ISSN 2330-717X

Western Azerbaijan Republic Declared By Professor In Turkey: Government In Exile To Be Formed – OpEd


The situation in the South Caucasus has become even more fraught now that Gafar Chahmagli, an ethnic Azerbaijani whose ancestor come from what is now Armenia and who specializes on Armenian affairs at the University of Kayseri, has declared the formation of the Republic of Western Azerbaijan in exile.

The new organization seeks to reclaim for descendants of its earlier Azerbaijani population much of the territory now occupied by the Republic of Armenia, an action Chahmagli says is both right and just and has long been discussed by Azerbaijanis whose ancestors were forced to leave their homeland (

“History shows how right we are to take this step,” Chahmagli says. “Our state has always been in Western Azerbaijan, which for centuries has been our permanent homeland. Out state has never allowed national and religious discrimination there. The Irevan [Yerevan] Khanate, one of the heirs to Azerbaijani statehood, is not a distant memory.”

“Russia put an end to our statehood by occupying Irevan,” he continues. “Despite the fact that Irevan was transferred to Armenia in 1918 with some concessions, the Armenians rejected these concessions and did not give Zangezur autonomy and later occupied Karabakh.” Armenia expanded, and Azerbaijanis were expelled from there between 1918 and 1953.

According to the Turkish professor, “the main goal of the Republic of Western Azerbaijan (Irevan), which is dominated by the intelligentsia is to return all historical lands, including Yerevan, Zangebasar, Goichu, Zangezur, Gyumri, Drlayza and all remaining historical lands within the borders of modern Armenia.”

The group plans to have elections and to set up a National Council of the West Azerbaijan Republic in exile to press its claims.

The Azerbaijani blog, “The Wind from Apsheron,” says that “this is important international news” and that the formation of such exile organizations and governments can play a major role in achieving the goals they proclaim, although the blog concedes that things don’t always work out that way (

The blog insists that “there is nothing bade in this initiative, and if affairs are correctly carried out, if the Azerbaijan republic supports them and defends the interests of the Republic of Iravan, then in the foreseeable future, under incredible conditions and perhaps even blood, those who have been driven out can become a real power of a genuinely liberated Azerbaijani land.”

Many Azerbaijanis regularly point out that much of the land now within the borders of Armenia was populated by Azerbaijanis – even President Ilham Aliiyev has made that observation — just as many Armenians routinely observe that many of the residents of Baku at the same period were Armenians.

But this is one of the first steps to move beyond words to some kind of action, although its most likely consequence is not the achievement of the goals Chahmagli has announced but rather deepened suspicions and a hardening of attitudes among Armenians about Azerbaijani and in this case in particular Turkish intentions. 

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Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

8 thoughts on “Western Azerbaijan Republic Declared By Professor In Turkey: Government In Exile To Be Formed – OpEd

  • May 13, 2020 at 12:22 am

    This is completely insane.

  • May 13, 2020 at 12:26 am

    What can one say but just laugh. One needs to remind these fools that Coca-Cola is older than Azerbaijan.

  • May 13, 2020 at 6:50 am

    Azerbaijan bases its land claim on the region of Nagorno-Karabakh on what it calls the “internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan.” Yet, Paul Goble and the state-controlled Azerbaijani press now demand all of Armenia by ignoring the internationally recognized borders of Armenia. Paul Goble and Baku have again failed!

    In any event, Armenians exercise sovereignty over both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, regardless of Azerbaijani claims de jour.

    Yerevan, Armenia

    • May 23, 2020 at 1:56 pm

      Armenians still surpise themselves and shock others with their unfounded claims. I could have been impolite but unlike those who commented on this platform as Armenians, I prefer to be an intellectual with proper upbrnging.

      As it comes to you, David, you should have realized that it is XXI century outside now, u want it or not, this is the truth, and have to abide by international laws as the structure of the international relations dictate it. You are right that Azerbaijan has lost 20 per cent of its internationally recognozed lands to the Armenian occupation in early 1990 with 100-per-cent backing, first of the Soviet treacheous leadership and then the Russian imperial leaders.

      And, whether or not Azerbaijan will de-occupy the occupied districts and Karabakh itself, this is beyond any doubt. The first shot was made in 2016 and the next and final is in the making. I feel Armenians are laughing in their beard now, it is up to you but remember – he who laughs last , laughs longest.

      In the end, remember, you are aborigens neither of Karabakh, nor present-day Armenia. If you do not believe my words, go to Amasiya district, if you do not know where it is – let me tell you – travel to Leninakan – now Gyumri – pass by Russian military base No 102 and then via the valley get to Amasiya and you will see one burstling region with its villages of Gullubullaq, Azisbayov, Oxcoglu, Tapakand, Yeniyol and so on are absolutely empty with one or two families engaged in husbandry. If not persuaded, ask some Armenians who might still some traces of humanity.

  • May 13, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Several days ago I sent you a comment which exposed Goble as a source who couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth about the Armenian/Azeri conflict. I made a convincing case to buttress my point. I see you have decided not to publish my comment. I wonder why.

    • May 23, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      Paul Goble is a decent man with encyclopedic knowledge of the whole region.

  • June 6, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    I just wonder if the author is aware of when Azerbaijan was was a state as such.
    May be he has to refer to some historical fact.
    Corruption will make person change shirts easily but truth and honest will be remember for ever.

  • June 19, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    What a prime example of “pen for hire”. Articles like this are written for the west. Even then it will fall on deaf ears. The people of Europe and the middle east and the Caucasus know the history of the Armenians as well as who the lands belong to. They also know the character of the Turks and Azeri’s. There is a reason why there is a saying that Turk/Azeri can never be trusted. Even social media does not trust them, just as Twitter and FB who shuts down fake news and accounts tied to the Turkish government on a daily basis. Enjoy that Steak dinner provided by the government of Azerbaijan, Paul.


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