One of the saddest days in the history of Azerbaijan, remembered with blood and pain, undoubtedly occurred on March 31, 1918. Armenian and Bolshevik forces massacred tens of thousands of innocent people because they were Turks and Muslims.

The main purpose of the Bolsheviks, who seized power in Russia with the October Revolution of 1917, in targeting the Caucasus was undoubtedly to occupy Baku and claim its oil.

The most important point of the region was Azerbaijan, which has oil reserves.

It is seen that Armenian terrorist organizations such as Dashnak, Ramgavar and Hunchak, which allied with the Russian army during the First World War, launched large-scale destruction plans against Azerbaijani Turks in Baku, Nakhchivan, Kuba, Ganja, Karabakh and Zangezur.


In order to seize power in Baku and completely dominate Azerbaijan, an army of terrorists called ‘Red Guards’, 70 percent of which were Armenians, was established.

On March 30, Armenians gathered around the Armenian church and started raiding the neighborhood.

The terrible massacre committed by the Armenians in 1918 was reflected in official documents with the following figures:

a In the Shamakhi region, 58 villages were destroyed and 7 thousand people, including 1653 women and 965 children, were killed.

b In Kuba (Guba), 122 villages were plundered and destroyed and 16 thousand people were killed.

c More than 150 villages were burned and destroyed in Upper Karabakh.

d 115 Muslim villages were destroyed in the Zangezur district.

  1. 12 thousand Azerbaijani Turks were massacred in Baku.
  2. 211 Turkish villages were destroyed in Yerevan.

As a result, approximately 132 thousand Azerbaijani Turks were massacred in 1918.

The pain that has not subsided for 106 years

Turks migrated from Baku, took refuge in the south and asked for help from the Ottoman Empire. The Caucasus Islamic Army under the command of Nuri Pasha cleared the Armenian and Bolshevik forces from Azerbaijani lands in a short time.

Azerbaijani Turks gained independence and Baku became the capital of the Azerbaijani People’s Republic.

The Azerbaijani people have never forgotten these massacres.

On March 26, 1998, by the decision of President Heydar Aliyev, March 31 was declared ‘Genocide Day of Azerbaijanis’.

The most brutal genocides committed against Turks are the genocides suffered by Azerbaijani Turks. Azerbaijani Turks have been subjected to regular genocide for the last 150 years.

The first planned deportation and genocide of Azerbaijani Turks by Armenians to establish “Greater Armenia” took place between 1905-1907.

Azerbaijani Turks were later expelled from their own lands by force for the second time in 1918-20.

As a result of the Armenians’ “Armenia without Turks” policy, the number of Muslim-Turkish population of Yerevan was 375 thousand people in 1916. In 1922, this number decreased to 70 thousand.

Azerbaijani Turks living in Armenia during the USSR period. In 1948-53, approximately 150 thousand Azerbaijani Turks were expelled from Armenia, their historical homeland, and Azerbaijani Turks were subjected to deportation for the third time.

Savaş Eğilmez

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