------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
From:          Self 
To:            CarlsonE@rferl.org
Subject:       RFE/RL
Cc:            BelinL@rferl.org, 
Reply-to:      seidovv@ceu.hu
Date:          Tue, 15 Dec 1998 12:32:36 MET-1MEST

Ms. Liz Fuller, 

Over the last few hours, I have been receiving numerous telephone 
calls from my students in Budapest who were outraged with your recent 
Newsline report. It is not my responsibility to teach you how to 
write the reports, as it is entirely your task for which you must 
have been trained.

However, when it comes to the historical issues, I would suggest you 
to be more careful and withhold from making controversial statements, 
especially as those statements are broadcasted to the entire region.  
I believe you have not been trained as professional historian and 
have never investigated the history of Nakhichevan in depth.  
Moreover, since you make no reference, I assume that the last 
sentence of your report represents your opinion, if not the opinion 
of the Radio Free Europe // Radio Liberty.

Furthermore, I kindly invite you not to distort the geographical names 
and use only the internationally recognized toponyms.  There is no 
such a place as Djuga (either Old or New) in the Julfa region.  If 
you are really concerned about the history, I suggest you to use in 
your next report about Armenia the initial name of what today is 
called Yerevan, i.e. Abbasabad, finish your report with the phrase 
that "up to the twentieth century, the city of Erevan had a Muslim 
majority", and make a reference to the Armenian scholars 
T.Kh.Hakobian and G.A. Bournoutian (T.Kh.Hakobian, Erivani 
Patmutiene, 1801-1879, Erevan, 1959, pp.523-525 - referred by George 
A. Bournoutian in "The Ethnic Composition and the Socio-Economic 
Condition of Eastern Armenia in the First Half of the Nineteenth 
Century", in Ronald Suni "Transcaucasia, Nationalism and Social 
Change", pp.80).  For you information and according to George 
Bournoutian, "[a] number of Armenian historians, quoting the 
post-1830 figures, have incorrectly estimated the number of Armenians 
in Eastern Armenia in Persian times to have been between 30 to 50 
percent of the total population.  In reality - based on the official 
figures of the Russian survey following the conquest - the Armenians 
barely formed 20 percent of the population of Eastern Armenia, while 
the Muslims exceeded 80 percent.  In any case, the Armenian 
population at no time prior to the Russian takeover formed a majority 
in Eastern Armenia.  In fact, although the Kameral'noe Opisanie 
indicates the existence of an Armenian majority in a few mahals of 
Eastern Armenia, this is only after the emigration of over 35,000 
Muslims from the region; thus there is no concrete evidence of there 
being an Armenian majority in any of the districts during the Persian 
administration." (Ibid, pp.77-79)

It will be also useful for you to know that starting from the 1920s, 
more than 400 Turkic toponyms have been changed on the territory of 
modern Republic of Armenia.  Hundreds of historical Muslim monuments 
have been destroyed.  The famous Blue Mosque in the Armenian capital, 
which prior to the expulsion of the Azeris used to be the place of
worship for the large Azeri community, today is presented as a 
masterpiece of the Persian architecture.  In Nagorno Qarabagh, the 
famous medieval Albanian Monastry of Gandzasar suddenly became 
Armenian in the 1980s.  Hundreds of Azeri cemeteries and mosques have 
disappeared in Zangezur and Goycebasar.  The Armenian authorities 
have destroyed the grave of the famous Azeri poet Asiq Alesker in 
Eastern Goyce (Sevan), where up to 1988 the majority was Azeri, 
according to all official censuses.  The Armenians very quickly 
renamed the occupied villages and towns in Nagorno Qarabagh to the 
Armenian version - Lachin to Berdzor, Shusha to Shushi.  Is not this 
a cultural genocide - the word which is so popular in the Armenians' 
vocabulary? I wonder what made you change the name of Julfa to Djuga 
and make Nakhichevan in 1922 predominantly Armenian.

In view of inaccuracy of the released report, it would be appropriate 
for you to place a correction in your next report, and consult in the 
future the historical and geographical sources should you write on the 
relevant issues.


Vugar Seidov, PhD in History
Central European University

Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 22:50:13 -0800 (PST) From: Adil To: RFERL Newsline Cc: CleaveJ@rferl.org, CorwinJ@rferl.org, GobleP@rferl.org, MaksymiukJ@rferl.org, MooreP@rferl.org, PannierB@rferl.org, ShafirM@rferl.org Subject: RE: More on Newsline report of Armenian allegations to Azerbaijan
ANOTHER OPEN LETTER TO LIZ FULLER EDITOR OF RFE/RL NEWSLINE Ms. Fuller, I have written before, and repeat it again: your false reporting is in clear, repeated and overwhelming ignorance and violation of the RFE/RL's own Code Of Professional Journalism Standards. You can find it online, at URL: You reporting still fails to even mention a little bit of information regarding Azerbaijani stance on the issue, its protests and rejection of Armenian allegations. It also fails to either offer a retraction and/or correction of the wrongful December 14 reporting, or back up the report with proof and stand up by the story (which we all realize you are unable to do). Meanwhile, Azerbaijani view, backed up with facts and evidence, can be heard in regards to continuous destruction and plundering of Azerbaijani cultural heritage by Armenians. During the forcible expulsion of the Azerbaijanis, hundreds of historical relics testifying to the fact that Azerbaijanis had for centuries belonged on the land in what is today Armenia were either destroyed or altered to look Armenian. Islamic places of worship and the graves in Azerbaijani cemeteries were defiled; mosques and tombs were damaged or broken up for building materials. To erase from history the fact that Azerbaijanis had lived in Armenia, the names of some 2,000 towns and villages that formerly bore Azerbaijani names have been changed; 465 villages were renamed between 1935 and 1973, and 97 in April 1991. (From: UN document A/C.3/51/9, 30/10/96) It becomes tragi-comedic, if not outright pitiful, to see RFE/RL's Newsline once prided journalism and reporting standards fall so low in the hands of its own editor that even Groong's gossip story is being cited in desperation. "No program material shall be broadcast that is based on rumor or unsubstantiated information." (The RFE/RL Code Of Professional Journalism Standards) Sincerely, Adil Baguirov
#RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC #________________________________________________________ #RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 240, Part I, 15 December 1998 # #DEMOLITION OF ARMENIAN MONUMENTS REPORTEDLY HALTED. The #destruction and removal of Armenian stone crosses and #gravestones from a cemetery in the Azerbaijani exclave #of Nakhichevan has stopped, according to Groong on 14 #December. Armenian observers in Iran had reported the #demolition earlier this month, eliciting protests from #Armenian officials (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 14 December #1998). LF
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 23:17:14 +0100 From: Vugar Seidov <"seidovv@ceu.hu"@ceu.hu> Subject: Further feedback Ms. Liz Fuller, This is my second message to you regarding your controversial Newsline Report of 14 December "Armenians Protest Destruction of Monuments in Nakhichevan", wherein you argued that "[in] the 1920s, the population of Nakhichevan was predominantly Armenian, but as a result of emigration from the region, it is now 95 percent Azerbaijani." Following that piece, you have released several other reports on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, you failed to place a refutation of your previous statement, despite the fact that you were provided the arguments of the contrary and suggested to make due corrections. This makes me assume that you are not inclined to take the constructive criticism into consideration, nor are you concerned about the damage you have made to the reputation of the Radio Free Europe by your unprofessional approach to the sensitive issues. Meanwhile, it might be interesting for you to know how the Armenian side reacted to your statement. Below are two excerpts from the Armenian list Hayastan. With regard to the first one, you must have received many praising messages from thankful Armenians encouraging you to go ahead and add more Azerbaijani lands to Armenia. Regarding the second message, it is interesting how your statement resembles the notorious remark of acad. Aganbegian in late 1987, when he addressed the members of the Dashnaktsutsiun Party in Paris and claimed that Nagorno Qarabakh had more economic links with Armenia than with Azerbaijan (which was not true) and therefore it ought to be transferred to Armenia. Let me remind you that immediately after this statement, first 4,000 Azeri refugees were expelled from Qafan and Masis in December 1987, and it also served as a signal for the controversial session of the NKAO Oblast' Soviet few months later. I wonder whether your reluctance to refute publicly your recent statement will have the same consequences for Nakhichevan as the one of acad. Aganbegian had for Nagorno Qarabagh. Regards, Vugar Seidov Budapest
Message 1: ------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Wed, 16 Dec 98 11:41:44 PST From: Asbed Bedrossian To: Armenian Issues and Discussions Subject: Azeris flaming fuller @ rferl Azeris seem enraged at Liz fuller for her note about Nachichevan in the RFE/RL. Below, from their news list. I think we'd do well to show support for fuller so that she doesn't back off in a void, and take her words back. I also note that we're all vehement about bad stuff about us, but quietly ignore good things. I think these need as much addressing as the bad stuff do: ENCOURAGINGLY. asbed --------------------------------------------------------------
Message 2: ------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 19:54:05 -0800 From: "Raffi Kojian" To: "Armenian Issues and Discussions" Cc: "ANCA-DC" , , "Teni Melidonian" Subject: Re: Nakhichevan Khachkars being removed Isn't there any committee that can intervene? There was some international body that had declared the Armenian Monastery in Turkish occupied Cyprus a world historic landmark or something... couldn't we get that status? Armenia needs to invade Nakhichevan if need be. Argh! What can we do? Ideas please. n_w$$h
---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 19:39:09 -0800 From: Raffi Kojian To: hayastan Subject: My note to Liz, do not distribute beyond hayastan! Hello Liz, I get postings from an Azeri news list and saw two letters addressed to you. Before I address them I want to thank you for writing about the cemetary which has more Khatchkars than any other spot on earth. This is a uniquely Armenian art and most of the intricately carved tombstones have been destroyed this century (by the Soviet Railroad) after remaining undisturbed for centuries. The messages to you address all the wrong things. Neither message mentions the actual destruction of the Khatchkars. They do not seem to care about that at all. They instead are enraged by the mere implication that perhaps these Armenian graves may indicate a preivous Armenian presence. I will only address the two points they bring up which could possibly be relevant. One talks about the date 1920 being used for no reason to indicate population percentages. To the uneducated, that may be a valid point. Why that year indeed? Well, because that was about when it was incorporated into Azerbaijan. A simple before and after Azeri rule percentage. The other "big" arguement is the use of the name Djugha. Well that is what the Armenians and historians always called it and it was a purely Armenian town. Then it was abandoned. What else should it be called? Should we start calling Pompei something entirely different? Well, I hope you do not take their notes very seriously. This kind of destruction is hateful and needs to be stopped. The fighting is over thank goodness and this sort of thing will not help bring peace. Thank you for your attention, n_w$$h