Nubar Melkonyan, the director of the Martyr Nubar Ozanyan Armenian Battalion, Syria’s first Armenian battalion, answered ANF’s questions about the conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Karabakh, about what they want to do, the forces behind them and perception operations. For Nubar Melkonyan, the Turkish state takes part as the mastermind of the Armenia-Azerbaijan war and is using Azerbaijan to increase its hegemony in the Caucasus.
The interview with Nubar Melkonyan is as follows:
How do you evaluate the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Karabakh? What role do international powers play in this war? Where is the Turkish state in this war?
At first, we condemn and curse aggression and these attacks. This war, seen as the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, is actually a war planned and organized by the Turkish state. The Turkish state takes part in this war by making all the calculations. 150 Turkish military officers, consisting of senior Turkish military officials, are coordinating this war. Turkish warplanes and pilots also take part in the air strikes over Armenian settlements. Upper level military forces affiliated with the Turkish General Staff are involved in these attacks. There are so many drones both from Israel and belonging to Bayraktar.
In short, the apparent war between Azerbaijan and Karabakh is actually run entirely by the Turkish state. They are already making statements as if they were Azerbaijani foreign affairs officials. The statements about the ceasefire and the war are made by the Turkish Ministry of National Defense, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan rather than the Azerbaijani administration. They are the spokespersons in this war. First of all, it is not futile for the Turkish state to surveil this war both on the table and on the field. The second is that all these wars have various aspects. International powers have plans, calculations and interests in the region. The local reactionaries and states in the region have benefits and interests and plans for the future. There are serious interests and calculations of both international and regional powers behind the scenes.
Therefore, we condemn the aggression of the Turkish state, which carries out its policies not only on the table but also on the field. We know that the same aggression is being performed against Kurds and Armenians living in the North, South and Rojava Kurdistan. If you pay attention, there are simultaneous attacks. On the one hand, we see that there are assaults against Heftanin, on the other hand, there are threats and invasion plans against Rojava. There are also offences on Kurdish workers and HDP in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan. These attacks coincide with the ones against Armenia. These are not contingent. They are parts of a whole. The Turkish state cannot live without enemies. It is an absolute fascist state which always creates an enemy and consolidates its power in its own country through this perception. It also provokes hostility among the peoples, and tries to gain benefit here through invasion plans.
You noted that this war is organized and waged entirely by the Turkish state. So what is the interest of the Turkish state in this war?
What kind of an interest does the Turkish state have in this war? It has interests under many different headings. First, it has a historical enmity towards the Armenian people. The second is that the Turkish state wishes to take advantage of oil and gas in the region belonging to the Azeri administration. The third is to make the Azeri administration dependent on the Turkish state, to increase the control of the Turkish state over the Caucasus and its hegemony in the region. It wants to destroy and erase the Armenians from history under the pretext of “occupation of Azerbaijani lands in Nagorno-Karabakh”.
Armenians consider this situation like this. We consider these attacks as a second wave of genocide. There is a fear of genocide in the memories of the Armenian people. This fear has not ended for 105 years, and it does not seem to end. Because these fears will not end until the aggression and provocation related to genocide is over. That is why the Armenian people are scattered all over the world.
A spirit of unity developed among all Armenians. Just as the Turkish state’s attacks against Afrin and Serêkaniyê created a great spirit of hardship and a feeling of defending their own lands together, re-expressing their own consciousness, all Armenians in the world are together now with their own peoples in Armenia and Karabakh to develop a sense of protection.
Those living in the Karabakh region aspire to autonomy rather than dependence on Armenia or Azerbaijan. How should this aspiration of the people living in Karabakh be seen?
Today, just as nations speak about their own destinies as republics, they have the right to claim autonomy. This right belongs to the people, to the nation living on those lands. They have the right to speak and determine freely as they please. In other words, since they strive for Democratic Autonomy, these rights should be respected, accepted, embraced and supported. The same can be said about Nagorno-Karabakh. It is an invasion attack by Turkish state against a people aiming for their own destiny. And it is also an attack to destroy the Armenians.
The Turkish state claims that forces in Syria, including the Nubar Ozanyan Armenian Battalion, have been deployed to Karabakh. Has anyone from Rojava or your battalion gone to the region?
The Turkish state, as we know, is an expert on genocide, massacre, plunder and looting. Its second expertise relates to distorting reality, turning it inside out, and creating a world of lies. The primary goal of the Armenian Battalion in Rojava is to protect the Armenians and their lands in Rojava. A second aim is to protect its own language and culture, lost in the genocide. The Armenian Battalion is now in its place and the Armenian army does not need this battalion. The main task of the Nubar Ozanyan Armenian Battalion is to protect itself and all Armenians on this land within the Democratic Autonomous Administration.
The Turkish state wants to create a false impression and a perception of its enemy, as it does in all other world affairs. It creates a perception of terror in both its attack on Rojava and Southern Kurdistan and its attack on Armenia because it is the most accepted and most supported perception. Therefore, it creates a fake world through the most popular misconception. The Turkish state continues its attacks on the grounds that “there is terror there” by making statements to the democratic public and the whole world public opinion.
We know that this perception is completely false. Besides, everybody knows that PKK members are not in Armenia. Because it’s not Kurdistan. Because the PKK wages its freedom struggle on its own territory. There is no reason for PKK to be in Armenia. There are neither many Kurds there, nor are they planning to liberate those lands and the people there. Likewise, the YPG does not have such a plan and tendency. They are self-defense forces based on defending their own lands. Nubar Ozanyan Armenian Battalion is the self-defense force of the lands of Rojava. Therefore, there is no reason for being in Armenia. There is no such situation and the battalion is currently working on its own field.
Documents have been released in the press that the armed groups (ISIS, FSA, Al Nusra etc.) affiliated with the Turkish state in Syria have been deployed to Azerbaijan. What is planned with these groups deployed to Azerbaijan after Libya?
The best export item of the Turkish state throughout history and today is military. The Turkish state, which is historically boasted of sending troops everywhere throughout history and running horses in 3 continents, is sending gangs along with sending troops. It is sending gangs to Libya, Rojava and Southern Kurdistan and now to Armenia because these are the cheapest ones in terms of both capital and costs. It also aims to prevent anger among their own people. It is because when people living in Turkey die, the blame would be put on the Turkish state and the AKP-MHP regime. Therefore, by training and recruiting the gangs there, it eliminates such a risk, relieves its own public opinion, and will not feel pressure.
A second reason is that these are gangs without any purpose. These gangs go blindly wherever there is a possibility of looting, pillage and rape. This is one of their own structural features. By providing more financial support, the Turkish state deploy them to suppress the Armenians and the Kurds for different reasons, yet on the same basis. It uses them as export goods. These are armies of massacre, genocide, pillage and rape. As a matter of fact, the deployed gangs plundered the Azerbaijani lands, kidnapped and raped women. In other words, it harms not only the Armenian people, but also the Azerbaijani people that it supposedly claims to defend. Wherever they go, they cause trouble to the people.
The Turkish state continues its racist policies aggressively. This is clearly seen in Karabakh as well. What do you think about the politics of racism?
Note that when the Turkish state invaded Rojava, the Kurdish people, like Armenians and Assyrians, were exiled from their own lands for the second time. Armenians in Girê Spî and Serêkaniyê were subjected to genocide for the second time; they were expelled from their own lands. Therefore, the same was done to Assyrians and Arabs. Today, the most accepted politics in Turkey is racism. Nobody has any objection except revolutionaries, and real intellectuals. This is only partial. Because most of the people tend to accept this lying and racist mentality. Therefore, the same things are happening to Arabs now. Because the Arabs have become subjected to the racism that is originally implemented over Kurds and Armenians. We see the attacks against the Arab people and workers in the press. They are also the victims of this racism and aggression.
What should be done against these attacks of the Turkish state? Do you have any message to the public?
Everyone who cares about honor and peace all over the world, especially the Armenians, should stand up, first of all, against this occupying, genocidal, plundering and expansionist policy of the Turkish state and condemn it. They should stand up and protest wherever they are. They should denounce the policies of Turkish institutions in their countries. Thus, they should show that they are with the oppressed.
There are very rare historical moments in history. The demands, destinies and futures of the Kurdish people and the Armenian people have never matched this much. Note that the reasons for the threats against Armenians in Armenia as well as Kurds and other peoples in Rojava are the same. For example, the people are called “Armenian terrorists” in Armenia and the Kurds are called “Kurdish terrorists.” The Turkish state considers the Kurds as “Kurdish terrorists” and targets the Kurds in Armenia. Furthermore, it targets the Kurds in Rojava. Consequently, the reasons of both the Kurdish people and the Armenian people to act together in all aspects have become stronger than ever. Their fates and futures are common, their feelings are common. And therefore, the Kurds should support the Armenians in every possible way. The Armenians should also regard the attacks against the Kurds and Rojava as an attack against them. This is basic theory. Let’s not forget, that everyone has his/her own turn.