This cannot be forgotten… Until 1920, the city of Shushi was divided into two hostile parts – the majority (Armenians) and the minority (Tatars).
The majority occupied 65% of the city’s area, while the minority 35%. The majority lived in 18 Armenian quarters, in which 24,748 Christians lived as of 1916 (56% of the city’s population). There were 12 Armenian churches in the city. The Muslim community had 1 Shiite mosque and 1 madrassa.
In 23 of March 1920, the Turkish army invaded the city of Shushi. With the assistance of local Tatars, a three-day mess occurred in the city’s Armenian quarters.
According to the most objective data, 6-10,000 Armenians, mainly women and children, were killed. 12 Armenian churches and 7,000 houses were destroyed and plundered.
After the tragedy of 1920, the city of Shushi would never revive its former guise. The ruins of the Armenian city, with the remains of its inhabitants still not buried, had lied like a ghost in the very center of Artsakh until 1961 when the leadership of Soviet Azerbaijan decided to raze any references to the Armenian past of the city.
On the site of the Armenian quarters, faceless Soviet five-story buildings were built. Of the 12 Armenian churches, only two miraculously survived – Kanach Zham and Ghazanchetsots. During the years of the Karabakh war, the latter was used by Azerbaijanis as a military depot for weapon storage. From here, Azerbaijanis bombarded the lower-lying Stepanakert in 1991-92.