Armenophobia has been a long trend in Turkish society and its “brotherly” Azerbaijan. In recent decades under Ilham Aliyev, Armenophobia became embedded into Azerbaijani national identity. Dr Nerses Kopalyan of University of Nevada, Political Science Department says, “Armenophobia is not simply an exercise in cultural, racial, and political chauvinism; it is also a necessary precondition of Azeri nationalism.”
This week, a group of Azeris rallied in Washington DC shouting words like “jihad” and using the Grey Wolves salute, the Turkish equivalent of the Nazi sign. The Grey Wolves is a far-right Turkish ideology affiliated with the Nationalist Movement Party that assumes the “Turkey for Turks” rhetoric held by their forefathers during the Armenian Genocide. In a 1981 New York Times article, the Nationalist Movement Party was described as “Xenophobic, fanatically nationalist, neofascist network steeped in violence.”
Which begs the question, how logical is Aliyev’s proclamations that he will govern Karabakh while letting Armenians live in peace? The same leader who has normalized a two-decade campaign to delegitimize the very existence of the Armenian people in Karabakh expects the world to believe that he is capable of protecting his indigenous population? And of course one cannot forget that this tyrannical leader once pardoned and celebrated an axe-murderer who brutally slayed an Armenian soldier on a UN peacekeeping mission in Hungary.
This week Russian President Vladimir Putin reminded the world that the Karabakh war started because of the Sumgait Massacres in Azerbaijan. On February 27, 1988, mobs of Azerbaijanis formed into militia groups and attacked and killed Armenians on the streets and in their homes. The pogroms involved widespread looting and killing for three straight days.
As we are witnessing now, this anti-Armenian hate exists to this day. It is clear that Turkey and Azerbaijan’s plan is not only to occupy Karabakh, but it’s to continue the work of their forefathers, the Young Turks, and carry out the completion of the Armenian Genocide.