For every Azerbaijani the city of Irevan is as dear and native as ancient cities Baki, Ganja, Sheki, Derbend, Nakhchevan, Tabriz, Ardabil. At different times the area of Iravan was a part of Urartian Sassanid, Arabian caliphates, Sajids, Shaddadids, Seljugs, Eldanizians, Ilhanilians, Teymurians, Garagoyunlu, Aghgoyunlu, Safavids, Afshars, Gajar, Tsarist Russia states. Only in 1918 after the establishment of the first Armenian state in the South Caucasus, the city of Iravan became the capital of Armenia.
The city of Irevan is situated in 40 ° 08 ‘north paralel and 44 ° 10’ east long of the northwestern part of the valley of Akhri. Iravan city being located about 900-1000 meters above sea level is surrounded by gardens on either side.
In medieval written sources the name of the city where Azerbaijani Turks had been the only inhabitants since ancient times, is mentioned as Ravan, Iravan or Irivan. At the begining of XIX century after the Russian troops occupation the name of the city was written as Erivan, later on it was called Yerevan for the first time in the history of the twentieth century, after its conversion to the capital of Armenian state. Armenian historians are trying to bind the name of the city (now being called Yerevan) with the name of Erebun Fortress (Irpuni) built during the ruling period of Urartu Argistinin Tsar I (in 782 BC). Erabuni Fortress was buil only for the purpose of military fortifications and city infrastructure was never formed around it.
As the Urartunians had nothing to do with the Armenians, an ancient city of Irevan had neither spatial nor historical connection with present Iravan city. There was a significant time distance between the Iravan settlement, which was an ancient dwelling and formed as a city in the Middle Ages and Erabuni fortress revealed during the archaeological excavations in 1950. Only in the second half of XX century the territory of Ganli Tepe (hill) where Erabuni fortress was located, was annexed to the suburban area. According to the found cuneiform and belonging to the Urartunians times it has been found out that the vally of Aghri (the left bank of the river Araz and down stream of the river Arpachay) used to be the country of Aza people untill the area was occupied by the Urartus in the first quater of VIII century BC.
Originally the name of the city Irevan and majority of hydronium (river, lake, spring, etc.), oronium (mountain, pass, valley, plain, etc.), oychonium (dwellings, streets, blocks, etc.) around it and being closely tied to Azerbaijani Turks language, once again shows that this area used to be ancient settlements of Azerbaijanis. There is not any sample belonging to the Armenians among the artifacts found during the archeological excavations in the territory of the city Iravan so far. During 1200 years–from the period of the Urartuians collapse till the establishment of the Arabian caliphte – the name of this settlement was not mentioned in any sources. Some Armenian historians acknowledge this fact objectively.
The fortress-city located on the trade routes and developed into a city in the Middle Ages where only Azerbaijani Turks used to live, was also one of the rich cultural centres of Azerbaijan. During the ruling times of Chukhur-Saad beylerbeyliyi and Iravan khanate, the city of Irevan rapidly developed into a centre from socio-economic point of view.
Irevan city, situating between the Zengi (now called Hrazdan) and Geder rivers was surrounded by mountains and hills from the north-easten side, but from the south and south-easten sides with fertile valley. Irevan city became a constant war centre because of having strategic importance from geographical point of view and repeatedly passed from hand to hand. As a result of wars and earthquakes the city was subjected to a strong destroy and each time it was restored in a short period. Very popular Irevan Fortress and gardens were in the center of attention of all the travelers, they were provided with comprehensive information about them.
Irevan city situating in the dry subtropical climate zone, is surrounded by very fertile and rich soil. Famous Irevan gardens and melon plantations were irrigated by means of water channels built by Irevan khans at different times and taken their sources from the rivers Zengi and Geder. For the purpose of the city and surrounding gardens irrigation four water channels – Mamra, Abuhayat, Delme, and Tazekend were constructed.The irrigation of the gardens in the south part of the city was provided by the channel and irrigation ditch (aryk) taken their sources from the Girkhbulaq river. In the territory of Irevan rich harvest was taken 2-3 times a year. Untill the beginning of XX century, Iravan city was provided with drinkable water through four different sources—the river Zengi, a number of springs in the territory called Soyudluk, water supply constructed on the bank of the river Geder (Girkhbulaq) flowing through the city gardens, and excavated underground water supplies in different places. At the beginning of XX century about 19 km away from Iravan water pipeline was constructed on the source of the river Geder (Girkhbulaq) in order to meet the drinkable water need of the city.During the khannets period the city of Iravan consisted of four dwelling blocks- Gala, the City (Shahri), Tepebashi and Demirbulag. The Armenians being in minority lived only in some cityskirt settlements. The City(Shahri) part was the most ancient part of Iravan. About 50 gipsy Armenian families (Boshas) from India settled in the Tepebashi area (now called Kond) located in the west of the city. Only rich and distinguished people’s gardens separeted Iravan from the city massive. In the Demirbulag massive(now caled Karanki Tagh) located in the south of the city used to be inhabited only by Azerbaijanians. As it is stated by French travellers J. Taravenye and J.Shardeni the dwellers of Iravan fortress consisted of only the Muslims(i.e. Azerbaijanians).
In modern Iravan city there is not any single historical-architechtural monument belonging to the Armenians that are more than 200 years old. Because at the beginning of XIX century after the occupation of the Irevan khannet by Russia the Armenians were forced to move from Iran and Turkey and were gradually settled there. The historical -architectural monuments in Iravan were built in oriental-architechtural style.Travellers and chronographers described the city of Irevan as a typical Muslim city.
As Iravan city was located on the crossroads of caravan routes, a lot of caravanserais(inns) and trade squares were laid out along there. The caravansarais built of stone, having sqaureshaped areas in the middle and water pools were considered to be the most beautiful buildings of that time. At the beginning of the XIX century 8 such caravansarais exsisted in Irevan. There were altogether 851 pavilions in Julfa, Gurdgu, Sulu, Susuz, Avshar, Haji Ali caravansarais.
There was a square in the size of 400 × 400 m in the central part of the city known as Boyuk Meydan (Great Square).Gantar scales to weigh heavy load and Mizan scales to weigh light load could be seen in that square. The other squares there were called Khan baghi, Zal khan, Huseynali khan, Fahla bazari. The territory of Panah khan Makinsky mansion was called Panah khan square until recently.
Eihgt bathhouses in Oriental architectural style – the City, Zal khan, Shekhulislam, Mehdi bey, Haji Beyim ( the last Iravan khan’s niece ), Tepebashi, Haji Ali, Haji Fatali, Kerim bey bath-houses exsisted in Irevan. At the center of present Irevan Republic Square, once exsisted Zal khan bath-house complex with underground tea house and a special room for an eastern melody assembly (mugamat majlisi).
At the end of XIX century, early XX century there were tens of streets with Azerbaijani names. The following street were specially popular in old Iravan: Shariet, Sharia, Caravanserai, Gala, Sultan, Cholmekchi, Nakhchivan, Bazar, Dashli, Pasha Khan, Gariblar ojaghi (centre), Deyirmanlı, Mesjid(Mosque), Fehle bazari (Labour market), Tepebashi, Gabirstan (cemetery), Naib, Mir Jafar, Rustam Khan, Imamra, Korbulag, Bey, Ketan, Dukanli, Sallakhlar and others.
In Irevan , the land of gardens and its outskirts there were 1473 gardens and 772 out of them were inside of the city. Sardar garden, Delme, Abbasderesi, Abuhayat, Keshaghli, Qızılqala, Dere baghi(garden), Sevzikeri, Khosrovabad, Soyudlu, Qul deresi, Kenkan, Kerpidgehana gardens were famous not only in Iravan but also too far from it. The dried up products of Irevan gardens were exported to Europe.
There were 45 mills in the city and its surroundings. Hajibeyim, Mehemmed khan, Subhangulu khan, Gala, Khan, Dogguz (Nine) belonging to the Azerbaijanians wereconsidered to be the biggest and largest ones of the city.
The names of nearly 15 mosques and 2 Armenian churches in Irevan are mentioned in historical literature. Blue Mosque (or Husseinali Khan), Gala Mosque (Sardar, or Abbas Mirza), Shah Abbas, Tepebashi, Zal Khan (or the City), Sartib Khan, Haji Novruzali Bey,Demirbulag,Haji Jafar Bey, Rajab Pasha, Muhammad Sartib Khan, Haji Inam mosques’ minarets were the sign of the city Irevan to be a Muslim city. After the establishment of Soviet power in Armenia, the mosques were destroyed one after the other. The Blue mosque, the largest mosque in the South Caucasus became Iravan History Museum, Zal Khan Mosque turned into the Art Gallary. Only Demirbulag mosque served its purpose until 1988, but now it has been razed to the ground and many-storeyed building has been erected in its place. In addition to the mosques Pogos-Petros and Katoghke churches exsisting in the city were built at the expense of Christian missionaries at one time and the aim was to ensure the flow of Armenians in the city.
In 1918, when the first Armenian state in the South Caucasus was established, the National Council of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan decided to grace the city of Irevan to be declared the capital city of the Armenian Republic.
Till the beginning of XX century Irevan fortress and Khan Sarayi(Palace), Abbas Mirza Mosque locating inside of the fortress were considered to be the historical – architectural masterpiece of the city. The Armenian vandals gradually razed Irevan fortress and all the historical-architectural monuments inside of it to the ground. In 1924, the main city plan of Irevan was prepared and after the commencement of the implementation of the plan all the monuments having historical – architectural importance and belonging to Azerbaijanians were destroyed one after the other, in order the Armenians to have an evidence to present Irevan as an Armenian city in the future.
In the 30-40s years of XX century the Azrbaijanis’ blocks in the centre of Irevan maintained to protect their existance. As the settling of the Armenians in Iravan started from the beginning of XIX century, Azerbaijanis’ blocks were encircled by the Armenian blocks. In 50 -60s years the dwellings densely populated by the Azerbaijanis and their ancient cemeteries were razed to the groud under the pretext of constructing new buildings there.
Committed massacre against Azerbaijanis in the years of 1905-1906, genocide in 1918-1920, and the deportation in 1948-1953 and 1988-1989 years completely changed the face of the city in favor of Armenians. Due to the Armenians who have been able to efface material -cultural traces of Azerbaijanis and their ethnic identity lived in Iravan, and to achieve their main goal– to creat monoethnic Armenian city.They haven’t stopped to realize their disgusting plans yet and now are trying to eraze Azerbaijanis traces from history textbooks.
Where and when did the Armenians come to historical Azarbaijan lands?
With the collapse of the Soviet empire in the late twentieth century, a number of stereotypes and false conceptions exsisting in the science of historiography have been eliminated. To write the history of the present Armenia territory during the soviet period, as a rule, was under the monopoly of Armenian researchers. And it gave them a great opportunity to keep the way of falsifying the historical facts about the Jews, Greeks, Urartuians, Aysorians, Persians, Georgians, Albanians, Turks and their successors lived in that area and resolving this fact in their own favour, defending so-called “Ancient Armenia”, “Great Armenia” conceptions. However,there is no evidence to prove the Armenians to live in that territory and neither history is as false, unsystematic and chaotic as the Armenians’(used to be called “hayas”) in the world history. Their ethnogeny is also as contradictory and confusing as their history. Even some merciful Armenian scientists and European researchers acknowledge this fact. Manuk Abeghyan, a famous Armenian linguist, himself confirmed the fact about the Armenian language to be hybrid like the Armenian people. The primary sources confirms that the hayas first came to now-called Armenia (Hayastan) as missionaries after the promotion of Christianity to the state level religion. The hayas (Armenians) appropriated the religious temples left by Turkish origin aboriginal tribes who adopted Islam during the Arabian caliphate, turned those temples to churches, and invented their fake historical documents. The alphabet that is presented as the Armenian alphabet today , in fact, belonged to the people who existed in Front Asia and were rubbed off the history stage and it served to propaganda of spreading and promoting of Christianity by missionaries in the territories where hayas lived. Mesrop Mashtosh, who is presented as the author of the Armenian alphabet, was a Christian missionary and never lived in the territory of present Armenia.
The history of hayas was adapted to Bible, the oldest book of Christianit, and different mythological sources of different nations, the prototypes of the persons whose names are enumerated there were fantasticated, the residence names were reflected in the fake history. Some Armenian scientists consider the book “Hayas’ history” (it is called “Hayos patmutyun” in Armenian that should have been translated into Russian as “Istoriya armyan”. In order to pervert the essence it was deliberately translated as “History of Armeniya”(Istoriya Armeniya) to be daub that was full of anachronism from top to toe. This book was written by bishop Movses Khorenatsi (Moysey Khorensky) who was considered to be the father of hayas’history and presented as V century chronographer. Ironically, Armenian historians are claming the existence of Echmiadzin monastery to go back to the beginning of IV century, and hayas’ alphabet to early V century, the history of the ancient manuscript written by M.Khorenasi doesn’t go beyond XIV century. From time to time Armenian religious figures stitched the regional people and states’ entire periods onto their manuscripts. “History” by M.Khorenasi first was translated in 1695 in Europe and published in Amsterdam. Even several Western European scientists La Kroza, A. Karriere, S.Marten, A.Gutshmid, Armenian historians N.Emin, K.Patkanov, Gr.Khalatyans, Garagashyan came to a such conclusion that in the “History” book by M. Khorenasi you can come across the stories taken from Bible, at the same time the events about the Urartuians, Assurians, Madays, Sasanians that were described in the works by Greek historians Strabon, Herodit, Kteziya, Ksenofont ,as well as the Greek historian, Strabo, , Herodotus, Kteziya were copied out and these military leaders , historical persons were presented as hayas (armenians), but the territories as Hayastan. The famous Armenian historian Leo (Arakel Babakhanyan) noted that in the book “History” by M.Khorenasin the names of 59 rulers during 1800-year history of Hayk’s (the Haykanyans period)) descendants were mentioned and no single line was written about reigning periods of 32 rulers , simply their names were indicated there. Leo came to conclusion that M. Khorenasi,”father of Armenian history”, forcedly served Christianity falsifying and adapting the history to Bible, but in fact he wasn’t a faithful chronographer and all he wrote was concocted history.
The other Armenian historian Bakhshi Iskhanyan writes that “Great Armenia” being considered by the Armenians to be their real homeland, is situated outside of Russia—in Minor Asia. Alexander Anninski, a Russian researcher writes that Armenian scientists in Europe completely deny all the writings by Mar Khatina, Agafangel, Zenob, Favst Buzand which M. Khorenasi reffered as historical sources.
Studying the works of ancient authors Ivan Chopin, a Russian Caucasianstudy researcher, came to the conclusion that the hayas and the Armenians don’t belong to the same origin. In XII century BC the hayas who moved from Balkans to Minor Asia settled between the rivers Eupharates and Dijla together with their relative tribes frako-frikiya. According to a mythological legend, the hayas, descendants of Haykin who won a victory over Assurian tsar Belin, called Hayasa (Hayastan) the areas around Lake Van where they setteled. The hayas apprropriated and declared themselves the master of the heritage and history of “armen” tribe (they belonged to subar (mitan)Turks) who once lived in Anadolu, the territory of Armaniyya (Armenia) plateau, around Lake Urmiya, as well as in the Caucasus and mixed with the hurrians and were rubbed off the stage of history. That is why today one nation has two names, some are called “Hayas”, while others “Armenians”. “Erman” ethnonym spread not only through Anadolu and the Caucasus, but also to the “Erman” mountains beyond Lake Baykal.
Modern Armenian, as well as European, Russian, and even some Azerbaijani historians refer forgery history book by M.Khorenasi and later forgery history books written by Armenian Church while disputing about the Southern Caucasus and Front Asia, thus they share the claims of the Armenians about the present Armenia territory being ancient Armenian land. Gradual settlement of the Armenians in the present Armenia territory started in 1441, during the reign of Garagoyunlu emirs when Armenian Catholicos Headquater was moved from Kilikiya and relocated in the church in Vagharshapad village, not far from Iravan. With the financial support of European states Armenian churches purchased the surrounding lands .Thus, the first Armenian settlements appeared. In the book “Jambra” written by Simeon Erivansi who was Catholicos of Echmiadzin in 1763-1782, and the book compiled by historian A.Papazyan grounded on buying and selling documents being kept in Matenarada it was reflected how much Echmiadzin Church paid for the lands belonging to Azerbaijanis and when it happened. As a matter of fact ethnos Armenians were the farthest to settle in the Southern Caucasus. When the ancient Turks—the Sarks, Skifs, Kimmers, Huns, Barsis, Ogus, Gipchags acted as freely as they wanted in those territories, there was no sign about Armenians there. Armenian historian Karen Yuzbashyan confirms that the Turks existed in the Caucasus much earlier than Saljugs. He writes that the settlement history of the Turks in Minor Asia and Balkans goes back to IV-VII centuries, but in VIII-X centries it was accelerated. Yuzbashyan also noted that the emirs in the frontier regions during Arabian caliphate were appointed from the Turkic tribal leaders. The Armenians were massively moved to present Armenia territory from Iran and Turkey after the occupation of Iravan khannet by Tsar of Russia and under the conditions of signed Turmenchay (1828) and Adina” (1829) treaties.
According to all the above, we can come to conclusion that the territory of the present Republic of Armenia and its capital city Irevan had nothing to do with the Armenians. This territory is an ancient Turkic-Oghuz land.
Source: “The City of Iravan”, Nazim Mustafa, Baku – 2013