DC Community Marks Azerbaijani Massacres

WASHINGTON—Greater Washington, D.C. area Armenian Americans braved the cold and rain on Feb. 24 to mourn the victims of Azerbaijani aggression and stand in solidarity with the people of the independent Republic of Nagorno Karabagh, in their efforts to secure a fair and lasting peace.

DC Community Marks Azerbaijani Massacres

The silent protest, organized by the Greater Washington, D.C. Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) “Ani” Chapter and the St. Mary’s Armenian Church Youth Organization (ACYO), coincided with the 24th anniversary of the Azerbaijani pogroms against the Armenian population of Sumgait, which set the stage for the attacks in Baku in 1990, outright Azerbaijani aggression, and a cycle of anti-Armenian violence that continues to this day.

The demonstrators also called special attention to Azerbaijan’s destruction of the 1,300-year-old Armenian cemetery in Djulfa, Nakhichevan, which saw the demolition of thousands of intricately carved cross-stones (khatchkars).

“We gathered at the Azerbaijani Embassy to remember those who perished in Sumgait and Baku, but to also condemn the Aliyev regime’s ongoing threats and attacks against Artsakh [Karabagh] and Armenia,” said AYF Ani Chapter chair Tevin Polatian. “Just this week, another Armenian soldier was killed by an Azerbaijani sniper—an all too common occurrence resulting from an international community that turns a blind eye to Aliyev’s military build-up and attacks. We will continue to stand strong with the Republic of Karabagh, as they continue to defend their right to self-determination, a fundamental value the U.S. was founded upon.”

Following the vigil, Soorp Khatch Armenian Church pastor Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian and St. Mary’s Armenian Church pastor Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan led activists in a prayer in honor of the Sumgait, Kirovabad, and Baku victims. Participants lit candles and brought pictures of those who perished in the massacres, making a memorial in front of the Azerbaijani Embassy.

In what has now become an expected practice at annual Armenian Genocide and Sumgait/Baku pogroms commemorative protests, flag-wearing Azerbaijani and Turkish protesters jovially celebrated the atrocities, dishonoring the memory of those who perished. This year’s counter protesters included a group of teenagers from a neighborhood home, who apparently participated as part of an after-school “drinking game.”

To view photos of the silent protset, visit the AYF Ani Chapter Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AYFDC.


  1. I would not expect anything less from such people.. they will mock our efforts and mock the memory of our perished… but they can’t take away the fact that their ancestors were murderors and if they want to continue their path, let them.. the world will know how primative the brain cells of the descendents of murderors are..

    OR they can remove themselves from much status and be humans first with conscious and heart understanding that their mockery is the sign of lack of education, and disregard to human rights…


  2. Let Turks/Azeris continue their mockery.. it just shows how primative they still are who lack education, consious and respect for human rights… let them make a fool ofthemselves.. because they are hurting themselves and not anyone else…


  3. What “aggression” are you talking about? Armenia occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory, forcing the population of the occupied territories to becom refugees in their own land, killing hundreds of people, completing massacre in Khohjaliy right in front of everyone else… and now you are talking about agression. Who’s aggressive towards who???

    There is no nicer way of saying this, but Enough is Enought. I find it very unfortunate people like those protesting find the some kind of “moral encouragement” (I guess) to protest against the people whom they have killing and forcing out of their homes.

    And this is not something new. Back in 1992, when Azerbaijan’s territory was being occupied by Armenian forces, the US Congress adopted the Freedom Support Act to assist the former USSR states in building their state, but it did not extend the assistance to Azerbaijan because it was in a war with Armenia. How unfair and injust that was – I mean you do not extend the assistance to people who are buing killed and forced out of their homes, but help those to committ those killings and eviction…. I guess the only reasonable question a person may ask is “WTF?”

    But we see this trend chaning. Azerbaijan and its allies are growing stronger, and we will restore the justice. Have no doubt!

    • Rashid.. now that you have no where to run or hide or BS anymore.. you go to Khojali.. how convenient… of course you would use Khojali’s events to musk your low life aggressive Azeri comrads who to this day kill Armenians on the border… is Khojali the latest tactics to stir the truth and spotlight off your savage govt’s actions?? of course it is.. so please cry me the river.. get over your insecurities and face up, fess up and admit you as a nation is nothing but a pathetic existance…

      it is unfortunate that many like you exist on the planet and you ruin for many more who do not have the same shameful existance and want to get away from it…

  4. Rashid, who started the aggression? As typical of many Turks and Azeri supporters here, you have a very slanted view of the conflict.

    Start with the truth and you may be able to understand. Go beyond the Turkish and Azeri propaganda.

  5. Azeris Betrayed Armenians…
    Go and read how Azerbaijan is real corrupt state…
    Bribing sites wants to cover their head
    And calling few killed by their hands as genocide…

    Why you don’t count, how many you killed in Baku…
    Who started the War…the Armenians or you..
    You throw them from their homes…their windows…balconies…
    Go and view many You- tubes…
    Took all belongings of a half million populace…
    Can you imagine what they had..
    They where there living since centuries…
    Since Calouste Gulbenkian* (1869-1955) days and before…
    He…who discovered your petrol.

    You are born to kill and confiscate rich Armenian.
    Who became rich by hard working.
    Half a million people left can you Imagine..
    and feel with thems..
    Left Baku in a cold January…with their few cloths only.
    They left their homes with furnitures.
    For you to live in free…without paying any penny…
    You forgot all…now you’re propagating on few…
    That, you killed them, by neglecting them in your occupied land.
    What ever you do…No one in the world will believe you.
    Everyone knows who are you…
    And who are the Honest Armenians…
    They served and still serving everyone…
    In Arab lands and every where they settled and earned their bread…

    Those clever Armenian served you since centuries…In their own land…
    You betrayed them…
    Confiscating their land and saying it belongs to us…
    Did you forgot Gary Kasparov as well…and many others…
    Go and read and review…what atrocities have you did and still continue to do.
    Through your New-Ottomans’… Your well-known friends
    Who can betray anyone, even their sons
    As their Sultans did before…

    * Calouste Gulbenkian was born in Üsküdar, in Constantinople (now Istanbul), Ottoman Empire, the son of an Armenian oil importer/exporter. His father sent him to be educated at King’s College London, where he studied petroleum engineering, and then to examine the Russian oil industry at Baku. While still in his twenties he lived in London arranging deals in the oil business. After becoming a naturalized British citizen in 1902, he was involved in arranging the 1907 merger resulting in Royal Dutch/Shell and emerged from that effort as a major shareholder. His habit of retaining five per cent of the shares of the oil companies he developed earned him the nickname “Mr. Five Percent”. (Ref: Wikipedia 1912).

  6. Rashid:

    Like most Azeris who live in a make-believe Universe, you too have selective memory. How convenient for you to start everything from year 1992.
    In the Azeri mythology, Armenians attacked them out of the blue and forced them out of their homes.

    This is was what happened in the Real World.

    In the beginning of 1988, in response to Gorbachev’s Glasnost, Armenians in Yerevan and Karabagh Autonomous Oblast petitioned the Soviet authorities in Moscow to allow NKAO to leave Azerbaijan SSR and join Armenia SSR.
    In response to peaceful Armenian protests, Azeri mobs, organized and egged on by the fascist Musavat party leaders in Sumgait, started massacring Armenian civilians – citizens of Azerbaijan SSR – in 1988. There was no war at the time. Azeris, in a premeditated, organized manner massacred unarmed Armenian civilians hiding in their homes or apartments. Mobs were provided lists of exact addresses of where Armenians lived in mixed ethnicity apartment buildings. (those lists were only available to the authorities in USSR)

    That was followed by massacres in Kirovabad (1988).
    Followed by massacres in Baku (1990).
    In 1991, combined Azeri OMON and Soviet troops launched Operation “Koltso”: about 25 Armenian populated villages were completely ethnically cleansed. About 10,000 Armenians were driven from their homes and became refugees. About 100 Armenians were killed. Several hundred were taken hostage and tortured.

    And the war was on.

    You want to discuss Khojali ? Let’s do it.
    But first tell us why Azeris massacred hundreds of unarmed Armenian civilians in Sumgait (1988), Kirovabad(1988), Baku(1990): and remember; there was no war until about 1991/1992.

    You say “Enough is Enough”
    Fine: we also say “Enough is Enough”.
    You guys have pushed us far enough: No More.
    Armenians are not looking for a war.
    But we Armenians everywhere in the World are not going to let you massacre any more unarmed Armenian civilians.

    Last time around, in 1994, when the Azeri army was decimated and gone, and Artsakh Armenian tank columns were assembled to strike deeper into Lowlands Karabagh, your Pres Heydar Aliyev begged Moscow to tell the Armenians to stop.
    They did. And a cease-fire was signed.
    Don’t push Artsakh’s Army into a war: nobody knows what they might do this time if they get cornered. One thing for sure, they won’t listen to any more advice from anyone. They will do whatever they have to do to eliminate the existential threat to their people. Have no doubt.

    And this parting comment: your former President Abulfaz Elchibey boasted that he would hang the last Armenian he found in Nagorno Karabagh in the central square of Stepanakert.
    He boasted he would wash his feet in Armenia’s Lake Sevan.
    He ran to Azeri-occupied Armenian Nakhichevan before his buddies in Baku could hang him for the massive losses his invading goons suffered at the hands of Artsakh’s poorly equipped Armenian mountain warriors.

    • Bravo… bull’s eye Avery jan…

      let’s see how Rashid will come out of this one? can’t wait to hear his made up and sorry excuses…???

  7. Well said, Avery!

    It is ironic how Rashid thinks that aggression, murders, rapes, atrocities, burning people, forcing them out of their own homes do not count if they are against Armenians. Anything against Armenians is always “justified” in Turkish minds and always will be. But we know the exact chronology of events. Everything is very well documented.

    And, Rashid, who forced who out of their homes, first? Do you ever wonder where Armenian refugees are or am I wrong that there was a huge Armenian population in Azerbaijan? Where are they? Who lives in their homes? I guess, in your Azeri mind, they don’t count. Your president invests millions of dollars in real estate for his kids, using stolen oil money. Why can’t he create normal conditions for the refugees in his country?

    Rashid, without a doubt, if Armenians did not resist and defend themselves, Azeris would wipe us out without hesitating.

  8. Rashid,

    I think most Armenians have sympathy for innocent Azeri civilians who died. Such comments are found everywhere where Armenians address these issues.

    I have never, not even once read or heard of any Turk or Azeri express sympathy to Armenians for the unspeakable, organized torture and brutality and murder. I know a family whose non Armenian father was beaten to death by Azeri mob yearning to kill his Armenian wife and half Armenian children whom he saved by his valor.

    We know Turkish and Azeri mob violence. We have lived with it in our families, our history and nightmares.

    Azerbaijan does not care even for her refugees, but your leaders attack Armenians. By the way, don’t you think Aliev clan might part with a small bit of stolen oil wealth to care for the refugees?

    Know this: every Armenian who can fight will fight, every one who can give will give. A people who endured genocide after genocide would rather fight and die fighting than be subjugated and defeated. And, no offense to my brethren, but the people of Artsakh are the toughest of all.

    We’ll bury you, too, under a nice apricot tree.

    • Jda: “I have never, not even once read or heard of any Turk or Azeri express sympathy to Armenians for the unspeakable, organized torture and brutality and murder.”

      Come on now, that’s a little extreme.

    • and then water that tree generations to come…

      May GOD PROTECT and WATCH OVER OUR Artsaghtsi brothers and sister and give strength and determination even more so to our soldiers who are there in the front lines protecting our nation..

      Rashid and his ilk will be here one day and gone the next.. but Armenian nation will always remain as one of the magestic, ancient civilazations on the world’s history unlike the made up country called Azerbyebyejan…

    • “I have never, not even once read or heard of any Turk or Azeri express sympathy to Armenians for the unspeakable, organized torture and brutality and murder.”

      JDA: I have to agree with RDVD that this is extreme. Yes, I have seen/heard many Turks who are ashamed of what was done to Armenians and express sympathy, including some on these pages. Let’s be fair. They deserve credit for their courage. However, I am not sure what percentage of Turks are like that. That’s a different question.

      Regarding Azeris, I have known very nice people among them, too, but, honestly, I haven’t heard any of them express sympathy towards Armenians. It doesn’t mean there aren’t any Azeris who feel sympathy but my impression is that, currently, there are many more progressive individuals among Turks than Azeri Turks. I might be wrong.

      It is also my impression that the current Azeri youth is even more brainwashed than the Turks. They are lied to about history and injected with lots of hatred and intolerance towards Armenians since they are very young.

  9. RVDV and Gina,

    My poorly written sentence refers not to the Genocide but to the murders in Sumgait, Baku, etc.

    Not only have I seen Turks express sympathy for the murdered Armenians, Greeks, Pontians and Assyrians of 1915-1923, beyond and continuing, but I have praised them in these pages and elsewhere for both expressions of sympathy and affirmation of the Christian Holocaust. They are real heroes.

    I am a great believer in dialogue and sympathetic communications with good Turks, and even those who are agnostic on the AG.

    But as to the racist and ascendant Nazis among them, here and in Turkey, I view them not just as wrong, but as mortal enemies dedicated to our extinction. In that way, I am an extremist in the same way anti fascists of the1930’s and free people’s of the1940’s once were.

    • “In that way, I am an extremist in the same way anti fascists of the1930′s and free people’s of the1940′s once were.”

      As you should be. You’re generally a fair person, which is why I was surprised. We all say things that could have been worded better.

  10. Before the Sumgait bloodletting started, when the crowds were multiplying and being whipped into a frenzy, several local Azeri leaders tried to convince the mobs to let Armenians leave the city unmolested.
    Unfortunately many other leaders egged the mobs on: the voices of reason were drowned out.

    Many Azeri (and Russian) neighbors in the mixed ethnicity apartment buildings sheltered their Armenian neighbors in their own apartments.
    When frenzied Azeri (male) mobs would suspect Azeri families were sheltering Armenians and would demand to get in, Azeri women neighbors would often bravely stand outside the door and not budge: they would shame the thugs into leaving; apparently the goons had enough respect for the Azeri women not to lay a finger on them and force their way in.

    Many Armenian civilians in Sumgait were thus saved from certain death by their Azeri neighbors.

    [ some excerpts from the book “ARMENIA Portrait of Survival and Hope” by Donald Miller and Lorna Touryan Miller 2003]


    {Other Armenians also owed their liver to Azeris who tried to protect them. One woman said. “We had a very kind Turk neighbor. He took us in and hid us. One March 29, it got even worse. They came every close to our building. They were killing Armenians. Our neighbor went out and said that there were no Armenians in this building, where we were hiding” Finally, on April 1, according to this woman, Russian soldiers went door-to-door and collected thousands of Armenians who had been hiding in the homes of friendly and heroic Azerbaijanis} (page 46)

    {More than one survivor said that the violence stopped because Russian troops arrived to quell the massacres. Survivors stated repeatedly that the death rate would have been much higher if Azerbaijani neighbors had not protected them} (page 47)

    {Many Armenians were hidden by neighbors during the peak hours of the massacres and then helped them to escape} (page 47)

  11. Although we know that the defeat is not a choice for us, I hope our leadership has a plan A and B if the worse God forbids happens to come again, Armenia and Artsakh are being sandwiched by Turkic people, who unfortunately for last century by majority mentally hasn’t changed a bit yet, they always cause a tension in the region, which slows down the advancements in order to have a prospers and peaceful life, Armenians has no choice but to be ready all the time to defend themselves and the little what left to them from their lands, and that demand a world wide effort by all of us, to protect our motherland which is the main guaranty of the survival our nation.

  12. I think little is known about the fact that In Baku and Sumgait, Azeris drew crosses with a blackboard chalk on the apartments and houses of Armenians so that the violent crowd of Azeris will easily find Armenian houses in dark and exterminate Armenians.

    Blackboard chalk was a great substance to use for that purpose since it can be seen in dark and it can be removed easily afterwards .

    I firmly believe that Turks (Azeris) and Armenians cannot cohabit. The only way that we can survive between those two Turkish countries if there is a Kurdistan and Armenia will have no boarders with Turkey. If that happens Armenia will prosper. I am sure Armenia will have very good relations with Kurds (Kurdistan) like we have with Iran.

    • I knew many Azeri neighbors stood by and watched as their Armenian neighbors were being attacked; many also enthusiastically participated in the looting and destruction of their Armenian neighbors’ apartments. But I did not know they actually placed signs for the mobs to find and possibly kill people they had lived with as neighbors for years.

      You are right about the rest, Stella.

  13. Dear Avery,
    Your above ¨Armenian portraits of survival¨ by Miller and lorna Touryan,I have.As soon as i read your above post,I went to my library and voila,but it was published
    (dated 1994,in Horizontal format) .I wonder if the one you refer to is a later edition and with more than just Photos.The pages are not numbered-me looking for page 47).No problem.I believe what you write anyhow is 100% true.
    As to what armen writes above….
    YOU ARE RIGHT THESE PEOPLE(NEVER MIND A FEW PEBBLES IN THE OCEAN,(LIKE jda, ABOVE) are out to completely anniohilate us.They are really worse than Gidler!!!!.I just on Armenian H1 T.v. how at Taksim sq. on Feb.26 the MOB WAS THERE AGAIN ..like in 1953,when they took to the streets and pillaged the Greek stores etc.This an AmericaN FRIEND COMING TO SEE US FURTHER AWAY had witnessed and narrated to us….anyhow…

  14. It was interesting to note that in the racist khojaly demonstrations in istanbul last week, there was no mention whatsoever of the illegal azeri immigrants in that town that go to the ARMENIAN PATRIARCHATE for free food, clothing, and necessities. See, Armenians do not ask what ethnicity a person is before extending a kindness to them.

    • I have no doubt that Armenians will shelter and take care of those who are in need and not direct savages to attack innocent people like Azeris did during Sumgait and Baku’s massacre…

      Unfortunately TUrks/Azeris who still live in the stoneage times, don’t understand that Armenians are peaceful people and when they try to portray us as savages like themselves, it won’t work…..Turks/Azeris nationalists who are their govt puppets will do anything to stir everyone from the truth.. that won’t work either……

      So their plea that ARmenians kill without a remorse with their fake demonstrations have no grounds and provides more exposure to more questioning from the outside world as to how these Azeris/Turks with such a backward thinking can do all this and still walk freely without a scratch…well we know the answer but ..

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