President Ilham Aliyev has given an order to learn the current state of "Massacre Memorial Complex” and preventing the processes that is going on there. In accordance with this instruction, head of Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev has signed a document entitled "On problems relating to "Massacre Memorial Complex” in the city of Guba”. A commission was created to study the current situation of the monument and prepare appropriate proposals to deal with the issues. Ali Hasanov, presidential aide on social and political issues, was appointed the head of the commission. The members of the commission visited the memorial on June 9, examined the area where human bones are displayed and where landslides have become common and hold meetings with the local branch of executive government. Mubariz Gurbanli, member of the commission and head of State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations , sat down for an interview with "Kaspi” and answered our questions on the topic.
- Mr. Gurbanli, first of all, we’d like to know the importance of this complex for Azerbaijani people and history.
- We must always learn the events that took place in our history and pass them on to the next generations. After Azerbaijan regained independence, our history, injustices, aggressions against our history, as well as our historical accomplishments, were studied objectively. It’s known that a nation who is not independent cannot have an independent history. When a nation is not independent, their history is not written by them but their subjugators. As such, as our national leader Heydar Aliyev said, our independence is our historic achievement. Through this achievement, we can learn our history, analyze it and pass it to our people. There is a need for researching and raising awareness to the massacres, atrocities, invasions carried out against our people. Based on the orders of the former president Heydar Aliyev and his successor Ilham Aliyev, some measures were taken and research yielded some evidence. The Armenian atrocities against Azerbaijanis were studied, many books and research were published. This process is still underway. The March 31, 1918 massacre of Azerbaijanis by Armenians is one of these atrocities. "Massacre Memorial Complex” in the city of Guba is of huge importance to study this historical tragedy and Armenian barbarism, and raising awareness to this tragedy in the international community.
- Recently, a commission was established to learn the situation in the graveyard area of the complex and take necessary action.
- As we know, mass graves were uncovered in Guba during one of the ground works in April 1 of 2007. In accordance with the president Ilham Aliyev’s orders, the employees of Archeology and Ethnography under the National Academy of Sciences conducted research in the area. The research was concluded in the September of 2008. Research concluded that the mass graves were related to the massacre committed by Armenians against the local population in 1918. In 2009, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the action plan to immortalize the victims of the massacre in Guba. Thus, it was decided that a monument would be raised in the area of the mass grave. Ilham Aliyev and the first lady Mehriban Aliyeva inaugurated the monument on September 18, 2013. The museum displayed the important historical documents to the local and foreign visitors. At the same time, documentaries were played. Thousands of people have visited the memorial complex. The remains of the victims of the massacre are also displayed in the territory of the complex to the visitors. In the recent years, some of the human bones were subject to decomposing and the soil in the area eroded and landslides become more commonplace. Thus, Azerbaijani president gave instructions to examine the existing situation in the complex and take preventative action. In accordance with this order, Ramiz Mehdiyev signed a document. The document stipulated that a commission be established to examine the situation and come up with an action plan. Ali Hasanov was appointed the head of the commission. The commission is tasked with presenting the results of the research of the commission and the action plan to the Presidential Administration within a month. In my opinion, the commission will play an important role in studying the problems in the territory of the complex and determining what actions should be taken to eliminate those issues.
- As a member of the commission, you became acquainted with the existing situation in the cemetery area of the complex. We would like to know, what is the main problem there?
- The mass graves in the area of the complex is under a special building. An irrigation ditch situated close to the area and the subsequent humidity has put the human bones displayed in open air under the threat of deformation. We witnessed the situation firsthand and hold a meeting with the local authorities. The problems was discussed at length and various proposals were made. We came to the conclusion that the human remains should be kept under an object made of glass so that no natural disaster would be able to damage them. The experts took part in the discussion as well. It was decided that the first meeting of the commission, examination of the problem area and the discussions would be summarized and presented to the head of the state. Then an action plan would be put together to protect the area and pass it on to the later generations. I also voiced my opinion in the discussions as a member of the commission. Religious perspectives were also shared in the discussion. The main conclusion is that the mass graves and human remains that displayed Armenian atrocities would be kept as before, with the condition that they would be protected. I think it was very important to establish this commission, examine the situation and take action to eliminate the problems.