Struggling for the Truth against your Nation’s Rhetoric

Radio Free Europe has a great article on an Azeri author whose recent book has sparked protests in Azerbaijan. The book openly discusses the atrocities that Azerbaijan committed, like the 1990 pogrom in Baku but doesn’t talk about the atrocities committed by Armenians like the Khojaly massacre. This, unsurprisingly has angered many Azerbaijanis. When asked why he wrote this book, he gave a beautiful response:

“This novel is a kind of message to Armenians living in Karabakh; in other words, to the Armenian citizens of Azerbaijan,” Aylisli said. “The message is this: Don’t think that we’ve forgotten all the bad things we’ve done to you. We accept that. You have also done bad things to us. It’s the job of Armenian writers to write about those bad things, about the Khojaly massacre.

“Maybe they’ve written about it already, maybe they will write about it in the future. I don’t know. Because it’s not possible for any people to commit such cruelties and not write about it. Don’t politicize these things. If Armenians continue to live in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, we have to live side by side. This novel is a message to them. Don’t be afraid. It’s not the end. We can live together.”

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