January 25, 2017

Talysh: Round-Table Discussion Calls for Autonomy and Democratic Change in Azerbaijan

Photo courtesy of Y Nakanishi @flickr.com

Alikram Hummatov, leader of the Talysh National Movement, at a round-table discussion on future perspectives for the Talysh people on 27 December 2016 called for increased cultural and scientific cooperation with the people of Armenia, to further the movement’s main goals of democratic reforms in Azerbaijan and autonomy for Talysh people. Other speakers at the event underlined the harassment and obstacles imposed by the Azeri authorities, which affect all people of Azerbaijan.

Below is an article published by Armenpress:

Politicians and public figures representing Talysh national minority in Azerbaijan presented the violence carried out against them in Azerbaijan during a round-table discussion headlined “Talysh people: history and modern trends” on December 27 [2016]. The event was organized by the joint efforts of YSU’s Department of Iranian Studies and the Talysh National Movement with the support of “Voice of Talyshistan” radio. Leader of Talysh national movement Alakram Hummetzode highlighted the dialogue between the Armenian and Talysh peoples. According to him, the two peoples must strengthen the scientific and cultural cooperation and today’s round-table is another step taken for the strengthening of relations. He introduced the main goal of the Talysh national movement: to conduct reforms in Azerbaijan and obtain autonomy.

“The voice of the Talysh people has been heard by numerous countries despite the impediments by Azerbaijani authorities. The number of the supporters of our movement increases day by day. The entire Azerbaijani people has become a hostage in the hands of Azerbaijani leadership”, “Armenpress” reports Alakram Hummetzode saying.

Ismail Shabanov, President of the Talysh Diaspora of Russia, member of Russian Council on interethnic relations introduced the problems of the Talysh Diaspora and stated that they constantly face obstacles created by Azerbaijani authorities. But he added that they desire to restore their motherland and no one can hamper them in that path.

“If the people of Nagorno Karabakh had not made their right choice back then, they would be suffering now like us, maybe worse. We did not engage in war, and what did we get in response? Where is that so-called fraternity? In this context the people of Nagorno Karabakh was cleverer than we were. I wish them success”, the President of the Talysh Diaspora said.

According to Ismail Shabanov, the territories inhabited by the Talysh people are forcefully preserved within the territory of Azerbaijan. He stated that a biological warfare is conducted against the Talysh people.

“A genocide is underway there by the use of disseminating different types of diseases. A question arises. Why does the number of the Talysh people decline? It is not a natural phenomenon and they should not think that these acts will remain unanswered. We receive hundreds of letters every day about the situation there. The law enforcement bodies spread narcotics and weapons among the Talysh populations in great quantities”, Shabanov stated.

According to the Chairman of the Committee on the Rights of the Talysh people Zaharaddeen Ibrahim, the entire Azerbaijani people is dissatisfied with the Azerbaijani regime. “They just have no chances to change it since any act to show dissatisfaction, even peaceful protests, are persecuted, people are arrested. I am convinced this clan has to step down. This is merely a matter of time”, Zaharaddeen Ibrahim announced.

Chair of Iranian Studies department Vardan Voskanyan highlighted the fact that the political elite of the Talysh people appreciate Armenian contribution to political movements of the Talysh people and in this context noted that Armenia is a type of regional super-power, since it is able to control some political processes in hostile Azerbaijan.

According to him, Armenian and Talysh people are the most ancient peoples in the region which had already established relations before the emergence of the Turkish element in the region.