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Dilemas contemporáneos: educación, política y valores

On-line version ISSN 2007-7890

Dilemas contemp. educ. política valores vol.8 n.spe2 Toluca de Lerdo Mar. 2021  Epub Apr 21, 2021 


The attempts of armenianization of Nakhchivan by Tsarist Russia

Los intentos de armenización de Nakhchivan por la Rusia zarista

Zamin Aliyev1 

1PhD Candidate of Nakhchivan State University. Nakhchivan State University faculty of History and Philology, Department of Azerbaijan History. Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan.


The Armenians tried to establish a state after consolidation in the territories where they were moved by Russia. The Armenians deal with the existence of artificial “Armenian state” in IV century. However, such a state did not exist in history, perhaps it was just like a local self-administrative body. Though Turkmenchai treaty, which victorious Russia urged the defeated Gajar state sign in the first half of XIX century, was considered a chance for the Armenians it brought about the instigation of the national conflicts in South Caucasus later on. The Armenians were settled in Irevan, Kharabakh and Nakhchivan which were integral parts of ancient Turkish land, Azerbaijan. Basing on the historical facts, it is possible to note that Irevan, Kharabakh and Nakhchivan regions were the parts of Azerbaijan geographical terms.

Key words: occupation; claim; "Greater Armenia"; Nakhchivan; Kalbali


Los armenios intentaron establecer un estado después de la consolidación en los territorios donde fueron trasladados por Rusia. Los armenios se ocupan de la existencia de un "estado armenio" artificial en el siglo IV; sin embargo, tal estado no existió en la historia, tal vez fue como un organismo local de autoadministración. Aunque el tratado de Turkmenchai, en el que la Rusia victoriosa instó al derrotado estado de Gajar a firmar en la primera mitad del siglo XIX, fue considerado una oportunidad para los armenios, más tarde provocó la instigación de los conflictos nacionales en el sur del Cáucaso. Los armenios se establecieron en Irevan, Kharabakh y Nakhchivan, que eran partes integrales de la antigua tierra turca, Azerbaiyán. Sobre la base de los hechos históricos, es posible señalar que las regiones de Irevan, Kharabakh y Nakhchivan eran partes de los términos geográficos de Azerbaiyán.

Palabras claves: ocupación; reclamación; "Gran Armenia"; Nakhchivan; Kalbali


The insidious intentions of well-armed and well-trained Armenians with strong capital and misleading the public opinion of the world community with false information was to intimidate the local population, slaughter them, expel them from their historical and ethnic territories, destroy material and spiritual cultural monuments in all the territories they included in the territory "Greater Armenia", including Nakhchivan, using fascist methods.


The Armenians became a source of danger for their benefactors after the Russian occupation of Azerbaijani territories, including the Nakhchivan Khanate, in the 19th century. Terrorist organizations - Dashnaktsutyun, Hnchak and the Armenian Church united and started a campaign of coup d'etat and seizure of power in Russia until the early twentieth century. They intended to realize the goal of establishing a "Greater Armenia" state in a large space, including Turkey, the entire South Caucasus, Russia from North Caucasus, Rostov, Saratova, Stavropol to Krasnodar regions, from southern Ukraine to Greece and the Black Sea coast (2, p.164). Their ultimate goal was the imaginary independent "Greater Armenia", which would be established by the destruction of several peoples and countries.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Armenian Church played a more criminal role in the destruction of this imaginary state. In church schools in South Caucasus, patriotic Armenian feelings were aroused in children, they were brought up in the spirit of hatred for other peoples, false information about the false past, history and geography of the Armenian people was instilled in their minds, the borders of "Greater Armenia" were almost extended to Voronezh. Progressive Russian intellectual VL Velichko wrote that during the transfer of Armenian church schools to the Russian Ministry of Public Education, it was revealed that “Armenian parish schools, contrary to the efforts of the Armenian Church and the state language, did not hinder this natural path of citizenship development. But they spread the seeds of even the most brutal and fanatical discrimination. Not only the nonsensical and meaningless textbooks about the infamous Greater Armenia and the secular talent of the Armenians to civilize all their neighbors, but also the maps of Greater Armenia, with the capital of Tbilisi (Georgia) to Voronezh, and various emblems previously approved by Britain were widespread in these sources” (3, p.87).

It is clear from this that Western countries have helped to realize the Armenians’ ideas of "Greater Armenia" and are still doing so.

Armenians allegedly deal with the presence of some "Armenian state" in IV century. However, there has never been such a state in history, and perhaps there was a body like local self-government. In 1966, for the first time in Armenia, the publishing house of Yerevan University published fake maps of the "Greater Armenia" with a fantastic area of 400,000 square kilometers, and the "Armenian plateau" with the same area. These vast territories included three lakes Van, Goycha, Urmia, four large rivers Tigris, Euphrates, Kura, Araz, territories of modern Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia between two seas - the Caspian-Mediterranean. How can Armenia, which has an area of 30,000 square kilometers, has a 100,000-square-kilometer create a Greater Armenia?

1. By what right do Armenians claim the territories of other nations and states (including the territories of Azerbaijan and especially Nakhchivan)?

2. Why do Armenians need 400,000 square kilometers? they can't even cultivate 30,000 square kilometers (15). A. Ismayilov rightly points out that the Armenians, who do not cultivate a small part of the territory, live at the expense of drugs and donations, do not need such a huge territory.

All this has nothing to do with the Armenian state, which never existed in Nakhchivan, or with the Republic of Armenia, which was established in the territories of present-day Azerbaijan. Prominent Russian historian and Caucasian scholar Rudolf Ivanov wrote a book dedicated to the life and activity of Kalbali of Nakhchivan khan “Kalbali khan Nakhchivanski. Period and heritage. Historical Essays” showed that there are no traces of the Armenians in Nakhchivan on the basis of facts and documents.

In 1802, the Russian Emperor Alexander I appointed lieutenant-general prince P.D. Sisianov as the new commander-in-chief of the Caucasus. Sisianov wrote in a report to Alexander I on March 10, 1804: "This spring we may either stick the Russian flag on the walls of Yerevan and Nakhchivan, or at least force the khans who rule them to pay tribute to Russia ..." (15, p.597).

R.Ivanov characterizes Kalbali khan as a ruler with great authority in the Middle East, independent, proud, brave, influential, fiery khan, on the contrary, he characterizes Sisianov as a prince who was accustomed to flattering and being insulted. "As Sisianov always traded with his position, there was no exception. With his naivety, he enticed Kalbali khan by appointing him khan of his native Nakhchivan” (4, p.151)

Taking advantage of the high-ranked Sisianov's ambition, the Armenians spread false information that he would gladly accept the terms of Nakhchivan khan. Sisianov planned to seize first Yerevan and then Nakhchivan. The betrayal and treachery of the Armenians played an important role in the realization of his plans.

General AP Yermolov met Kalbali khan in Nakhchivan in 1817. The Russian general had great respect for Kalbali khan who recently returned Kalbali khanate. During the reign of Russian Emperor Nicholas I, all of South Azerbaijan was under Russian control. On the first day of the Russian army's entry into Tabriz, General Paskevich established an interim Azerbaijani government in the territory of Iranian Azerbaijan” (4, p.359). General Paskevich proposed to establish relations with the predecessors of Nakhchivan khan Kalbali in order to preserve this rule and unite Azerbaijan.

Basing on archival materials, R.Ivanov proves that the period of the Russian ambassador to Iran A.S. Griboyev protested against the resettlement of Armenians in Nakhchivan and other regions. A.S Griboyedov presented a comparative number of newly resettled Armenian families in Nakhchivan region and old residents - Armenians who once moved here and the owner of these places, autochthonous Azerbaijani families: Griboyedov proposes to relocate 500 Armenian families newly relocated to Nakhchivan to Daralayaz due to overcrowding. However, Argutinsky of Armenian origin opposes this. The body of A.S Griboyedev, who was killed by Armenians, was brought to Nakhchivan from Tehran. At that time, the chief of Nakhchivan district was Colonel Ehsan khan Nakhchivanski, the son of Kalbali khan.

Researcher V.H. Grigoriev describes the administration of Nakhchivan after its incorporation into the Russian Empire as follows: “Nakhchivan province is subordinated to the Regional Administration in all its activities; It was founded in March 1828. The city administration is located in Nakhchivan. It was divided into two parts: the Police Department and the Court and its Executive Office. The Nakhchivan deputy, colonel Ehsan khan and Kalbali khan's son were entrusted with the internal control of the police department throughout the region. A bailiff from the headquarters of Russian officers was assigned to help him.

The City Court, chaired by the Deputy, consists of a bailiff, a treasurer, and two members elected by free vote. The responsibilities of the Nakhchivan Deputy include managing the entire population of the District entrusted to him, assistance in the collection of taxes, protecting state property and aiding in the welfare of the region. The powers and responsibilities of the city court are as follows:

1. To investigate and resolve complaints, disputes and claims of local residents in accordance with the laws and customs of the country. By the way, in civil cases, residents have been entitled to solve the issues among themselves primarily. They appeal to the city court for their choice.

2. Investigates and resolves criminal cases, submits them to the Regional Office. The city court is empowered to settle civil cases involving up to one hundred silver rubles, and all other criminal cases must be sent to the regional office for a decision” (5, p. 62-64).

After the occupation of Nakhchivan, it was included in the Armenian province together with Yerevan. Ehsan khan, who later received the rank of major general, ruled Nakhchivan in accordance with the laws of the Russian Empire.

His father Kor Kalbali khan did not forget Nakhchivanski’s will: "For the sake of integrity, peace and prosperity of ancient Nakhchivan, it is necessary to preserve the spiritual heritage and glorious fighting glory of the Nakhchivan khanate dynasty as a sacred thing and pass it on to future generations" (4, p.520).

Article 3 of the peace treaty signed between Russia and Ottoman Turkey on June 12, 1724 states that Nakhchivan, along with most of the territories of Azerbaijan, was given to Ottoman rule (14, p.110).

In 1724, Ottoman Turkey applied the "Nakhchivan sanjag" administrative territorial division. In other words, a sanjag of the same name was created in Nakhchivan, as in other regions of Azerbaijan, which includes most of its territories. The region was governed by the laws of this state until 1736 under the newly created administrative-territorial division. In other words, the Ottomans restored the administrative-territorial division of the Nakhchivan sanjag. The "Comprehensive Book of the Nakhchivan Sanjag" compiled at that time came into force in 1727. However, in contrast to the “Review Book of Iravan Province” prepared at the end of the 16th century, the administrative boundaries and the districts within them have been changed to some extent.

At that time, the Nakhchivan sanjag consisted of the following 14 districts: Nakhchivan, Alinja, Sair, Mavzai, Darashahbuz, Mulki-Arslan, Mavaziu-Arslan, Mavaziu-Khatun, Garabagh, Qishlagat, Darasham, Azadjiran, Shorlut, Deranurgut, Sisiyan and Daralayaz (10, p.11). It can be seen that according to the new administrative-territorial division, 14 districts out of 16 were retained. Ordubad, Bazarchayi and Aghjagala districts were abolished, and new districts called Sair Mavazi, Qishlagat and Daralayaz were added to the sanjag. At that time, large, historical Azerbaijani lands such as Daralayaz and Sisiyan were part of the Nakhchivan sanjag. It should be noted that on the eve of 1724-1726, the Ottomans, along with the Nakhchivan sanjag, established the Ordubad sanjag in this region, but when the book came into force, they did not consider it necessary to retain it (10, p.11).

The Nakhchivan region of Azerbaijan was of military-strategic and economic importance in the policy of the Ottoman Empire in the South Caucasus during this period.

The study of the Nakhchivan Khanate, which existed in 1747-1828, shows that the land of ancient Azerbaijan reveals the groundlessness of the territorial claims of the Armenians.

According to the Treaty of Kermanshah signed between the Safavids and Ottoman Turkey in 1732, Nakhchivan was re-included in the Ottoman occupation zone.

After the proclamation of Nadir Shah in 1736, he abolished the beylerbeyliks and gave the administration of a united Azerbaijani province with its capital Tabriz to his brother Ibrahim khan. Armenian Catholicos Abram Cretasi, who took part in the coronation ceremony, writes that he handed over the administration of Nakhchivan, Yerevan, Ararat province (there was no such province in history) and Georgia to his brother and appointed him the head of all peoples” (6, p.244).

Nadir Shah handed over the administration of Nakhchivan to the Kangarli people. After Mirza Rza, who was distinguished by his cruelty, Aga Hasan became the ruler of Nakhchivan. After the fall of Nadir Shah's state in 1747, Heydargulu khan, a descendant of Kangarli, overthrew Aga Hasan with the help of local feudal lords and became the khan of the independent Nakhchivan khanate.

“The Nakhchivan khanate, which stretched from the Zangazur mountains to the valley of the Araz River, differed from other khanates economically and militarily. Heydargulu khan was looking for patrons from stronger khans to strengthen his power and repulse the attacks from abroad” (7, p.81-82). Undoubtedly, one of such khanates was the Karabakh khanate.

After the death of Heydargulu khan, Nakhchivan khanate weakened a bit. His successor Haji khan ruled the khanate poorly. In 1770, Aligulu khan came to power, and soon he was overthrown by Valigulu khan Kangarli. Zafargulu khan, who came to power after him, was met with dissatisfaction by the people.

Some Nakhchivanis were obliged to leave the country and go to other countries. In 1785, Nakhchivan khan Shukurali was overthrown by Jafargulu khan. Abbasgulu khan, who returned to power with the help of Karabakh khan Ibrahimkhalil, was overthrown in 1787 by Kalbali khan. During the reign of Kalbali khan, the Nakhchivan khanate began to develop.

In 1792, after the victory of Umma khan over Avarli, who attacked Nakhchivan with 11,000 troops, the authority of Kalbali khan increased even more. Feeling the threat of Agha Mohammad Shah Gajar, the local rulers of the South Caucasus appealed to Russia for help. After a long hesitation, Catherine II sent troops to the Central and South Caucasus. Enraged by this, Agha Mohammad Shah Gajar took Nakhchivan khan Kalbali khan’s eyes out and sent him to Tehran and kept him under strict control for 6 years.

Fatali Shah, who came to power after the assassination of Agha Mohammad Shah, released Kalbali Khan, but allowed him to live in Yerevan, not in Nakhchivan. During the absence of Kalabli khan, Nakhchivan was ruled by Abbasgulu khan.

As Kalbali khan had a great respect among the people of Nakhchivan, all the nobles and their families moved to Yerevan and to him in a massive form. Then, Kalbali khan became Nakhchivan khan again. His return to Nakhchivan coincided with the arrival of Lieutenant-General PD Sisianov in Tbilissi (Tbilisi) in February 1803.

P.D. Sisianov, who asked Kalbali khan to bring Danil, the Armenian Catholicos who had been in Tehran for a long time, to Yerevan, said in a letter to Kalbali khan dated February 6, 1803: ““Your Excellency, I ask you to use all your efforts and requests for the honorable Catholicos Danil to ascend the throne of the Patriarch of Ararat soon. According to the information I have received, I am absolutely sure that you will not refuse to do everything in your power to ensure the successful and speedy completion of this work, and thus you will gain the favor of both palaces” (15, p.633).

Thus, on the one hand, Sisianov used the Kalbali khan, the most famous and independent khan in the region, who was famous in the Middle East and the South Caucasus, and the Russian authorities blindly defending the interests of rich Armenians asked the khan to help Echmuadzin have the Armenian patriarch Danil ascend the throne instead of the patriarch David, who allegedly sat there illegally ”(4, p. 33). However, Kalbali khan was sure that David was legally elected, rejected Armenian protectionism and, overcoming pressure by the Russian authorities, did not allow Danil to sit on the patriarchal throne. Khan's determination caused a scandal in the political life of Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Kalbali khan died suddenly in Tabriz in 1823 while returning to Nakhchivan from Mecca. “Kalbali khan's noble efforts aimed at preserving the territorial integrity of ancient Nakhchivan and peace in the country were continued by his sons after his deatha firm foundation of high morality, exemplary family support, patriotism and the concept of sacred "honor" was laid not only in the hearts and character of legendary Kalbali khan Nakhchivanski’s children, but also the next generations (4, p.34).

During the First Russo-Iranian War and the Treaty of Gulustan (October 12, 1813), Iran's rule over the Nakhchivan and Yerevan khanates, as well as the South Azerbaijani khanates, was restored. During the Second Russian-Iranian War, on June 26, 1827, Russian troops entered Nakhchivan. The occupation of Nakhchivan and Irevan khanates by Russian troops resulted in the signature of the Turkmenchay Treaty.

In historical sources, Russian historians have described the occupation of the fortress and the Turkmenchay Treaty as peace and friendship between Russia and Iran. Based on this, they wrote that even the tragic death of diplomat A.S. Griboyedov did not break this friendship and peace (8, p.109). The Armenians used this for their own interests with great skill and cunning. They have strengthened their position in the South Caucasus, especially in the western regions of Azerbaijan. Catholicos Nerses Ashtaraketsi played a significant role in this work. Nerses's perversion, which offended the Azerbaijanis, reached such a level that Count Paskevich exiled him to Bessarabia in 1829 (11, p. 656).

Musa Guliyev shows that the division of Azerbaijan into two parts between Russia and Iran began in 1801 and lasted until 1830. The main issue here was the fate of Azerbaijan in relations between the countries showing great interest to the Caucasus. In fact, Armenians played a key role in Russia's occupation of the Caucasus, including the South Caucasus. There are many interesting facts about them in archival documents and published books (1, p.125).

In the correspondence between Paskevich and Griboyedov, Safraz Saakov who was of Armenian nationality, is often mentioned. Paskevich advises Griboyedov to contact the Nakhchivan khans, especially Ehsan khan, through Safraz Saakov and continue to put pressure on them. On November 29, 1828, the Russian diplomat in Tabriz informed Griboyedov Paskevich that Saakov had rendered them important services in the capture of the Abbasabad fortress and had delivered the letters you had sent to the khans.

As a result of the betrayal of the Armenians, assistance and guidance to the Russian troops, Nakhchivan was occupied on June 27, 1827. According to the sources, in 1826-1828 Fatali khan had secret talks with the Russian command (12, p.74).

Agalar bey Yenikolopov was appointed the leader of the whole Christian population in the territory of Azerbaijan by the order of Abbas Mirza (12, p.19). Abbas Mirza entrusted him all administration.

The initiators and mediators of these talks were mostly Armenians who played the role of interpreters. At any cost, they aimed to hand over Azerbaijan, including the ancient Azerbaijani lands of Yerevan and Nakhchivan, to the Russians, and then to realize the dream of a "Greater Armenia." By the way, Armenians were moved to Yerevan, Nakhchivan and Karabakh after the Turkmenchay Treaty (13, p.144).

Armenians also helped the Russians in the occupation of Nakhchivan. However, the activity of Armenians should not be exaggerated. They did not have the ability to fight, they were distinguished only by their betrayal and treachery. The researcher of Armenian origin I.K. Yenikolopov even exaggerates the "activities" of the Armenians, or rather treachery, as if Russia could not win in the South Caucasus without them (9, p. 63-65).

General Paskevich respected Ehsan I, and the khan tried to prevent the independence of Nakhchivan and the moving of the Armenians to these territories.


The genocide, massacres and treacherous acts committed by them against the Turkic-Muslim world were presented to the world community as the "genocide of the oppressed people - Armenians", created a state institution for "Greater Armenia" at the expense of the Turkic-Muslim peoples and expanded their territories at the expense of innocent people.

The Armenians claim that "they were subjected to genocide for 47 years by the Turks (1876-1923)", "more than 2 million Armenians were killed", "the historical cleansing of their historical homeland of Western and Southern Armenia from the Armenians" they continue to present this false, fake, groundless facts to the world community as a "historical truth."

Bıblıographıc references

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14. Aliyev I. (2017) The place of Nakhchivan in the South Caucasus policy of the Ottoman Empire in the 20-30th years of the XVIII century// I Forum of Caucasian Scholars. April 17-18, 2017 Baku. Scientific reports. I itab.Baku:, p.110 (p.109-113) AKAK.Tiflis, 1802, T.2., P.597 (1002 p.) [ Links ]

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Received: March 10, 2021; Accepted: March 22, 2021

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