Historical geographical territory
Mirza Jamal who was vizier of Garabagh khan Javanshir (1773-1853) in “History of Garabagh” (1847) work while narrates about the historical and geographical area of Nagorno-Karabakh, writes: “According to the ancient history books the border of Nagorno-Garabakh region is: from the south from the bridge of Khudaferin to Sinig Bridge is Araz River. Now (Sınıqkorpu) is among Kazakh, Shamsaddin and Demirchi-Hasanli community and the officials of the Russian state called it “Krasnı most, i.e, the Red bridge. From East is the river Kur, which joins the Araz River in Javad village, and then flows into the Caspian Sea. On the north the border of Garabakh till Yelizavetpol (Ganja) is up to the river Kura – Goran River and the Kura River passes from many places and reaches the Araz River. From the West is high Garabagh Mountains Kusbak, Salvari and Arikli. During the first period of Russian occupation and colonialism such status of the territory of Garabagh and its borders are confirmed with fact that:
1) the fact is written by the man who directly engaged in governing of Garabagh;
2) this fact is not based only on the experience but sources.
To show the accuracy of the position of Mirza Jamal his referring to ancient history books is not accidental. These facts prove that the Nagorno-Garabagh region is historical Azerbaijan area from ancient times.
The occupied Karabakh region is situated in the Lesser Caucasus, which is one of the geomorphologic units of Azerbaijan. The territory of Karabakh also gradually lowers from the northwest to the southwest. The most important geomorphologic units of Azerbaijan’s occupied mountains are the Shahdag, Murovdag, Goycha and Karabakh ridges and the Karabakh volcanic plateau.
The Shahdag Ridge stretches along the Azerbaijani-Armenian border and forms a watershed between the Goycha Lake basin and the Kura River basin. The Murovdag Ridge stretches to the east of Shahdag, and its highest peak is Qamishdag (3,774 metres). The Karabakh Ridge stretches to the southwest from Murovdag, reaching the Araz River. Its absolute height reaches 2,715 metres on Mount Boyuk Kirs. The Karabakh volcanic plateau, which formed in the Cainozoic Era and has an absolute height of 2,000-3,000 metres, is situated to the west of this ridge. The surface of the plateau is covered with the volcanic lava of the fourth period, while the cones of the extinct volcano formed heights. The biggest volcanoes on the plateau are Ishiqli and Qizilbogaz.
There are five tectonic zones in Azerbaijan. Each tectonic zone has its own large terrain forms. The occupied Karabakh region forms most of the Lesser Caucasus elevation, which is one of these tectonic zones. There are many geological structures here. The Karabakh land surrounds the southeastern part of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. Its terrain is very complex. The area has numerous high and broken mountain ridges, low mountains with even slopes, depressions between mountains and deep gorges
The Karabakh Ridge begins from the southern part of Murovdag and stretches to the Araz River. This ridge is comprised of the Greater and Lesser Kirs and Qirkhqiz Mountains and their slopes. The Karabakh volcanic plateau covers a large area to the west of the Karabakh Ridge as far as the Armenian border. The height of the plateau reaches 3,000 metres. There are a lot of flat ridges and extinct volcanoes on it. The two cones of the Boyuk Ishiqli (3,552 metres) rise in the southwestern part of the plateau from the Armenian border. Dalidag (3,616 metres), which is comprised of acid intrusive Mesozoic rocks, is situated to the east of the lava surface.
The western part of the Karabakh volcanic plateau is exotive. The absolute height of Karabakh’s lowland part varies from zero to 400 metres. Shells have formed from shield-like lava layers of the fourth period and from fragmentation resulting from physical and chemical weathering on the plains.
Mount Dalidag in Karabakh is a mountain of magmatic origin. This mountain, which is the highest peak in the Mikhtokan Mountain Range, has alpine and sub-alpine plains. Traces of ancient glaciers remain on its slopes. It is on the border between Kalbajar and Lachin districts.
Kechaldag is located in the Karabakh plateau. It is an extinct volcanic cone. Its height is 3,171 metres. It consists of Pliocene volcanic rocks. Ancient glacier terrain forms have developed on its slopes. Its height is rocky. There are alpine meadows and pearlite deposits (Kechaldag pearlite deposit) here. It is situated on the territory of Kalbajar District.
Rivers taking their sources from the Karabakh territory flow into the rivers Kur and Araz or the rivers mostly concerning to their basin. High tops of the mountains located here form watershed between the Kur and the Araz. Rivers there are mainly fed with rain or snow-waters and are used for irrigation. The Tartar and the Hakari rivers take their sources from volcanic plateau. The Arpachay (128 km.) and the Bazarchay (178km.) sources are in the north-west of the plateau. These rivers are mostly fed with rain, ground waters or underground waters. Therefore they overflow in hot months of the year. The Tartarchay, the Hachinchay, the Gargarchay, the Hakarichay, the Okhchuchay assume great importance in irrigating of Mil and Karabakh plains.
The Tartarchay takes its source from the region of Kalbajar. It flows through Agdara, Tartar, and Barda regions and flows into the Kur. The branches of the river are: the Tutgu, the Lev, the Ayrim rivers. The difference between the height of the source and mouth of the river is 3117 metres. Sarsang Water Reservoir has been built over the river.
The Hachinchay beginning from the region of Kalbajar and running through Agdam, Tartar and Barda regions flows into the river Kur. The total length is 119 km-s. The height difference between its source and mouth is 2900 m.
The Kondalanchay takes its source from the territory of Shusha region, runs through Hojavend and Fizuli regions, flows into the Araz River. Being the left branch of the Araz its length is 102 km. The height difference between its source and mouth is 1780 m.
The Bargushad River takes its source from the Republic of Armenia, runs through Kalbajar, Gubadli and Zangilan regions and flows into the river Araz. Being the left branch of the Araz its length is 164 km. Agha Bakhiyarli and Davudlu small rivers join it in Gubadli region. The river is polluted due to waste and industrial waters poured here from big settlements located around the river (in the territory of Armenia). River pollution in the territory of Armenia has caused the fish in the river to die out. In most cases fishes are killed en masse by chemicals.
Taking its source from the 3080m height of the region Lachin the Hakari river runs through the regions of Gubadli and Zangilan. Being the left branch of the river Araz its length is 128 km. The height difference between the source and mouth is 2812m. Its water is used for the purpose of irrigation and drinking. Valuable fishes like farel, omul and others spawn in this river.
Taking its source from the Zangilan mountain range (Gapijik Mountain) the Okhchuchay runs through the territory of Zangilan region. Being the left branch of the river Araz its length is 85 km.
Waste waters from Gajaran copper–molybdenum factory, Gafan copper ore refinery in the territory of Republic of Armenia and biological sewerage of Gafan-Gajaran cities (including of villages, hospitals, agricultural objects) flow in Okhchuchay in front of Sharikan village in the territory of Azerbaijan without purification, which made the river basin “dead zone”.
The Basitchay takes its source from the Pepublic of Armenia and flows into the river Araz. The length of the river is 44 km (17 km belongs to Azerbaijan territory). The river is polluted with the pig farm garbages of the mountain villages of Armenia.
The Gargar River takes its beginning from the 2080 m height in Shusha and runs through Khankendi, Khojali, Agdam and Aghjabedi territories. Joining of the Khalfali and Zarisli rivers forms the river Qarqar. The height difference between its source and mouth is 2080 m. The major branches are: the Ballija, the Badara, the Dagdaga, etc.
The Chaylagchay is the left branch of the river Araz. The river flows through the territory of Jabrayil region. Its length is 32 meter. It takes beginning from the south foot of the Small Caucasus (1750 m). It is fed with rain-water. As the Chaylagchay is widely used for irrigation the river doesn’t reach its mouth.
The lakes of Karabakh are mostly of glacial origin. They mainly were formed in parts of the Murovdagh and Dalidagh at 2800-3500 meters of height. They are fed mainly by snow and glacier waters, all sweet and juicy. These lakes are:
Boyuk Alagel is located at Karabakh volcanic plateau, at 2729 m. above sea level. The longest part of the lake is 3.7 km, widest part is more than 9 meters, and the lake’s volume is 24.3 million cubic meters.
Kichik Alagel is located at a height of 2739 m. The surface area of the lake is 1.2 km ², the deepest part is 4 meters. Around of Boyuk and Kichik Alagel lakes are the alpine meadows
In the north-eastern slope of the Ishiqli mountain, at 2666 meters above sea level Garagol is located. Ishiqli Garagol is located at region on the border of Lachin region of the Republic of Azerbaijan with Armenian Gorus region, and considered as border lake. It is one of the high-mountain lakes of particular interest. The area of the lake is 1.8 km², the volume is 10.2 million. cubic meters, the deepest part is 10 meters. is
Relatively small lake Parichinqil is located at the Karabakh volcanic plateau, at 2961 m. absolute height of. Its volume is 2.4 million. m, the surface area is 0.94 km ², and the deepest part is 5.4 m.
Our lands under the occupation are rich with natural springs. There are many mineral springs taking their beginnings from the village of Alichan, in Lachin region and appearing in the north-west. The springs Tushsu, Galaderesi, Aganush, Khirmanlar, Tigig, Tursh-digig, Nuraddin, Nagdali, Hajikhanli (Hallanli, Bashlibel -in Lachin region) assume great medical importance.
Yuhari Istisu, Ashagi Istisu, Keshdek, Garasu, Tutxun, Mozchay, Goturlusu mineral water deposits (total reserves is 3093 m3/day) made Kalbajar gain world fame are in the occupied territory of Azerbaijan and more than ten years not only Azerbaijanis but also the guests from foreign countries have been deprived of using and seeing this matchless gift of nature.
There are more than 600 natural cold and medicinal springs to be rich with minerals, in the region of Gubadli.
There are several water reservoirs in the territory of Kharabakh which assume vital importance for the Republic.Sarsang Water Reservoir built on the river Tartarchay is an example for such a kind. It was built in 1976. Its volume is 565 mln. m³ with 14,2 km² area and 726 m. absolute height.
Khanchinchay Water Reservoir was built in 1964. Its volume is 23 mln m³, absolute height 507m, surface area 1,76 km².
Ganligol Water Reservoir situating in the absolute height is also in the Karabakh territory. Its volume is 1,0 mln m³, surface area 0,1 km², absolute height 726 m. The Reservoir was built in 1965.
Arpachay Reservoir was built in 1977 on the same named river (the Arpachay river). Source of feeding is the River Arpachay, volume 150 mln. m³, the surface area 6, 3 km², absolute height 955m.
Agdamkend Water Reservoir was built in 1962 on the river Gargarchay (at, over) the Gargarchay in 1962. Its volume is 1.6 mln. km², surface area 0.5 km², and absolute height 291.5 m.
Azerbaijan’s largest mineral reserves are situated in the country’s occupied territories. As is known, there are 155 types of various minerals on the occupied territories, including five gold deposits, six mercury deposits, 2 copper deposits, one lead and zinc deposit, 19 facing stone deposits, 10 saw stone deposits, four cement raw material deposits, 13 various types of construction stone, one deposit of raw materials for the production of soda, 21 deposits of pumice stone and volcanic ash, 10 clay deposits, 9 sand and gravel deposits, five deposits of construction sand, 9 gypsum and anhydrite deposits, one pearlite deposit, one obsidian deposit, three vermiculite deposits, 14 coloured and decorative stone deposits (agate, jasper, onyx, jade, pefritoid, etc.), 11 underground freshwater and 10 mineral water deposits, which are of great importance in the republic’s economic potential.
In Shusha District, there is the Shusha facing stone deposit, the Kechaldag (Lisogor) clay deposit the Shusha underground freshwater deposit and the Shirlan and Turshsu mineral water deposits which have the same medicinal importance as the famous Yessentuki water.
In Khojali District, there are the Zarinbag and Agchay facing stone deposits, the Shusha limestone deposit, the Khojali clay deposit, the Khankandi (Asgaran group) sand and gravel and the Khankandi underground fresh water deposit.
In Khojavand District, there is an operating gabbro deposit, the Khojali limestone deposit and underground freshwater deposits.
In Agdam District, there are gold and copper at the Qizilbulaq deposit, lead at the Mehmana deposit, zinc and copper at the Damirli deposit, Janyataq-Gulyataq gold deposits, the Agdara, Shorbulaq-1 and Shorbulaq-2 saw stone deposis, as well as limestone and gypsum deposits.
The Agdara underground freshwater deposit had also been discovered in the area.
In Agdam District, the Shahbulaq limestone deposit suitable for the production of saw stone, the Chobandag limestone deposit suitable for the production of cement, the Boyahmadli clay deposit and Shorbulaq clay deposit , the Gulabli limestone deposit suitable for the production of facing stone, the Agdam clay deposit suitable for the production of bricks and two sand and gravel deposits (Khachinchay and Qarqarchay) remain on the Armenian-occupied territories.
Three nature parks functioned in Karabagh region of Azerbaijan:
Turyanchay State Nature Reserve
It was established at a height of 400-650 metres above sea level on the territory of Agdam and Yevlakh regions on 6 May 1958. The climate is moderate and hot, and arid in winter here. Forests comprise 73 per cent of the territory of the park, while other areas are forest-free. There are 4 types of juniper shrubs here. Wormwood, cereals, perennial and different juniper shrubs, oak, elm, willow trees, date trees, honeysuckles and other plants used to be cultivated in areas cleared from trees. There are about 60 types of trees and shrubs in the park. Although the number of animals in the park is small, they represent various species. There are 24 species of mammals, 20 species of reptiles, 112 species of birds and 3 species of amphibians here.
The Basitchay State Nature Park
The basitchay State Nature Park was established by the Azerbaijani government in Zangilan region on 4 July 1974. The park is located in the Basitchay gorge on the territory of Zangilan region in southwestern Azerbaijan.
The area where the park is situated is mostly mountainous and is 600-800 metres above sea level. The territory of the park has a moderate hot climate with dry winters.
Plane forests occupy 100 hectares of the Basitchay State Nature Reserve. They grow in the gorge of the Basitchay and its branch Shikhauzchay. Both pure and mixed plane forests are common here.. The mixed plane forests are home to walnut, mulberry, willow, poplar and other trees, as well as hawthorn, dog-rose, buckthorn, Christ’s-thorn and other shrubs.. The surrounding areas of the park are also home to wolves, jackals, foxes, wild pigs, badgers, roe deer, grey rabbits, various species of rodents and other mammals, as well as partridges, turaj birds, pigeons and other birds.
The Qaragol State Nature Park
The Qaragol State Nature Park was established on 17 October 1987 by the decision of the Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities and was declared an inter-republican state park.
The Qaragol State Nature Park is located between Lachin and Goris regions at a height of 2,658 metres. The area is dominated by a cold climate with dry winters.. The dry area surrounding the lake in the park is comprised of alpine meadows typical of high mountain zones. There are 102 species and subspecies of plants, which consist of 68 types and 27 families.
Ishiqli Qaragol and its surrounding areas have been an Azerbaijani territory historically. However, the Armenian occupation has had a negative impact on the fate of the park.
Following state nature reserves function in the area of Karabagh region of Azerbaijan:
Lachin region State Nature Reserve
The Lachin State Nature Reserve was established on the territory of Lachin region. In order to protect and expand the number of animals and birds here, the territory was granted status as a reserve in November 1961. The total area of the reserve is 21,400 hectares.. The territory of the state reserve is also home to roe deer, Caucasian goats, wild pigs, bears, partridges, willow grouses, wood grouses and other rare animal species. The 21,370-hectare reserve has a terrain typical of medium and high mountains.
An inspection held at the reserve in 1989 registered 96 Caucasian goats (bezoar goats), 360 wild boars, 320 roe deer, 110 bears, a large number of wolves, badgers, squirrels, rabbits and others animals and 200 pheasants, 1,500 willow grouses, quails, wood-pigeons and other birds.
An inspection held in 1991 noted that the number of animals and birds had fallen due to hunting by the occupying forces. It has been observed that many species have been wiped out since the late 1990s.
The Hajishamli forest on the territory of the game reserve has the world’s most valuable oak tree – the red oak (golden oak). In order to use this tree, under tsarist rule the French had built a road for carts in impassable mountains going through Mount Qirkhqiz from Khankandi. However, after the establishment of Soviet rule, they could not export wood any more.
Currently, the reserve is occupied by the Armenian armed forces and its activity has been halted.
The Qubadli State Nature Reserve
The Qubadli State Nature Reserve is one of the largest reserves in Azerbaijan. It was established on the territory of Qubadli and Lachin regions in July 1969. This reserve covers the northern part of Qubadli District – the villages of Basarat, Deshtahat, Muradkhanli and Amudurkh, the southern part of Lachin District – the villages of Farajan, Ashagi Farajan, Suarasi Qishlaq and Khanlar, and mountainous areas in the villages of Khojabird, Arpa Galdik and Tag in Nagorno Karabakh. Its area is 20,000 hectares.
Oak, walnut-tree, hornbeam, birch, juniper and hawthorn trees and dog-rose and blackberry shrubs are common here. It must be noted that the lush woods create favourable conditions for animals here. Gazelles, roe deer, goats, wild sheep, wild pigs, brown bears, leopards, lynxes, wolves, foxes, jackals, badgers, rabbits, partridges, pheasant, willow grouses, quails, forest roosters and hens are regarded as permanent residents of these forests.
The reserve is currently occupied by the Armenian armed forces and its activity has been halted completely.
The invaders chop off red oak trees in Lachin and Qubadli districts, export them for the production of brandy, use walnut trees for the production of furniture and hunt wild animals en masse.
The Dashalti State Nature Reserve
The Dashalti State Nature Reserve was established on the territory of Shusha and Asgaran by the 24 November 1981 special resolution (in 1988). Its area is 450 hectares. Shusha city and Shusha District are one of Azerbaijan’s lushest and picturesque places rich in historical monuments. Their protection as a model territory is of special importance in terms of nature and history.
The territory of the reserve is a natural museum of woods, shrubs and grasses. Oak, hornbeam, birch, ash-tree, hawthorn, dog-rose, cornel, medlar, apple, bear, cherry-plum and other trees and shrubs normally develop here. The territory is rich in medicinal and rare plants.
It is populated by roe deer, wild pigs, rabbits, wolves, jackals and dozens of bird species. The reserve has been occupied by the Armenian armed forces since 1992 and has been totally destroyed.
The Arazboyu State Nature Reserve
The Arazboyu State Nature Reserve was established in June 1993 on the Iranian border in Zangilan region. It is subordinate to the Basitchay State Nature Reserve. Its length is 50 km, width – 50-100 metres and 200-250 metres in some places. The territory of this reserve is 2,200 hectares.
The main purpose in establishing the reserve was to protect tuqay forests, local flora and fauna, maintain the water balance in the area and secure biodiversity.
The approximate number of animals was calculated here before the occupation. It became known that there were 300 wild pigs, seven brown bears, 350 foxes, 300 jackals, 15 wolves, 70 badgers and 12 roe deer here. There were also birds like partridge, pheasants, willow grouses and green-headed ducks here.
The reserve is currently occupied by the Armenian armed forces and its activity has been halted completely.
The war unleashed by Armenia resulted not only in the destruction of cities and villages in occupied Nagorno Karabakh and surrounding districts, but also in the extermination of plants and animals in this territory and in the disruption of the environmental balance. As a result of Armenia’s aggressive policy, natural reserves, forests in specially protected areas and vegetation have been devastated. Landscapes typical of Azerbaijani nature, centenarian trees, waterfalls, natural caves, cultural parks, unique geological ridges and palaeontological layers are being destroyed.
The forests that form part of the biosphere shape the animal food chain and are home to various plants and animals. The destruction of forests in the occupied territories has taken on a mass scale. It started with the brutal destruction of valuable trees in Karabakh’s Topkhana woods in 1988 when Armenia’s Kanaker aluminum factory decided to build a boarding house for its staff without the permission of the Azerbaijani authorities. The destruction of the forests in the occupied territories may result in the environmental balance being disrupted in that territory and ecological disasters in the South Caucasus region. The forests are being destroyed not only for military purposes. They are also being destroyed for the production of construction materials, furniture and for other purposes with the help of the military and are being transported by military hardware. Hundreds of hectares of beech, pine, oak and other trees have been chopped down in the Talish, Gulustan and Baranbart woods in the direction of Qazakh District and along the Murovdag Mountain Ridge.
Productive beech forests, which cover a large area in Agdara and Khankandi, the decorative red oak forests in the Shalva gorge of Lachin District, wonderful plane and walnut trees in the Basitchay reserve and hazelnut trees in the Kalbajar forests are destroyed en masse by Armenia and exported abroad.
Some of the eastern plane trees in the Basitchay State Nature Reserve are 1,200-1,500 years old. Their trunks are 4 metres in diameter and more than 54 metres in height. These huge trees, which have no analogues in Europe, are being brutally destroyed by the occupiers.
Armenians who have temporarily settled there use the Araz oak as fuel all year. The mass destruction of endemic species in this uncontrolled territory can be called an act of ecological genocide.
Forests, trees, shrubs and gardens south of the village of Yusifjanli in Agdam District (contact line in Agdam District) have been totally destroyed. Forests northeast of the village of Novruzlu (Agdam District) were taken away with the help of military hardware belonging to the Armenian armed forces.
The Bank Information International Centre for Strategic Studies says in its report on terror and corruption in the world:
– A reserve that occupies an area of 107 hectares in Zangilan District has almost been wiped off the face of the earth, while plane forests have been sold to Iranian furniture factories and other construction-industrial facilities.
– Trees have been totally destroyed as a result of the deployment of Armenian military units on a 42-hectare area of the reserve;
– In 2000, 70 plane trees were sold to the governor of Tehran for 100 US dollar each;
– 110 plane trees were uprooted and transferred to the coast of the Lake Goycha (Sevan) and the suburbs of Yerevan;
– In 1995-97, 89 Armenians and 136 Persians received treatment for tuberculosis on the territory of the Basitchay reserve.
As a result of illegal road construction, mass destruction of forests, bombings and fires in this period, more than 0.5 million trees and shrubs, 152 relict species of trees, 12,197,500 hectares of valuable forest areas, 665 hectares of naturally restored forests, 75 hectares of artificial forests and five geological objects declared as natural monuments were brutally destroyed and used for commercial purposes in Qazakh, Tovuz, Zangilan, Gadabay, Kalbajar, Khanlar and Qubadli districts and in the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region. Vineyards were also dried and destroyed, while concrete pillars were used for engineering and fortification work.
Radioactive waste products delivered from Armenia are dumped in the occupied territories, especially in Agdam District. A 250,000-hectare forest has been polluted with radioactive waste in Nagorno Karabakh.
The boundless high alpine meadows of Kalbajar District have changed beyond recognition. In rainy days, the Armenians go beyond major roads, driving heavy military vehicles in meadows, destroying productive pastures and causing soil erosion.
Bodies of water located in and flowing through the occupied territories (lakes, water reservoirs, rivers and canals) play an important role in the ecology not only of those territories, but also of surrounding territories. It is known that the Armenians are polluting rivers flowing through the occupied territories with various waste products and contaminated waters. The Khoneshen, Qarqarchay, Khachinchay and Tartarchay rivers originate in the occupied territories, and domestic waste is being discharged into those rivers.
The Khonashen River, which flows from the west to the east, is being polluted with sewerage and waste from the Khojavand District central hospital which is located at a distance of 200-300 metres from the river, as well as waste products from a pig and cattle-breeding complex located in that area.
The ecological condition of the Araz River, which plays an important role in the natural environment of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, is even more deplorable. For example, the pollution of the river by the Armenian side for many years has killed or reduced its valuable fish population. The 21 species of fish previously registered in the river have fallen to 16 as a result of the extinction that has happened over the past 10-15 years.
Gold from the Zod deposit is purified with the help of dangerous cyanogens, while the toxic water is discharged into the Araz River. This creates grounds for Armenians to disrupt the soil, atmospheric and ecological balance in the South Caucasus region.
People who have used water from the Kondalanchay and Quruchay rivers flowing, through Fizuli District, have reported skin diseases. The reason is that the Armenians have set up a special laboratory between the villages of Seyidmahmudlu and Qarakhanbayli in Fizuli District, which is engaged in studying infectious diseases.
They study the internal organs of people suffering from infectious diseases, especially ill prisoners of war, and then release infectious remains into the Kondalanchay River, which is flowing through that territory in our direction, spreading infections. The pollution of those rivers by the Armenians gives rise to various diseases.
The technical installations of the Sarsang water reservoir are not being serviced and the water regime is not being observed. Since the water reservoir is unsafe, 400,000 people living below its level are in danger. Apart from that, since the Sarsang water reservoir was occupied, they have released 85-90 per cent of annually consumed water when it is not necessary, especially in winter.
Istisu water in the occupied Kalbajar District of the Azerbaijan Republic is bottled and sold with a label in Persian on the chemical composition of the water. The label also says that the water is from a spring in the town of Jermuk in Armenia.
The Armenian nationalists who have settled in the occupied territory of Karabakh cultivate narcotic plants and have turned this territory into a den of terror.
The Armenian occupiers deliberately set fire to the territory of Agdam, Fizuli, Jabrayil, Tartar and Khojavand districts along the entire contact line. The fires cover thousands of hectares of land controlled by the Armenians and at the same time, spread over to territories under Azerbaijani control, causing great damage to the environment. As a result of fires, harmful insects, reptiles, rodents and wild animals move from the opposite side to our territory and cause damage to farms. The fires destroy sawing areas and pastures and reduce water reserves.
At the beginning of the XX century Armenian historian of Armenian origin N. Adons had written about the origin of Armenians that in VII century BC at a result of inflow of kimmer tribes Frigian Armenians that were driven out from Asia Minor passed the Euphrates River and mixed with local Aramaic population. From mixture of arrived frigians and Aramaic aborigines the foundation of Armenian people was laid Two names of Armenians Haik and Armenius is the best evidence about the composition of their. At the beginning of the last century another Armenian author B.Ishkhanian wrote: “… the real home of the Armenians is Asia Minor, that is, beyond the borders of Russia and in Transcaucasia, except some Armenian provinces (mainly in Yerevan province) Armenians were scattered in different parts of the Caucasus during the last centuries”.
The fact that Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) was one of the regions of Albania was confirmed by the Armenian historians of the Middle Ages Ananiya Shiraksky, Moisey Khorensky and etc. In Moses Kalankatsky’s “History of Albania” no information about living of Armenians in the territory of Artsakh was provided.
Census materials of 1823 of Karabakh province shows that one city and 629 rural settlements were in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh in the same period. From these villages 436 were Azerbaijani, 161 –Armenian 2 mixed, 30 villages were not specified in the ethnic affiliation. The Census of 1823 shows that even settlements with 1 or 2 homes of Armenians were marked as Armenian villages. This fact shows that the villages with unspecified ethnic origin were of Turkish origin.
Historical facts prove that during the Russia-Iran war only the population of Turkish origin had left Karabakh khanate. Census of year 1823 did not register the leaving of Armenians from Karabakh. On the contrary, the materials of the same census shows that during 1817-1823 the Armenian population from various parts of Iran and Khoy, Bayazid, Van was settled in Karabakh khanate. On April 24 Paskevich had instructed Lazarev that head the policy of settlement, to settle the major parts of settlers, particularly the poor in Karabakh.
In 1911, Russian researcher N.Shavrov showed that between 1828 and 1830 years, 40,000 Armenians from Iran, 84600 from Turkey were settled in Transcaucasia and they were settled in areas with zero Armenian population, in the Yelizavetpol and Erivan provinces, especially in the mountainous part of Yelizavetpol province and on the shores of Goycha lake. Shavrov wrote that from 1 million 300 thousand Armenians currently living in Transcaucasia more than 1 million are newly arrived Armenians.
Article XV of Turkmenchay Treaty signed on February 10, 1828 envisaged the transfer of the Armenians. Committees were established in Yerevan and Nakhchivan to organize the resettlement of the Armenians. Displaced persons were given the most important benefits: they were exempted for 6 years from taxes and paying, and they were granted funds at the expense of compensation received from Iran. According to Decree issued by Russian Emperor Nicholas I in March 21,1828, the Azerbaijani khanates of Nakhchivan and Erivan were abolished, and in their place “Armenian district” ruled by the Russian rulers – the new administrative structure has been established. In 1849 the province was renamed as Yerevan province. In late 1922, the issue of the division of the mountain and lowland Karabakh into administrative-territorial units once again was raised. The commission consisting of Garayev, Dovlatov and Mirzoyan prepared and presented the offer to the Plenary Committee of the Transcaucasian region. With the recommendation of the regional Committee the Communist Party of Azerbaijan on July 1, 1923, the Nagorno-Karabakh was given the right to autonomy and the decision was announced on July 7. Thus the NKAO was formed.
Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast was formed in favor of the Armenians due to the indifferent attitude of then leadership basing not on the geographic position but ethnic status. For example, Azerbaijani Turk villages, at the vicinity of the 10-20 km to Agdara region were not included in the region but Armenian villages located 40-60 km away from the region were included in the administrative structure of the region. So the lowland and mountainous part of the Karabakh was separated from each other.
During the census of 1989 the number of Azerbaijanis among the population of the region reached 40.6 thousand. Periodical deportation of Azerbaijanis from the historical homelands had its negative impact on this growth figures.
Flora of Garabagh
The territory of the Azerbaijan Republic has rich flora. There are more than 4,500 flowers and plants of highest quality here. For the total number of species, the flora in the Azerbaijan Republic is relatively richer than in other South Caucasus countries. Plant species available in our country make up 66% of all plant species in the Caucasus.
The rich flora of the Azerbaijan Republic and its variegated plants are due to the diversity of its physical-geographical and natural-historical conditions and its complex history that formed under the influence of distant floristic areas.
There are 247,352 hectares of forests left in Azerbaijan’s Armenian-occupied territories. Most of the plants here are endemic species and do not naturally grow in any other part of the world.
The following are the main plant species of Garabagh:
Hircanus ilex tree – holly (Ilex hyrcana Pojark) – It is a relict endangered species. It grows around the villages of Badara and Dashalti near Khankandi. It also sparsely grows as a shrub in beech, beech-hornbeam and mixed forests.
Caucasian snowdrop (Galanthus caucasicus (Baker), A.Gross) – It belongs to the genus Galanthus and is a rare species with a shrinking habitat. It grows in Shusha (near Kechal-Qaya and Topkhana). It normally grows near trees and shrubs in relatively open parts and edges of forests. There are very few plants left.
Komarov pyrethrum – It belongs to the genus Chrysanthemum and is a rare endemic species in Azerbaijan. It grows on rocks in the alpine zone of Nagorno Garabagh. This species is very rare.
Fine serpent root (Scorzonera pulchra Lomak) – It belongs to the genus Chrysanthemum and is a very rare endemic species. In Azerbaijan, it can be found only on Mount Ziyarat and in the Topkhana area in Khojavand District of Nagorno Garabagh. It grows on rocky and gravel slopes from the middle mountain zone to the sub-alpine zone.
Telekia speciosa – it belongs to the genus Chrysanthemum and is a rare species. It is common in Nagorno Garabagh and in the village of Yukhari Ayrim in Kalbajar. It grows in high grass and mountain meadows from the middle mountain zone to the sub-alpine zone. It can be found only one by one.
Velvety euonymus (Euonymus velutina Fisch. et Mey) – It belongs to the genus Euonymus and is a rare relict species. It is common in Khojavand District in Upper Garabagh and grows in sunlit forests, mountain slopes and gorges at heights of up to 1,800 metres.
Tree-like storax – it belongs to the genus Styrax and is a rare endangered relict species. It grows in the Chichakli forest in Kalbajar District and randomly in the middle mountain zone (1,000-1,700 above sea level), broad-leaved beech-hornbeam and oak-hornbeam forests.
Ordinary chestnut – It belongs to genus Styrax and is a relict species with a shrinking natural habitat. It is common around Khankandi in Upper Garabagh. It grows on humid clayey soil on the northern slopes of the mountain zone at a height of 600-1,100 metres, mountain valleys and on gorge slopes.
Araz oak – It belongs to the genus Fagus and is a rare endemic species. It is common in Zangilan District (around the villages of Bartaz, Goyali, Ordakli, Sayifli, Kechikli and Yukhari Yemazli) and grows in the lower mountain zone at a height of 1,000-1,300 above sea level. It forms thin xerophytic forests. It was protected as a rare plant in an area of 10,000 hectares in Zangilan.
Gladiolus halophilus – it belongs to the genus Gladiolus and is common around Zangilan District. It is believed to be an extinct species.
Garabagh poppy (Tulpa karabachensis Gross) – It belongs to the genus Tulipa and is a rare endemic species in the South Caucasus. It is common around Shusha and in the villages of Topkhana, Domu, Tag and Tug in Nagornyy Garabagh. It grows on stone-gravel slopes at a height of up to 1,800 metres above sea level and is very rare.
Schmidt black poppy (Tulipa schmidtii Fomin) – It belongs to the genus Tulipa and is an endangered endemic species typical of the South Caucasus. It is common in Khojavand, Shusha and Jabrayil districts and grows as a shrub in dry and grass slopes.
Sagsagan hollyhock (Alcea sachsashanica Iljin) – it belongs to the Malvaceae family and is a rare endemic species in Azerbaijan. It is common in Khankandi, Shusha (Mount Sagsagan and Mount Jidirduzu) and Khojavand. It grows on dry stone slopes at a height of up to 1,700 above sea level.
Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia (L) Fritsjh) – It is a rare species with a shrinking natural habitat. It is common around Khankandi and grows in lower and middle mountain zones and brushwoods.
Caucasian fly orchid (Ophrys caucasica Woronow ex Grossh) – It is a rare endimic species in the Caucasus and grows in Jabrayil and Qubadli districts, between rocks in middle mountain zones, grass slopes, forest edges and shrubs.
Natam limodorum – it is a rare monotypic pedigree plant species and grows in thin forests in Nagorno Garabagh, among shrubs and forests edges.
Oriental plane (Platanus orientalis L. (P. digitifolia Palb)) – It is a rare endangered species and is common in the Basitchay and Okhchuchay valleys in Zangilan District and in Agdara. It grows on river banks and areas made humid by underground waters in gorges at a height of up to 1,000 metres. It was protected at the Basitchay State Nature Reserve.
Einkorn (Triticum monococcum L) – it is a very rare species and is common around Khankandi and the Topkhana forest in Nagorno Garabagh, as well as in Shusha and Lachin districts. It grows on futile dry, gravel, sand and clayey slopes and is of special selective importance.
Ordinary pomegranade – it is a rare relict species and is common in Zangilan and Jabrayil districts. It grows on dry slopes and in river valleys.
Ordinary forest cherry – It is a rare endangered species and is common in Lachin and Agdara districts. It grows mainly in mountain zones, forest edges and in broad-leaved forests.
Red pyracantha (Pyracantha coccinea Roem) – It is a rare species typical of the Eastern Mediterranean. It is common near Shusha and in the village of Dashalti in Nagorno Garabagh. It is common in gravel areas, forest edges, thin forests and shrubs at a height of up to 1,800 metres above sea level.
Caucasian deadly nightshade – it is a rare endangered European species with a shrinking natural habitat. It grows in beech forests of the Lesser Caucasus, on roadsides and in gorges.
Coniferous yew (Taxus baccata L) – It is a rare relict species and is common in Khojavand and Kalbajar districts. It grows in beech-hornbeam forests at a height of up to 1,900 above sea level. It is necessary to organize the protection and cultivation of the existing trees.
Caucasian laurel – it is a rare plant species with a shrinking natural habitat and is common in Jabrayil and Qubadli districts. It grows on alabaster and limestone dry slopes beginning from the middle mountain zone to a height of up to 2,900 metres.
Zelkova carpinifolia (Zelkova carpinifofolia (Pall) C.Koch. (Z.hyrcana Grossh. Et Jarm)) – It is a rare relict plant in the Caucasus and Iran. It is common in Khankandi and Shusha in Nagornyy Garabagh, as well as in Khojavand and Fizuli districts. It grows in forests mixed with the Georgian oak or in its own forests in the southeastern part of Garabagh.
Wild vine (Vitis silvestris Gmel) – it is a rare endangered species and is common in Khojavand and Zangilan (Agband village) districts. It grows along rivers and in forests.
Alpine flower-cup fern – It is a very rare arctalpine relict species and grows in Jabrayil District. It grows in rocky cracks in upper mountain and alpine zones, as well as in stone and rocky areas. It is of great decorative and scientific importance.
Stinking juniper (Juniperus foetidissima Willd) – it is a rare species and grows on rocky and dry slopes in lower and middle mountain zones at a height of up to 1,000 metres. It is common in the villages of Chullu, Qazanzami and Shikhlar in Jabrayil District.
Stenbergia fischeriana (Sternbergia fischeriana (Herb) Roem) – it is a rare species with a shrinking natural habitat. It grows mainly on dry slopes in middle and lower mountain zones and is common in the Topkhana area of Shusha District, near the villages of Goytapa in Agdam District and the village of Dovlatyarli (Qarakopaktapa and Yelligadik areas) in Fizuli District.
Hircanus fig (Ficus hyrcana Grossh) – it is a rare endemic plant species in Azerbaijan and grows in humid-moderate climatic conditions. It is common near Shusha and Khankandi.
Iris acutiloba (İris acutiloba C.A.Mey) – it is a rare endemic Caucasian plant with a restricted natural habitat. It grows in dry clayey, sandy and rocky slopes and seafront sand and is common in Khojavand (near the village of Kuropatkino) and around Shusha (Topkhana).
Camilla iris (Iris camillae Grossh) – it is a rare restricted endemic species. It grows on dry gravel and rocky slopes and is common around Agdam and Asgaran.
Kuzetsov windflower (Anemone kusnetzowii Woronow ex Grossh) – It is a rare South Caucasus endemic species and grows in lower mountain zones and shrubs. In the former Soviet Union, it grew only in Azerbaijan – between the villages of Dashkasan and Guzlah in Jabrayil District.
Acantholimon tenuiflorum (Acantholimon tenutiflorum Boiss) – It is a rare endemic species with a restricted natural habitat in Azerbaijan and grows on dry clayey and gravel slopes. It is common near the village of Borsunlu in Tartar District.
Tulipa schmidtii (Tulipa schmidtii Fomin) – It is a rare species of North Iranian origin and grows on dry lime and rocky slopes. It is common in the area around the village of Soltanli.
Azerbaijani white rose (dog-rose) (Rosa Azerbajdzhanica Novopokr et Rzazade) – It is a rare endemic species in Azerbaijan and grows on the rocky and gravel slopes of the middle mountain zone. It is common around the town of Kalbajar.
Hog’s fennel (Peucedanum pauciradiatum Tamasch) – it is a rare endemic species (Caucasus) and grows on dry rocky and gravel slopes of the lower and middle mountain zones. It is common around the village of Agband in Zangilan District.
Mountain cotoneaster (Cotoneaster saxatilis Pojark) – It is a rare endemic species in Azerbaijan and grows on rocky slopes and shrubs. It is common on the territory of the village of Agband in Zangilan District.
Caucasian ophrys – it is a rare endemic species in Azerbaijan, is common mainly in Garabagh and is especially beautiful.
Let us note that part of the rich flora of the Garabagh has been perished at present and other part is under the threat of perishing by Armenian aggressors.
Fauna of the Garabagh
Garabagh, the charming and beautiful corner of Azerbaijan having been occupied by Armenia, is a specific natural area of Lesser Caucasus having very rare and unrepeated climate, plant cover and animals. Garabagh has had prevalence in rich biodiversity among 4 natural areas of Azerbaijan with animal world before occupation by Armenia. Land vertebral had prevalence especially among fauna species in occupied territories. Fate of rare and endangered species settled in landscape and biotopes related to Mountainous and Lowland Garabagh which enters the natural area of the Lesser Caucasus causes more concerns.
But 25 thousand species of the existing fauna fall to arthropods and 630 species to the part of the vertebral fauna in Azerbaijan. All fauna consists of 25630 species and semi-species.
There were 5307 species of fauna, which comprises 20.7% of the general fauna of this area of Nagorno Garabagh being under occupation of Armenia and adjacent territories.
From fauna species in this reservations one can met a wolf, a jackal, a field pig, badger, bezoar goat, roe, hare and different rodents:
From birds quail, wood-pigeon, pigeon, partridge, turaj can be met. Also in these preservations:
- Field pig,
- Grey bear,
- Bezoar goat,
- Leopard (probability it was) and etc. small rodents, from birds tetra, quail, wood-pigeon, partridge and predators birds had settled.
One of territories being under occupation is Dashalty state preservation. Ultimate goal on the creation of preservation was protection of “Topkhana” forest state fund and roe, field pig, squirrel, hare, wolf, fox, jackal etc settled here. Animals, kind (of) has consisted with them protecting of the bird.
Class of insects settled in the territories of occupied Nagorno Garabagh and its adjacent regions (Lachin, Aghdam, Fizuli, Zangilan, Gubadly, Jabrail, Kalbajar) comprise 70 species from from Insecta representatives.
With its natural condition and plant cover Nagorno Garabagh and its adjacent regions sharply differing from other regions of Azerbaijan has very rich invertebrate animal world. Here approximately 4500-5000 species of the insects have spread until the occupation of Nagorno Garabagh and its adjacent regions. This kind organizes 20% of the general arthrohods which have spread in Azerbaijan. Because 56 species of insect fauna in the occupied areas are from rare, endemic and endangered species, many of them were included in International Nature Protection Union’s Red List and the Red Book of Azerbaijan.
There are many species of endemic and relict, even being new for science and faun invertebrate animals, which never found in any corner of Azerbaijan, are many in number. This majority shows itself in all groups of invertebrate animal being inhabitants of this area. Therefore Nagorno Garabagh and its adjacent regions have been in the centre of attention of Azerbaijan entomologist as interesting territory. They have carried out comprehensive researches in these territories, especially before beginning of war here. For this purpose expeditions were organized to regions of Aghdam, Shusha, Aghdara, Khojavand, Kalbajar, Tartar, Jabrail, Gubadly, Zangilan, Fizuli periodically, and many species of invertebrate animals have been gathered. The most spreads from gathered invertebrate and having the widest and rich species were butterflies and insects.
It was defined in the result of definition of materials and its working just from butterflies 28 species of rare and endangered butterflies were spread in Nagorno Garabagh. They area:
- Yellowish-grey shibyayeyan,
- Yellow pelosia,
- Dark ayija,
- Beautiful ayijca,
- Clean ayijca,
- Yellow grey ayija
- Philip ayijca,
- Lady ayija,
- Black ayija,
- Karelian ayija,
- Daurija ayija,
- Yellow stripy ayija,
- White stripy ayija,
- Turan ayija,
- Insect like reddish yellow shibyayeyan,
- Four pointed shibyayeyan ayija,
- Red dotted ayija,
- Dark Red ayija,
- Hera ayija,
- Hebe ayija,
- Meadow ayija,
- Red ayija etc.
Moreover from useful insects Brokonids, Khalsids, Ichneumanids and Bee like have been spread in Nagorno Garabagh and it adjacent areas.
Unfortunately, in the result of war carried out by Armenians biotopes and biosenoses which settled by rare and endangered insects the plants and shown useful insects, used by them as food, were destroyed.
Garabagh is rich with its ichtyofauna. So, 14 species from 62 species of fishes lived in the sweet waters of Azerbaijan had lived in Nagorno Garabagh and its surroundings. And its comprises 22.6% of the sweet fishes living here. It includes mainly:
- The Kura shirbit,
- Ilsihken and chilpaqcha,
- Caucasian wide head,
- The Kura silver fish,
- Caucasian silver fish,
- Flat abdomen (Yastiqarin),
- The Kura salmon etc fishes have been included in.
4 species (40%) from 10 species of amphibians of the republic and 35 (53%) from 62 species of reptiles of the republic were settled in Garabagh area of Azerbaijan being under occupation. The same species are the following:
- Land frog,
- Lake frog,
- Simple tree frog
- Little Asian frog,
- Caspian tortoise,
- Mediterranean tortoise,
- Caucasian pangolin,
- Worm like blind snake,
- West sleepyhead,
- Transcaucasia talkha,
- Grey snake,
- Viper etc
From 107 species of mammals of Azerbaijan 61 species were settled in Nagorno Garabagh and surrounding regions. And it organized 57% fauna of mammals existing in Azerbaijan which inhabited in occupied regions of Nagorno Garabagh and surrounding regions before Armenian aggression. These are species included in the mammals class (Mammalia):
- Parasite eaters,
- White breast hedgehog,
- Small gostebek,
- Grey teeth of the Caucasus,
- Small white teeth,
- Small flatnose,
- Simple long ear bat,
- Tricolor shabpara,
- Night bat,
- Iran squirrel,
- India tirandaz
- Little Asian Arabic hare,
- Grey rat,
- Black rat,
- Field mouse,
- European snow mouse,
- Grey bear,
- Talish cat,
- Caucasian forest cat,
- Field pig,
- Roe etc.
Fauna of birds was richer than other aminals in areas of before occupation. Thus from 367 species of birds available in Azerbaijan 200 were found in the given area. Distribution of birds over the area was unequal. It comprised 54.4.% of the ornitofauna of Azerbaijan. In upland areas (2000 km above the sea level) were precipitous cliffs, stone piles, meadows of Alps and subalp. In these parts:
- Caspian ular,
- Sheep taker,
- Golden eagle,
- Grave eagle,
- Big eagle
- Little eagle,
- Black griffon,
- Tetra bird,
- White-headed griffon
- Red beak
- Mountain owl etc. can be found.
Over 100 species of birds were living in the mountain forest (400-2200 m in the height above sea level). Birds living here:
- Quail taker
- Tetra taker,
- The simple falcon,
- The tetra bird,
- The woodpeckers,
- The sultan,
- The forest sparrow etc. can be shown as an example.
In mountain sparse drought and forest and shrubbery areas:
- Grey partridge,
- Simple gur-gur,
- Black headed oats bird,
- Black hen etc. could be found
But in Araz long semi desert and steppes:
- Wild duck,
- Sky larks of field
- Field hachaguyruq jullut
- Little bazgak.
Species of birds was richer in these territories during migration. Rook starling, field valamirgushu etc. species of predator birds were spread.
Some birds lived in the given territories during migration. Predator birds like zagcha, field valamirgushu etc were in big numbers. Some birds living in areas occupied by Armenians were included in the Red book of Azerbaijan and the international Nature Protection Union’s Red List. They are 22 species:
- Black stork,
- Eagle of river,
- White tail,
- Sea delta,
- Tetra taking hawk,
- Turkustan hair,
- Field eagle,
- Big eagle
- Grave eagle,
- Golden eagle
- Sheep taker
- Black griffon
- Snake eater
- Field belibagli;
- Belobam simple falcon,
- Field muymul,
- Caucasian tetra,
- Simple dimdik bazdak
Besides the rare and endemic species of birds in Garabagh, which is distinguished with rich nature, flora and fauna, the endangered birds were protected in various preserve and reservations. But Armenian aggression besides outing an end on life and wishes of thousands of people, it perished the fine pearls of the nature, made a damages not just on our country but on world, which can not be replaced with anything. Part of the same rare birds is following:
The area of Nagorno Garabagh and surrounding areas being under Armenian occupation comes to Natural areas of Lesser Caucasus having rich biodiversity. Apparently, starting from insects to representatives of mammals the diversity of endangered rare species at the same time comprises in general the 25-30% of the animals settled in this natural area, where fauna species included in the International Nature Protection Union’s Red List, being endemic and relic for Caucasian and Azerbaijani territory. Presence of such endemic conditions shows that the Caucasus region is region not just of Azerbaijan, but in general of a region emerging of new species of the Caucasus region as a whole.