Guba is the district in Azerbaijan which is situated in the
northeast of the Great Caucasus. There are 16 medical and 194 cultural canters
functioning in the territory of the district. The population of the district
is settled in 1 city (Guba city), 4 settlements (Gonagkand, Girmizi, Ganjlar
and Zardabi settlements) and 152 villages. According to the information as of
January 1, 2007 the population residing in the region comprises 148,489 persons.
According to a census of population carried out from January 27, 1999 to February
4, 1999 the population living in the region is 136,845 persons (88,06% - azerbaijanians,
6,8%- lezghins, 2,06% - the jews (mountain jews), 1,91%- meskheti turks, 0,8%
- tats, 0,23%- the russians, 0,14%- on other nations).
The age of history of Guba which extends to the earlier medieval ages was mentioned in the albanian and arabian sources, as well as in the works of different European geographers. Since, the first mosque built by our Prophet around Mekka was called Guba.
The name of castle built by the ruler of Azerbaijan in XI century named Anushirevan was “Bade-Firuzgubat”, Guba was indicated as “Kuba” in arabian sources referring to XII century, in XIII century in a gazetter of arabian scientist - Hamavi a word “Kubba” was also available among the cities of Azerbaijan, but in safavi sources referring to XVI century Guba was written as “Goubba”.
The first foundation stone of Guba city was laid in XIV century. In the mids of XVIII century Guba khanate was established a capital of which was initially Khudat and then moved to Guba.
During the ruling period of Fatali-khan (1758-1789), the son of Houseynali-khan Guba khanate was prosperous and became powerful. In 1806 Guba khanate adjoined Russian empire and became its province. In 1840 reorganized Guba province adjoined Derbend province and Baku province in 1860. In 1930 Guba became one of the administrative districts of Azerbaijan.
Guba khanate – was one of the khanates of Azerbaijan established in the midst of XVIII century. Guba khanate was situated in the north-west of Azerbaijan. In the first half of 18th century the territories of Guba, Davachi, Khachmaz, Khizi and Siyazan regions were united in the form of Guba khanate. Initially, the capital of this khanate was Khudat town, but shortly after Guba khan Houseynali-khan made Guba the capital of his khanate and moved his palace to Guba. Fatali-khan the most popular governor strived to unite the separate and disconnected khanates of Azerbaijan and to establish a sole state under his leadership. He subdued all north-east of Azerbaijan from Darband to Lanakaran under his ruling. At that period the yews were invited to populate at the left coast of Gudyalchay river. Initially, this residential settlement called Jewish Sloboda (Jewish Settlement) and since 1926 it has been named Girmizi Gasaba (Red Settlement). Dagestan khans had always been a danger to Guba khans from the north side. When Russia began to take a geopolitical interest in Caucasus and Trans-Caucasus and strived to establish a self-ruling system here it became much more difficult to protect the borders of Guba khanate and in early XIX century (in 1813) it was occupied and adjoined the Russian empire.
One of the most famous museums in Guba is Khinalig historical-ethnographical museum which was established in Khinalig rural area of Azerbaijan in 2001. Numerous art works are demonstrated at the museum created under the direction of Khalilrahman Jabbarov who was descended from one of honourable and noble families of Khinalig and with the support provided by the local people. Archaeological and ethnographical materials of Khinalig remained from ancient times, including kilim (tapestry-woven type of rug) and carpets, earthenware and copperware, various domestic and household stuffs, inscriptions trenched in the stone and numerous other works provide the visitors arriving at Khinalig with the information about the highest culture used to exist here previously. This museum consisting of two halls which occupies 160 square meters creates an impression of a “Museum inside the museum”.
The most important section that attracts attention in the museum is the section where manuscript books are kept. These books having the history extending from 15th century to the beginning of 20th century are the valuable manuscript works preserved on the roofs, in the tombs for fear of the Soviet regime and came to light during the independence period. It becomes apparent from the books saved in this museum that the history of the village was closely associated with the science and evidences that Khinalig was the main scientific centre anciently. The availability of high-level books associated with religious sciences such as Figh, kalam, tafsir, hadis along with those referring to sciences such as history, language, logic, mathematics, and medicine proves this fact. The works related to the preparation of a catalogue and making of rare copies by researching these valuable works need to be done urgently. According to what the elder and respected persons of the village heard from their fathers and grandfathers that during Osmanli times numerous books in a large bags used to be brought to these places from cities such as Istanbul and Izmir.
Guba carpet centre situated to the northeast of Azerbaijan is divided into three parts - mountainous, foothills and lowland:
The points cantered at villages called Gonagkand, Khashi, Jimi, Afurca, Yerfi, Budug, Gırız, Jek, Salmayoyud can be referred to the mountainous part;
Carpet production at foothills part - Amirkhanli, Alikhanli, Khalfalar, Pirasman, Biliji, Shahnazarli, Pirabadil, Zeyva, Zohrami, Sumagobag, Khırdaghul-chichi, Sirt- chichi, chichi schools;
At lowland part is cantered at Shabran zone namely at Chay Garagashlı, Hajı Garagashlı, Sousanli, Garagashlı, Davachi, Mollakamallı etc villages. This school also includes the carpets woven in the area of Darband.
The ornaments of Guba carpets formulates are based on ornaments consisting of geometrical design and decorative elements of stylized plant (nabati), sometimes of animal motives.
Medallion (medalyonlu cheshni) method has widely been spread in carpets of these schools.
The most striking compositions of Guba carpets includes “Gadim-Minarə” (Ancient Minaret), “Gimil”, “Alpan”, “Gollu-chichi”, “Pirabadil, “Hajıgayib”, “Giriz”, “Jek etc. “CHICHI”, “SIRT CHICHI”, “GIMIL”, “JIMI”, “YERFI” carpets woven in this zone are decorations several museums of the world and private collections.
From architectural monuments “Aghbil” tombs (sepulchre) (XVI) century, Subaba sepulchre located in Alpan village (XVI century), a mosque and minaret (XVII-XIX centuries) in Birinji Nugadi village, tower in Khinalig village, arched bridge over the Guldyalchay river etc is protected. There is fire-worshipper temple in Khinalig village relating to IX century which is considered the highest mountainous village of the Europe, tombs in Aghbil village relating to XVI century, Sakinakhanum, Haji Jafar and Cuma mosques in Guba city and domed bath-houses. Besides, there are a castle named “Alami” and historical mosque in Rustov village.
About Guba genocide
Guba massacre – is a genocide committed by Armenians in Guba. In 2007, a massive cemetery was revealed during excavation works carried out for repairing the city stadium. The excavation works are preceded. The belonging of human bones revealed in the massive cemetery in Guba to the victims of genocide committed by Armenians in 1918 was approved. According to Aladdin Mirzayev, a director of Guba stadium there has never been a cemetery in this area. The most terrible moment is that human skulls and body bones found in the revealed area were separately buried. It proves that their heads were chopped off with a special atrocities. After these evidences the construction works were ceased in the stadium.
Opinions of archaeologists:
“Two trenches revealed in the massive cemetery in Guba are full of human bones. This proves the execution of genocide by armenians in Guba 90 years ago. I assure you that we not able to work here from horror. We encounter with unprecedented atrocities in each piece of land”. It was reported by Gahraman Aghayev, the head of the expedition carrying out an investigation in the massive cemetery revealed in Guba. “The final report of the expedition conducting a research in Guba has already been submitted to the institute. Anthropological investigation of bones proved their belonging to the muslims”. It was said by Mais Rahimov, a director of Archaeological and Ethnographical Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan. According to Mr. Rahiimov, this cemetery is only a part of the revealed massacres executed by armenians in Guba in 1918. “The place where human bones came up on the surface of soil during the reconstruction works of sport complex carried out at the right coast of Gudyalchay river in the territory of Guba were thrown may not be called a cemetery. Because human bones were detected in the position of stacks on each other. The bones were detected in two wells at the coast of the river. The size of the biggest well is 5 m and the smallest one is 2.5 m. The distance between the wells is 2 m. Hundreds of human skeletons were thrown into the bigger well. Failure to detect the skeletons in the entire form shows as if the people were thrown here by cutting off”.
It was said by Asgar Aliyev, candidate of historical sciences, a member of the scientific expedition conducted a research in Guba.
According to Mr. Aliyev it was possible to take only 35 skeletons in the entire form without damaged integrity out of numerous human skulls, child bones. There was not found any evidence – hair, clothing, stuff relating to a human body detected from the well. “The most probably as the first well was full with human bones, the second well was digged nearby” said Mr. Aliyev and added that the findings were submitted to the local authorities. The correct date of death fact was specified during the investigation of bones. According to a archaeologist in generally, cementing process is going on the ancient bones, however the bone frangments detected in Guba have kept their wetness so far. It makes clear that the death fact occurred about 80-90 years ago. The initial investigation of surrounding of the well it is supposed that the massacres were not committed herein. “In order to cover the massacres armenians the most probably threw the bones to the coast of the river on the supposition that the river water would carry and wash away the bones”. A.Aliyev stated that the suspension of activity of the scientific expedition and the necessity of establishment of a state commission relating to this issue. March Genocide or March Events – From March 30 to April 3, 1918 the dashnak-armenian armed forces committed a terrible genocide against Azerbaijanis in Baku city and in various regions of Baku province (guberniya), as well as Shamakhi, Guba, Khachmaz, Lankaran, Hajigabul, Salyan, Zangazur, Garabag, Nakhchivan and other territories. According to the official sources about 12 thousands of Azerbaijanis were assassinated and thousands of people were disappeared. The date March 31 is marked as the Massacre Day of Azerbaijanis according to the Executive Order dated March 26, 1998 of the president of Azerbaijan Republic, Haydar Aliyev.
Historical facts, thoughts and views of historian-scientist Islam Zeynalov:
As a result of the October revolution occurred in Russia in 1917, Baku Sovet headed by Stepan Shaumyan seized the power in Baku province.
Stepan Shaumyan being an ethnic armenian and who received initial payment in the amount of one million golden roubles from the British government ensured the co-operation between the bolshveks and nationalist armenians against azerbaijanis in Baku. In March 9, 1918 Azerbaijani regiment under the command of general Talishinski arrived in Baku in order to participate in the funeral ceremony of the son of Haji Zeynalabddin Taghiyev (philnathrophist) Mahammad Taghiyev assassinated during disturbances occurred in Lankaran city by russian-armenian armed forces and his funeral ceremony was appointed to 27th of March.
A few days before arrival of General Talishinski in Baku, Lenin had sent a telegram to Stepan Shaumyan, head of Baku Soviet in the following content:
Dear comrade Shaumyan:
Thank you for your letter. Your deliberate policy pleases us and we consider it reasonable to apply your policy with more deeper and cautious diplomacy in the existing situation and we do believe that we will in the end.
The difficulties are unexpected and till now we solely went forward due to dissatisfactions and conflicts between the imperialists. Try to learn how to use these conflicts and at present it is necessary to learn diplomacy.
With the best wishes and greetings to all friends.
V. Ulyanov (Lenin)
Despite the appeal made by Lenin to Shaumyan, when the general Talishinki and the members of Azerbaijani regiment entered in Baku they were put under arrest by Baku Soviet Administration, as a result azerbaijanis living in the city made a resistance against Soviet. As a consequence, the armed conflict went on from March 31 to April 3 and remained in the history as the “March Days of 1918”. As a matter of fact, “March battles” being a national genocide gave the Baku Soviet Administration the opportunity to control the situation within the short period of time, however, it raised the anger of the population against the Soviets much more and hit the sovereignty idea in Azerbaijan. The genocide being an inevitable result of the great statehood policy of Bolsheviks was an evident attempt of suicide against the national independence in Azerbaijan. Massive genocide made a great impact on “Musavat”s national statehood policy ideas being a leading power of the national independence, forced it to turn the Russian empire to a democratic-federative republic, to reject of granting a right of autonomy to all nations here, then to take the full state independence line as the basis, to put forward the idea of “Independent Azerbaijan”. One year later after the March genocide armenians disseminated the information in the press that they considered these events as the struggle for power between the muslims and bolsheviks. Armenian bishop denied the participation of Bagrat armenians in Baku events in the document submitted to a general Harbord sent to Baku by the United States in the summer of 1919. Bagrat claimed that 300 out of 1000 people assassinated during Baku events were armenians and russians and 700 were muslims. The area of coverage of this genocide did not only include Baku. Since the first decade of April the similar massacres executed in Baku were repeated in Shamakhi, Guba, Khachmaz, Lankaran, Hajigabul, Salyan, Zangazur, Garabagh, Nakhchivan and other regions.
The course of events
In October 1917 armenian nationalists and “Dashnaksutyun” party where they were assembled by taking advantage of the current situation during the upheaval and coming of communists to power began to hold protest rallies against Azerbaijanis in Baku and other places.
In March 30, 1918 a dashnak group gathered in front of Armenian Church provoked the first shot at Muslims. On March 31st, from the early morning the bilshevik-dashnak clusters assaulted to Azerbaijanis residing at “Kerpijkhana”, “Mammadli” and other districts. Those districts were subject to attacks by aircrafts from the air and warships from the sea. The armenians could persuade the russians that as if azerbaijanis were killing off russians in the Iheri Sheher (Inner city). When the sailors found out it was a lie they ceased the fire but it was too late, the number of the dead assassinated in the districts wrapped in flames was uncountable. The armenian nationalists did not show a mercy to anyone, they assassinated anyone they encountered for being a turk. Dashanks were saying: “We don’t know any bolshevik, it is enough only if you are a Muslim”. They were robbing the homes, burning the people, and assassinating the pregnant women with unprecedented atrocities. The armenians burnt all the schools, libraries, cultural centres belonging to azerbaijanis. Even during the assault to the Icheri Sheher (Inner city) the gang of robbers formulated and headed by A.Mikoyan functioning under the name of “Guard of Revolution” had burnt the “Ismailiyya” building being one of the most beautiful architectural monuments of Baku, they also destroyed the editorial offices of “Achig soz”, “Kaspi”, “Baku” and fired a gun at the minarets of “Taza Pir” mosque. Thus, the armenians by taking advantage of the current situation in Russia in 1918, attempted to achieve their goals under the bolshevik flag. In March 1918, Baku commune initiated the implementation of the criminal plan. Around 7 thousands of armenian soldiers were brought from different fronts to Baku. Besides, 70% of 10-12 thousands army created under the name of “Red Guard” were consisted of armenians. According to the agreement reached in advance, the bolshevik-armenian coalition rushed to the attack from the overall front line. At evening times of March 30, the first gun shots were sounded in Baku. The armenian soldiers armed to the teeth attacked the homes of muslims and assassinated them with a special cruelty, even they did not have a mercy on the children and older people. The women were assassinated with a special cruelty. According to the archive materials 37 bodies of women whose ears, noses were cut off, and organs cut into pieces were found. N.Narimanov mentioned about the armenian atrocities as follows: “Any muslim being a bolshevik assassinated without a mercy. They did any crime against muslims. Not only men, but also pregnant women could not save their lives from dashnaks”. Baku bolsheviks headed by S.Shaumyan acting from the position of “class struggle” against the national piece and unity chose the course to turn Baku Soviet to the main center and fortification of a civil war in Transcaucasia”. In the end of March 1918 (on 30-31) jointly with the dashnaks they organized a national massacre “anti-soviet rebel”. It was a treacherous attempt toward Azerbaijan’s national independence. Above 12 thousand (in some documents 15 thousand) of innocent azerbaijanis were slaughtered in that genocide. The dashnak armed gangs and “Red Guard” headed by A.Mikayan were especially distinguished in that massacre.
It should also be noted that it was attempted to execute massacre in Baku earlier in January 1918. The arrest of general Talishinski, the commander of Muslim Corps stirred up a serious anger in the muslim population. The armenians taking advantage of this situation attampted an armed conflict. But, due to the efforts of Mahammad Amin Rasulsadeh, Nariman Narimanov, and others their plan to execute massacre failed. However, they could realize their sorbid intentions in March. Stepan Shaumyan stated in the meeting of Baku Soviet that this organization must be become the main fortification of a civil war in Transcaucasia. A reason for provoking the conflict was the bringing of the body of Mahammad, the son of Haji Zeynalabddin Taghiyev, accompanied by 48 soldiers at the vessel named “Evelina” in Baku. Armenians spread rumours that these officers were instructed to destroy the malakan villages in Mughan. By reasoning that Shaumyan gave an order for disarmament of the officers at the vessel. The local people raised their objections against the disarmamament of the officers. Thus, it initiated that massacre against the defenceless population.
It was stated in the report of the investigation commission established during Azerbaijan National Democratic Republic that the total number of dead assassinated during the events exceeded 20 thousands. Above 12 thousands of people were assassinated in Baku only during the March massacre. The atrocities committed by bolshevik-dashnak groups did not cover only Baku. They continued the similar massacres in other cities such as Guba, Shamakhi, Kurdemir, Salyan and Lankaran provinces. From April 3 to 16 the armed gangs of S.Lalayans committed unprecedented atrocities against the population of Shamakhi. Only in March, 58 villages of Shamakhi were destroyed by the armenian armed forces relating to Baku Soviet with the help of local armenians and russian-malakan villagers. Around 8 thousands of innocent people were assassinated, 1653 of which were women, and 965 of them children. The population of Shamakhi comprised 15 thousands in 1918, however it fell to 1700 persons in 1921. There are a lot of archive materials proving the massacres executed by armenian armed forces in Shamakhi and neighbouring villages in March and April 1918. Among these materials can be indicated the information provided by A.Khasmammadov, the head of the Extraordinary Investigating Commission to the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan about the devastation of Shamakhi town and its neighbouring villages and the severe tortures inflicted and the crimes committed by armenian armed forces against the muslim population; the information provided by A.Novatski, a member of the same commission regarding this issue to the head of the commission; a decision dated 12 July, 1919 of the Extraordinary Investigating Commission on taking proceedings against the guilty persons participated in these criminal actions. The information collected in the investigation materials consisting of 7 volumes, and 925 pages concerning the genocide committed by armenians in Shamakhi town and its neighbouring villages one again proves the fact of crimes and massacres committed by armenian armed forces. It should also be noted that according to the document prepared by the above-mentioned Investigating Commission 15 vehicles, and in the mid of March 60 vehicles full of ammunition and 2000 armenian soldiers were sent to Shamakhi. The similar actions were taken in Guba province. In April Hamazasp, a commander of dashnak armed gangs dispatched to Guba province said: “I’m the hero and protector of the armenian nation... I’ve received an order to destroy all the muslims living in the territories stretching from the Caspian Sea to Shadagh”. The dashnak armed gangs headed by him burnt 122 villages in Guba province. The local people were assassinated with a special cruelty. Armenians scratched the people’s eyes out and made “amulets”. Around 30 thousands of innocent people were killed during this genocide committed by the armenian nationalists.
Genocide of Mountain Jews
This genocide was committed by armenian dashnaks and other armenian armed forces against the Jews residing in various regions of Azerbaijan, especially in Guba in 1918. As a result of the genocide around 3 thousands of Jews were assassinated. The historian-scientist Islam Zeynalov notes that in 1918-1919 the unities of armed gangs headed by armenian criminals Stepan Shaumyan, Amazasp, and Lalayan as result of the genocide committed in the territory of Azerbaijan along with azerbaijanis assassinated up to 3 thousands of Jews who rejected to cooperate with armenians against azerbaijanis. In order to realize so called “Great Armenia” illusion vandal armenian nationalists along with ethnic azerbaijanis executed massacres against other nations and minorities historically residing in the Southern Caucasus region and committed massive terrors against them. There are hundreds of evidences regarding these facts, the historical documents of that period, the registration documents of Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan, numerous written appeals of Jewish intellectuals proves these facts. After numerous appeals made by the Jews a large-scale works have begun to research the historical facts, to investigate and reveal the crimes committed against our nation. As a result, thanks to the help rendered by a leader of the religious community of mountain Jews, and the State Archieve and separate citizens the documents obtained have been comprehensively analyzed, names of 87 innocent people assassinated by armenians with a special cruelty have been determined only in the territory of the present Guba district. The first document revealed in the State Archive of the Republic of Azerbaijan was an official document as of December 2, 1918 of the Extraordinary Investigating Commission of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. This document contains the list of names of Mountain Jews assassinated in Guba by armenians. Semyon Ikhilov, a leader of religious community of the Jews in Azerbaijan have stated the list of the assassinated jews whose names are known and brought their names to the notice of the meeting participants. Yevda Abramov of Jewish origin, a deputy of the Melli Mejlis (National Parliament), stated that he was applied with the requests based on the facts regarding the assassination of hundreds of Jews with a special cruelty by armenians. According to the deputy, every time when the son of criminal Shaumyan visited Azerbaijan he succeeded in stealing of the materials proving the bloody and criminal actions of his father. Y.Abramov mentioned the facts regarding falsification of historical facts to their benefit by armenians at all times, severe massacres committed against non-armenian nations in the South Caucasus, and declaration of deceitful and fabricated claims to the world community. The belonging of bones found at the cemetery in Guba to the victims of genocide committed by armenians in 1918 has already been approved. Moreover, according to Aladdin Mirzayev, a director of Guba city stadium there has never been a cemetery in this area. The most terrible moment is that the human skulls and bones were buried separately at the revealed area. It proves that they were assassinated by slaughtering with a special cruelty. The construction works were ceased after reveal of findings.
The building of Kaspi newspapaer located in the Nikolayevski street (currently Istiglaliyyat) after the fire made by armenians during the March events. March Genocide or March events – is a genocide committed by dashnak-armenian armed forces from March 30 to April 3, 1918 against azerbaijanis in Baku city and in various regions of Baku province (guberniya), as well as Shamakhi, Guba, Khachmaz, Lankaran, Hajigabul, Salyan, Zangazur, Garabag, Nakhchivan and other territories. According to the official sources the similar massacres occurred in Guba district.
Jores Ivanovich Alferov, the vice-president of the Academy of Sciencesof Russia federation, the Nobel laureate, yesterday visited the genocide cemetery in Guba. It was reported by APA, north bureau that here he was provided with a detailed information about the massacres executed by armenians in Guba in 1918. The Russian scientist was shocked and horrified to watch skeletons of the people assassinated with a special cruelty buried in this cemetery. When looking at human bones he said: “I can’t, can no longer see this terrible picture” and shocked. At that time the scientist is reported to loose his consciousness. It is worth to note that J.I.Alferov have also visited the carpet manufacturing enterprise and been in various sightseeing and picturesque places of Guba. As, the visit was unofficial the media representatives were not allowed to enter the area. During the visit the Russian scientist was accompanied by the officials of Guba and surrounding districts.