Behind the scenes of the confrontation between civilizations: the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

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By Nasrin Suleymanli :-

Today, the West approaches the conflict not only within the local Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, but also from the point of view of general Turkism.

in fact, they see the Turks as the greatest threat under the threat of Islamophobia.

 Although European states recognize the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan, but they do not accept Armenia as aggressor and do not demand their withdrawal from the occupied territories. The level of relations between the Western civilization and the Turkish civilization, which is a part of the East, from the national, religious and psychological point of view, is obvious, and the relationship has always been tense and harsh. Recent research shows that the historical crusades are not in fact against Islam, but against Turkism, which integrates and completes Islam. The Armenian issue arose on the basis of the clash of these civilizations. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, has been seriously threatened. It was the international Armenian side that involved Azerbaijan in the conflict. From the very beginning of the conflict, the goal of the Azerbaijani side was to “prevent the developing events” or to defend itself from Armenian attacks.

As long as Islam is Islam and the West is the West, Huntington wrote that the confrontation between the two great civilizations will continue as it did in the 14th century. What Armenians want today is to show the Western world that the war is between civilizations in a religious context. Prime Minister Pashinyan said that this conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh is not only about territory, but also civilizational front line and it involves far bigger and more important stakes. Even added that “Armenians in the south Caucasus are the last remaining obstacle in the way of Turkish expansion toward the north, the south and the east,” accusing Turkey of reinstating the Ottoman Empire.

At the end of august 2020, President of Turkey Receb Tayyip Erdogan celebrated the Islamic New Year with converting monumental Haghia Sophia to a mosque and day after announced the largest ever natural gas depository in the Balck Sea. Later another recent discovery of natural gas fields in the Mediterranean seas, welcomed a delegation of Hamas in Ankara- all of these moves project Erdogan’s vision of Islamic strength into the world. Western world erupt tension around Erdogan’s attempts to resurrect the Ottoman Empire or to style himself a sultan. Thus, Pashinyan tied to use it strategically. This is horrible slumber for the world.

Today, the most horrible manifestation of Turkophobia is the attitude towards Azerbaijan. The genocide committed by the Armenian armed forces in Khojaly on the night of February 25-26, 1992 is the most obvious example of Turkophobia in the world. Also, along with the Azerbaijani Turks in Khojaly, there was only one reason for the destruction of the Meskhetian Turks – they were Turks.

S. Huntington used the religious factor in his classification of civilizations, despite it should be noted that the national factor has a special place here. In the relations between Western and Turkish civilizations, the factor of nationality and religion is in the first place. Approaching the issue from this perspective, we see that the dual position of Western countries, both in the global Armenian issue and in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, stems from the clash between the West and Turkish civilizations. Armenians are just trying to take advantage of this situation. They claim to be the first Christian nation on earth to attract the attention of the Western world. In fact, the biggest reason for Armenia’s support in the Western world can be assessed in the context of anti-Turkish, anti-Islamic or Islamophobic positions, the reasons for which can be seen in the clash between Western civilization and Turkish civilization.

Western anti-Turkish thought dates back 1,600 years. The fall of the Huns from Central Asia to the Western Roman Empire, the end of the Byzantine Empire by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, and the invasions of the Great Ottoman Empire to central Europe were enough to form anti-Turkish thought in the West. In recent years, researchers have proved that even the great crusades were organized against Turkish civilization. This can be seen in the bias of the West toward Turkey, which is rising in modern times. Currently it can be seen, especially in the downward trend in French-Turkish relations.

Macron’s proposal to Putin in 2019: “Let’s design the region together.” However, Turkey’s strategic attacks pushed France out of the game in Syria, Libya did not do what it wanted, it has no presence in Iraq, and the coup plan in Tunisia failed. This put Macron in a difficult position in domestic politics and tarnished his image in foreign policy.

However, the Turkish state and the Turkish nation, as well as all the trials of history, will rise from the current situation with pride, face and head. It is very important for the Turkic world and the Muslim world as a whole to understand that these ugly attacks of the West are directed against Islam.

Despite the fact that today the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is considered to be a confrontation between two antagonistic civilizations – Armenia and Azerbaijan, nationalist-minded. Nowadays, Armenian intellectuals do not want admit Azerbaijanis as Caucasian Turks. However, Russian Empire used to call ethnicity as Transcaucasian Turks. It proofs that confrontation is non social-economical and political, rather a civil (cultural-ideological) confrontation.

Huntington argued that in the near future, religion would become the main driving force in the conflict between civilizations. It is also true that in all wars, religious nuances were added to reduce the economic causes that always existed. This means that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should not be described as a religious war against Muslim Turks, the eternal enemy of Armenian Christians. This is how the ideologues of the Dashnaktsutyun (who consider all Azerbaijanis to be Muslim Turks) perceived the conflict.

Republic of Azerbaijan, proclaimed in 1918, has been a secular state since the first days of independence. Muslim factor and the nation factor not as a political, but as a cultural factor could not influence in the state building process. Additionally, Azerbaijan version of Islam was very different from Arab-Magreb version of political Islam.

It seems that over the last century, Armenians have built their state without relying on their official religion, Monophysite Christianity, but by infecting the past, more deeply, with the pagan roots of their national mentality. As early as the middle of the 19th century, the legendary ancestors of the Armenians, who made a treaty with the supreme god Ara (from whom he gained power ), existed in the spiritual and social life of the nation. The legendary ancestors of the Armenians who made a treaty with the pagan cults of the pagan gods Vahagn, Mihr, Anahid and Hayk were present in the spiritual and social life of the nation along with the Christian Gregorian religious rites whose attributes were very close to paganism. For obvious reasons, their national affiliation is placed on a cornerstone that is very different from the religious ideology of the Armenian Gregorian Church.

The political identity of the modern Armenian ethnicity goes beyond the moral laws of the Armenian Gregorian denomination and the laws of the church and is mostly based on legends and myths in prehistoric times.

Considering Christian law, it can be concluded that either Armenians have never been Christians throughout their history and the Armenian Apostolic Church has acted as a veil for Armenian idolatry hidden from Muslims and Orthodox Christians (since the 19th century) or for the spiritual needs of their churches.

Today, the Armenians of the world are one of the few peoples living outside the Republic of Armenia. In other words, the number of non-members of the Armenian Diaspora in the so-called “historical homeland” is many times greater than the population of this country. Some ethnographers believe that it is impossible to know the exact number of Armenians, because they are scattered all over the world, but it is possible to estimate. According to their statistics, there are 10 million people. Today, the population of Armenia is less than two million. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is also a unifying factor in bringing together the Armenian ethnicity scattered around the world.

The main source of material well-being is the role of international Armenian NGOs, which, in addition to their GDP, collect donations from the Armenian Diaspora to preserve their “historical homeland.” This brings $ 10 billion to Armenia every year. In other words, Armenia is not self-sufficient and therefore not a completely sovereign state. According to some reports, there is an Armenian diaspora in more than 60 countries, and according to some reports, in more than 80 countries.

For more than two decades, active Islamization and radicalization of political Islam in Asia, the Balkans, and Europe in general have reduced the political influence and financial opportunities of the Armenian Diaspora in traditional countries such as Syria, Lebanon, France, and the Balkans. The decline in the number of titular indigenous groups in European countries and the increase in the number of Muslim immigrants from Africa and Asia (mainly the Maghreb), combined with the aggressive promotion of so-called liberal values, will soon exacerbate all social contradictions and strengthen the social and political activities of Christian Orthodoxy.

Twenty years later, Western Europe will be completely Islamized. The fall of the West (as Spengler predicted in his 1918 book of the same name) will lead to the irreversible and relatively rapid elimination  ethnic and religious minority (Armenians ) who have traditionally been hostile to Muslims on the continent. Armenian diaspora, can find refuge in the United States, Russia and Ukraine, or in Nagorno-Karabakh as a second ship. Today, the contours of Armenia’s foreign policy are determined or interfered by the Armenian Diaspora. The Diaspora finances large infrastructure in Nagorno-Karabakh, builds an international airport in Khankendi, explains Yerevan’s unshakable position in negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement at all levels and all kinds of provocations related to Nagorno-Karabakh and other roads and the presence of Armenians there. Today, in the context of the crisis in the Middle East, the mechanism of deportation of Armenians from Syria has already been activated.

According to Huntington, the Karabakh war of 1991-1994 had a great impact on the transformation of Azerbaijanis into a nation-state in the true sense of the word, the self-recognition or identity of contemporary Azerbaijani ethnicity. It should be noted that this process in Azerbaijan took a completely different vector from the ideology of the Armenians and most other peoples who gained state independence in the 1990s. The war in Azerbaijan gave a different result: the country and the people gained their national and state affiliation. They began to see themselves not as Muslims of the Caucasus, but as a nation that has consciously formed a polyethnic state.

According to Huntington, it did not matter what Baku thought about the Karabakh war, because it was this war that turned the Azerbaijani Turks into one nation.

Under certain historical conditions, no additional national-religious affiliation could have emerged in polyethnic Azerbaijan. Guided by the collective instinct of the nation-state, the society chose its civic-political identity and unity. The local people first demonstrated their support for statehood, only then did they become secular nationalists and finally Muslims. In fact, this fact explains why the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict does not fit into Huntington’s concept of a clash of civilizations, a conflict between communities and religions. In this confrontation, the border line continued between the desire of the citizens of Azerbaijan to protect the sovereign statehood and the desire of the Armenians to destroy it. The border line divided the ideas of statehood and anarchy. It seems that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is an exception to Huntington’s theory.

Unlike Azerbaijanis, Armenians do not need a place to live in Karabakh (they do not live there) or a source of material security (money poured into the region will never be returned). For Armenians, Karabakh, or more precisely Arsakh, is another reincarnation of the metaphysical myth of Greater Armenia, which never really existed. This analogy is a new semiotic sign that divides the world not from Armenia, but from Arsakh’s allies and enemies. Without Arsakh, there will be no Armenia, and without Armenia, it is clear that there will be no Armenian diaspora.

(Nasrin Suleymanli- Phd in political science, Instructor in Foreign Policy and International Relations Department (The Academy of Public Administration) representative from Azerbaijan in the independent think tank center Kafkassam Ankara based member of thesis committee in Academy.) 

Views expressed are not of The London Post

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