Baku, February 21, AZERTAC
Turkey commemorated on Wednesday the 26th anniversary of the Khojaly massacre, which took place in 1992 in Azerbaijan’s now-occupied region of Karabakh during the war with Armenia, Anadolu Agency reports.
Officials, including Azerbaijani Ambassador to Ankara Hazar Ibrahim and Turkish president's chief advisor Yalcin Topcu attended the commemorative ceremony in Kizilcahamam near the capital Ankara.
Ibrahim said: “Our sister country Turkey was always on our side. Azerbaijan also stands by Turkey. Turkey and Azerbaijan are always brothers. I hope this brotherhood will last forever.”
“My friend, who could not stand the torture of the Armenian forces, was thrown into the garbage,” Durdane Aghayeva, an Azerbaijani who was witness to the massacre, said.
“We will never forget those days as nation,” Aghayeva said.
“The Khojaly massacre was orchestrated deliberately. Its purpose was to frighten Azerbaijanis and Turks and to wrest Karabakh out of Azerbaijani control. This massacre was a huge genocide,” Nakhchivan State University history and philosophy lecturer Elchin Zamanov told Anadolu Agency.
The massacre of Feb. 25-26, 1992 is regarded as one of the bloodiest and most controversial incidents of the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan for control of the now-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region.
On the heels of the Soviet Union’s dissolution, Armenian forces took over the town of Khojaly in Karabakh on Feb. 26 after battering it with heavy artillery and tanks, assisted by an infantry regiment. When the massacre happened, the population of the town was more than 11,000.
The two-hour offensive killed 613 Azeri citizens, including 116 women and 63 children and critically injured 487 others, according to Azerbaijani figures. One hundred and fifty of the 1,275 Azerbaijanis that the Armenians captured during the massacre remain missing.
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