The importance attributed to the revision of history by Azerbaijanis is quite striking, particularly in the aftermath of the second Karabakh War where their efforts significantly amplified.
Their prime objective seems to be the erasure of Armenia and Armenians from history, promoting the narrative that the Oghuz Turks were originally from the Armenian Highlands. Often, this leads to absolute nonsense with complete denial of anything related to Armenian history.
Solid historical facts are contested, disputed ones are biasedly evaluated against Armenians, and Armenian churches are particularly targeted. This is hardly surprising given the pivotal role churches play in Armenian national identity and their sheer number.
With Nagorno-Karabakh alone housing 640 monasteries, churches, and chapels, each village typically has at least one church. Muslim monuments are few and far between, dating back only to the 19th and 20th centuries. Consequently, it is perplexing to consider the notion of “Muslim Karabakh” when 99% of all historical structures there are Christian.
Faced with this discrepancy, Azerbaijani revisionists claim that Armenian churches aren’t Armenian at all. Complicating matters are the ancient Armenian inscriptions found in almost all churches, which are dismissed as “forged” and subsequently removed. The same fate befalls the numerous Armenian graves around each church, adorned with Armenian crosses and ancient texts. Furthermore, more than 12,000 ancient khachkars (cross-stones) in Nagorno-Karabakh alone were declared “replicas” and destroyed.
References to Armenians in ancient texts pose another problem, which is usually bypassed by simple omission. Armenian history and heritage are ridiculed and belittled as a part of this campaign.
A prominent victim of this propaganda was the ancient Armenian city of Tigranakert near Agdam. The city’s existence predates Azerbaijanis, Turks, and even Agdam itself, posing a conundrum for Azerbaijani propagandists as acknowledging this fact implies the indigenous people of Agdam are Armenians, not Azerbaijanis.
To discredit this claim, propagandists assert that the “myth of Tigranakert near Agdam” was an Armenian invention from a few years ago. Yet, written sources, including the works of Azerbaijani chronicler Mirza Adigozal Bey and Armenian chronicler Raffi, reference Agdam as being built upon “Tarnakurt”. Persian texts from the 18th century and works from 7th-century authors Moses Kalankatuysky and Sebeos also corroborate this.
Archaeological evidence further attests to the presence of Tigranakert in Agdam. All these sources, readily accessible and recognized as globally significant literature, cannot be discredited.