Armenian Embassy: Azeri claims on the Greek village of Mehmana is their usual policy of Armenophobia

Artsakh Mehmana greek greeks greece armenia armenians armenian

The report broadcast on July 5 by CBC TV Azerbaijan and disseminated in Greek by the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Hellenic Republic regarding the village of Mehmana in Artsakh and its historical and cultural heritage, is nothing more than the usual Azerbaijani policy of Armenophobia, an irritating attempt to "export" to other countries the policy of inciting hatred against Armenians.

The village of Mehmana in the Martakert region of Artsakh, was founded by four Greek miners, who, according to their descendants, were Pontic Greeks and survivors of the Genocide. Before the invasion, Greeks and Armenians lived here, side by side. Also, there were many mixed Armenian-Greek families.

In 1992, as a result of the large-scale offensive launched by Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan occupied the village of Mehmana, along with the entire Martakert region, thus forcing the Greek residents of the area, along with thousands of Armenians, to leave their homes.

Ms. Sofie Ivanidou, whose parents are from Mehmana and is the President of the "Greek Community of the Republic of Artsakh", as well as a television journalist in Artsakh, said that during the Artsakh war, the Greeks of Artsakh turned to Greek government with a request to recognise and accept them, and the Greek government did.

In this context, in 1992 many Greek-Armenian families from Artsakh settled in Greece. At that time, her parents decided to stay in Artsakh, despite the fact that they had in their hands a Permanent Residence Card in Greece, granted to them by the Greek government.

"We stayed in Artsakh and lived through the difficult days of the Artsakh war with all, having an honest victory," she said.

Mehmana was liberated a year later. Its inhabitants also participated in its liberation.

The village of Mehmana, which was completely destroyed by the armed forces of Azerbaijan, was rebuilt, and some of the Greeks returned to the village, among them the 80-year-old grandfather of Ms. Sofie Ivanidou, Mr. Nikola Ivanidis.

The 80-year-old breathed his last fifteen years ago, in his village, in his Homeland.

The images in the CBC TV Azerbaijan report about the "encroachments" against the Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek historical and cultural heritage are also a product of distortion and do not correspond with reality.

The church, which is mentioned in the report, is located in Gevorgavan, Martouni region and is a Russian church which, by the way, was damaged during the first war - launched by Azerbaijan - and during of the 2020 44-day war. As a result, it was not possible to restore the church.

Mehmana Artsakh Nagorno-Karabakh


The report deliberately does not make any mention about another Orthodox Church that was destroyed by the Azerbaijani authorities: Greek Orthodox (Russian) Cathedral Church of the Holy Great Martyr George of Nikephoros in Shushi.

The Greeks of Artsakh also visited the Cathedral. In the early 1960s, when the leadership of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic decided to demolish the Armenian section of Shusi, the church was also dismantled. In its place, the House of Culture was built.

The CBC TV report is another attempt by Azerbaijan's propaganda machine to divert the attention of the international community from the actual events: the bombing of Armenian churches by Azerbaijan during 2020 military operations and a policy aimed at the disappearance, erasure and elimination of every Armenian trace in the territories that came under their control after the ceasefire agreement.

Regarding Azerbaijan's policy, which aims to eliminate all Armenian traces and the alteration of historical and cultural monuments in the territories that passed under the control of Azerbaijan, in March 2022 the European Parliament adopted a resolution entitled "Regarding the destruction of of cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh (2022/2582(RSP)".

The specific resolution calls on Azerbaijan to take the necessary measures to prevent the destruction and vandalism against the Armenian cultural heritage and to punish those who carry out similar actions.

Also, the resolution mentions the establishment in Azerbaijan of a special committee, with the aim of "Afghanization" of Armenian cultural monuments. The mission of this special commission is the conversion of Armenian cultural and religious monuments, with their consequent usurpation.

With similar actions, Azerbaijan continues to provoke and question the entire civilized society, defying the decision of the UN International Court of Justice from December 7, 2021, regarding the implementation of emergency measures.

This Decision clearly obliges Azerbaijan "take all necessary measures to prevent and punish acts of vandalism and desecration affecting Armenian cultural heritage, including but not limited to churches and other places of worship, monuments, landmarks, cemeteries and artifacts."

In order to preserve the historical and cultural monuments of Artsakh and protect them from further vandalism, now, more than ever, the intervention of the international community, especially UNESCO, is urgent. Azerbaijan continues to obstruct the implementation of a UNESCO fact-finding mission.

Additional information in Armenian and Greek can be found at the following related links:

Στο Ναγκόρνο-Καραμπάχ υπάρχει ένα ποντιακό χωριό, το Μεχμανά

Embassy of Armenia in Greece.

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Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor