleeding in our hearts for 31 years, our unceasing pain, the glorious and heroic chronicle of our people. The people of Azerbaijan have also been subjected to bloody terrorist attacks from time to time. One of such events is the January 20 tragedy, an act of terror and genocide against the Azerbaijani people. The tragedy of January 20 is one of the worst crimes against humanity in the twentieth century. This event entered the history of the Azerbaijani people as the Bloody January tragedy. The savage terrorist act committed by the military machine of the former Soviet state against the people of Azerbaijan that day will remain a black page in the history of mankind as one of the gravest crimes against humanity. Tyrannising to the civilian population who fought for national freedom and territorial integrity of their country, the killing and injuring of hundreds of innocent people as a result of mass terror, once again demonstrated to the world its criminal nature on the eve of the collapse of the totalitarian Soviet regime.
January 20, 1990 is a day engraved in blood in the glorious history of Azerbaijan, where our people stood up for independence and national ideology No matter how many years have passed, that day is remembered with deep sorrow by all our compatriots.
The entry of the Soviet Union into the collapse phase gave the long-awaited opportunity to the armed Armenians. The Armenians, who subjected about one million Azerbaijanis living in Armenia to ethnic cleansing, were not contented with that.Against barbarism of the Armenians who carried out armed attacks on Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh, Lankaran, Nakhchivan, Ganja and Baku, Moscow had only one approach: silence. It was this approach that led the people to lose belief in the USSR and ignited the desire for independence. The rallies that have taken place throughout the country since beginning of January have intensified since January 15, when the Armenians increased their attacks on Azerbaijani areas.
On January 15, 1990, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR decided to declare a state of emergency in the “Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region” and other regions. The proposal to the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR to include Baku and Ganja in the scope of the state of emergency in the seventh article of this decision was met with serious dissatisfaction by the people. Hearing that Soviet Army would bring troops to Baku and Ganja under a state of emergency, the people tried to close the entrance to Baku with vehicles. It was as if people were trying to protect the city from the new Soviet occupation. The terrible January night, engraved as the “Tragedy of January 20″, was associated with stifling the struggle of the Azerbaijani people for democracy and national liberation, inflicting a moral blow on it. However, the Soviet empire could not break the will of the Azerbaijani people with its inhumane actions
On January 19, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR decided to declare a state of emergency in the city. The decision would take effect on January 20 at 12:00 a.m. However, the people could not be aware of the state of emergency due to the explosion of the energy provider of Azerbaijani television by Soviet intelligence on January 19 at 7:27 p.m.
Thus, in the evening, 26,000 Soviet troops entered Baku in armored vehicles from five directions. Prior to the announcement of the state of emergency, Red Army soldiers killed 82 people and seriously wounded 20 others.In total, more than 100 people were killed, more than 700 were injured and more than 800 were detained that night.
Shooting at everyone in front of him, the Soviet army committed one of the bloodiest crimes in history in Baku that night. Not only the civilians on the streets, but also ambulances for the wounded, passengers on buses, and even people close to the windows of their homes became the target of the army trying to keep the people away from the idea of independence. The purpose of this terrorist act was also to intimidate other peoples who wanted to stand up for independence.
The January 20 Tragedy is not only one of the saddest pages of our history, but also an invaluable example of love of our people to homeland and their unity for national ideals. There are a number of moments make us remember that day proudly. One of these moments is the example of heroism shown by Caspian sailors. Immediately after the incident, the sailors directed the ships to Baku Bay and saved the city from a new massacre by preventing approach of warships to Baku. Despite all the pressure and threats, they tried to convey the tragedy in Baku to the world without leaving their positions. Sending “SOS” signals like, “Attention! I am Baku! They are burning me!”, “Attention! Baku is on fire!” sailors soon achieved their goals. As a result of their unity and self-sacrifice, many countries around the world soon became aware of the incident.
The first steps were taken by Heydar Aliyev to bring the incident to the political level. Going to the Permanent Representation of Azerbaijan in Moscow on January 21, 1990, Heydar Aliyev gave information about the tragedy and harshly criticized this crime against the Azerbaijani people. Resolute condemnation of the USSR leaders as the culprits of the massacre gave a new impetus to grassroot movement.
Giving a correct and objective legal-political assessment to the events of January 20 is also the service of the great leader Heydar Aliyev. On March 29, 1994, as a result of the hard work of national leader Heydar Aliyev, a special resolution entitled “On the tragic events of January 20, 1990 in Baku” was adopted.
Thus, a political and legal assessment of the terrible tragedy of the Azerbaijani people, the events of January 20, was made. The victims of the January 20 massacre sacrificed their lives for country, honor, dignity and humanity. Today, 31 years have passed since that bloody night, the heroic saga, witnessed by Baku. January 20, 1990, written in history as “Black January” and “Bloody January”, further shortened the path to independence for Azerbaijan. On that day, each of our martyrs, who was not afraid of Soviet soldiers and tanks, became a light on this road.
January 20 and the tragic events that preceded it in the history of Azerbaijan were the next manifestations of a well-thought-out policy against our people throughout the twentieth century. Genocide against the Azerbaijani people, gradual annexation of Azerbaijani territories during the Soviet era and reducement of the area from 125,000 square kilometers to 87,000 square kilometers, the events in Nagorno-Karabakh, which began under the auspices of the Soviet leadership, expulsion of Azerbaijanis from their ancient lands in Armenia are the stages of this policy.
No matter how tragic the January 1990 massacre was, it could not break the will of the Azerbaijani people, their determination to fight for national liberation.The sons of the Homeland who died on that terrible night wrote a bright page in the history of Azerbaijan, paved the way for the national freedom and independence of the people.
Years pass, generations change, but the ideology of patriotism and Azerbaijanism, ingrained in our blood and soul, remains unchanged. Today, the sons of Azerbaijan protect the belief inherited from our historical heroes and martyrs.
From the 1990s to 2020, that we left behind, every Azerbaijani had a bleeding wound called Karabakh. For 30 years, our people had not accepted the occupation and had been looking forward to reuniting with their native Karabakh.
The attempt of the Armenian side to attack on September 27, 2020 was the last straw for Azerbaijan, which is patiently waiting for a peaceful solution to the issue. With the counter-offensive order, our glorious army began to advance towards their native lands. Our heroes, who showed unparalleled heroism and fought to the last drop of their blood, put an end to the occupation that lasted for years in 44 days.
Armenia had to surrender on 10 November, after our victorious army cleansed ancient Azerbaijani lands such as Jabrayil (October 4), Fizuli (October 17), Zangilan (October 20), Gubadli (October 25) and Shusha (November 8) from occupiers. This was a historic victory of the Azerbaijani side over the occupier. It was our Supreme Commander-in-Chief, our unity like a fist and brave sons of motherland who led us to victory.
The victory of Karabakh, written in golden letters in the pages of history, is a source of pride for each of us today. Both the heroes who gave us this victory and the martyrs of January 20 are a historical and clear example of the fearlessness and courage of sons and daughters of the land of fire, their unwillingness to accept any occupation and constant desire to live independently. These examples, which will be passed down from generation to generation, will perpetuate the independence and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and will write it in world history with indelible ink.


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