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Correspondents of APA have visited the liberated lands from occupation by Azerbaijani Army under the leadership of Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev. Our employees have prepared a series of reportages in the rubric “In the footsteps of victory”. We present the next reportage from these series:
Command points, from which Armenians controlled battles
Every mountain, every valley, every plain, every hill in Fuzuli bear traces of the patriotic War of 44 days. Every inch of here has been liberated at the expense of the blood, the soul of our soldiers. Armenian armed forces’ barricades, blindages, trenches, destroyed, burnt to ground tanks, military equipment, rocket warheads, pinned to the ground like a tree, which we see along the road are its clear proof.
Unlike Aghdam, such kinds of scenes can be seen everywhere in Fuzuli (in Jabrayil a day later). Most of the Armenian tanks, military equipment were just shot and remained on the side of the road, some of them in the slope of hills, middle of plains. I wonder which of these tanks, military equipment were shot by the drones that we watched during the war with great interest and attention, which by artillery fires. Armenian military trophies, demonstrated in the Victory Parade in Baku, were a part of them. Many of them are in these mountains, valleys, plains, they are expecting the moment to be carried out and relevantly “destroyed”. Militaries, of whom we pass by just now, are joining one of the Armenian tanks, which was shot and destroyed, our tank and taking it from the territory. Intensive work is underway.
We see a plowed area on the left side of the road to Fuzuli. Although it looks like a sowing area, it is, in fact, a mowing area, these territories are “plowed” while cleaning from mines with special machines.
Leaving behind destroyed houses (which of them was not destroyed!) of Kand Horadiz, we are climbing to barricade – blindage that was a command control point of Armenians at the top of the hill in front of us during the war. Armenian commanders controlled battles from here battles around Fuzuli, Horadiz. These are blindages, half of which were dug in the ground like a mole nest, and their front sides were built with cubic stones. There is an iron table in front of one of the buildings, its inside is in a mess, empty canning jars, water bottles, clothing of Armenian militaries… Empty projectile boxes were put one on another on one side of the blindage, there are iron barrels around it.
- What is it for? – I ask our guard showing a plastic human figure, thrown at the ground.
- Armenians put them on military uniforms and put them in barricades as if they are soldiers. – Strongly kicks the model.
- Were battles conducted here?
It is possible to see clearly traces of battles a little ahead; burnt tank, “PK” machine gun, shot down and remained by it, cartridge-case, stuck in the mud, projectiles, full bullets… This Armenian tank was shooting in our direction, it was destroyed without achieving its goal.
Rest of mine-cleaners
We see a detachment of soldiers on our road. They made a fire from the woods of a projectile box and gathered around it. We approach and ask about their mood.
Dirty boots, hands, frozen from cold, faces, damaged by the frost...
They are barricaders, they clean the territory from mines. Different mine-cleaning devices, protective clothes have been put one on another in distance.
Unfortunately, we don’t have permission to shoot soldiers, that is why we talk to them generally, do not write their names. They also did not agree with it.
- What do you want to tell our close, native people?
Although they smile, none of them say anything. As if they are ashamed.
- From which region did you come?
- There are residents of all regions. – One of the answers.
- From which region did you come? – I ask the same soldier.
- From Aghsu
- For how many months are you here?
- How is the service here?
They are smiling. The smile of soldiers makes us warm more than the heat of the fire.
- You expelled Armenians from these territories. I have also been a soldier, but during our period we were not allowed to expel Armenians. It is your share. What do you feel?
- Is there any feeling better than it? – said one of the soldiers.
- Be courageous, if any of you have a word, say it, - is their commander.
- Commander, maybe you can say. What are you doing here?
- We are a barricade team.
- We clean the territory from mines. – He does not speak. Commander is like his soldiers, he does not speak so much.
- How much territory do you clean per day?
- We have already cleaned the 10 hectares area today, we will continue until night.
Woods have been placed in the territory, the red ribbon has been put along the perimeter.
- Why do you use the red ribbon?
- There has been a sowing area of Armenians. The territory on this side of the ribbon has already been cleaned, but the other side has not.
- How many mines have been cleaned from the sowing territory?
- There has not been a mine. The weapon has been found from the territory on the opposite side of the road. We have already cleaned from mine and weapons there, it has been plowed and sowed.
Thus, first grain sowing has been conducted in the liberated territories from occupation. Just eating products of these territories in this period of the next year is left.
- Are there many mines? – I ask again.
- Mine has not found here, many mines have been cleaned from sowing territory in the front. If you are going toward Fuzuli, you will see, it is on your road.
- Did Armenian mined the territories while leaving or beforehand?
- No, Armenians sowed grain here before the war, here was sowing territories. But when they saw they are defeated, mined everywhere and left. Did you see it while leaving? There was a burnt car, which has a brindle, in the bend. Ours shot it. Look, that machine mined a territory of two kilometers along the side of the road. – It is true, we saw such a car when we came. – We have cleaned all of them. As we clean them, employees of Azerishig put electricity stands. Shusha will be supplied with electric power. Employees are in front of them. Maybe, you will meet them.
- Did you participated in battles? – I ask the soldiers again.
None of them speaks.
There are some among them, who participated in battles. But they are mine cleaner. They go in the front, open the road, the army goes behind them. – their commander says.
- Is your loss too much?
- One of our overtime military servicemen was martyred, we have two injured.
Our Flag, waiving in the “Circle of Dadali”
Leaving behind soldiers, destroyed villages destructed houses, we arrive at the place, called “Circle of Dadali” (“Dədəlinin kruqu”). A police post has been set here. Fuzuli city starts from the other side of the post. We stop the car and ask the police about our road, the location of the villages, which we will go.
- You were coming through a forest, there was Ishigli. – Police, we met in the post, said. It is that village. – He returns back and calls his police friends in the iron shelter with an open front.
- Yes, it is, - sounds from the shelter. Police and soldiers are standing inside. They are a heating meals in the iron stove.
- Dead chickens are thrown on people there, - says previous police.
- Why? – I surprise.
- People are slandered. – He looks towards the shelter and smiles. God knows, with which of his police friends he jokes.
- You said here is “Circle of Dadali” (“Dədəlinin kruqu”), yes?
- Yes, its upper part is “Circle of Aybatanli”. You turn from there, the city starts. This road leads to the bus station.
- Brother, come and help yourself. – Police inside speak again.
- No, bon appetite, - I answer.
- Did you enter Fuzuli itself?
- Yes, that is all.
- There has been a monument to Fuzuli in the center of Fuzuli. Did not you see?
I show the monument to Fuzuli on phone:
- It should be such a monument. It was in the center, middle of the park, as it is said.
- We did not see a monument in Fuzuli. Monument of dishonest persons here, we destroyed it, put our flag instead. – He shows “Circle of Dadali”. A flag is waving in the middle of the circle.
- But where is Garghabazar village? There must be Shah Abbas mosque.
- Look, you go for 4 kilometers in the opposite direction, there is a village in the down, on the left of the road. It is Garghabazar village. But be careful of mine.
- There is a human, mosque in the center of Fuzuli center. Does it remain?
- Its place remains but destroyed wholly.
- Were battles conducted here?
- Battles were conducted in all points of Fuzuli. Look, there is their military unit in the front. As our President said, all of them were destroyed. But there is the Fuzuli City Police Department, a Department of Ministry of Emergency Situations now.
We said goodbye to the police in the post and arrive at the place, where the military unit of Armenians was situated previously.
Every stone, every detail here speaks about the flee of Armenians in hurry. There was a monument to the memory of the loss of Armenians in the April battles on the cross sign on the ground at the administrative building of the military unit. This monument does not exist now. Our soldiers took it as they entered here. A flag, raised by Azerbaijani President Mr. Ilham Aliyev is waving in the front of the building.
We enter Fuzuli passing through military unit.
As President said, it is not possible to fing a undestructed building in Fuzuli city. There is not trace of the city, which has a modern infrastructure earlier. You can see stones-walls of houses in Aghdam while looking from distance, but Fuzuli city got lost among bushes, trees, melt among destruction of administrative buildings, houses, streets, roads, forests, jungle and disappeared. Center of Fuzuli district, which has one of the most ancient human residences like Azikh, has been a center of foxes and jackal (!) in both senses of words.
History of Fuzuli city
However, Fuzuli, considered one of the large residential places, was established in 1827. The district was founded on the basis of Garabulag residential place in 1930 and was called Garyagin. The Center of the region was the Garyagin settlement, it covered Gozluchay, Kondalanchay villages and villages along Araz River and both sides of the Fuzuli-Aghdam highway. The name of the district was changed on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Muhammad Fuzuli in 1959 and named Fuzuli district.
Fuzuli district is rich with historical-religious monuments, especially tombs. These monuments include the octagonal tomb of Sheikh Babi Yagub (13th century) in the village of Babi, the 14th-century Mirali tomb in the village of Ashagi Veysalli, the tomb on a box-shaped tombstone in the medieval cemetery in the village of Ahmadalilar, Jalil's tomb, which is said to belong to the 19th-century. Giyas ad-Din mosque is situated on the top of rock, in the upper part of Shah Abbas caravanserai in Garghabazar village. One of our next destinations will be Garghabazar village. But our work in the city has not ended yet.
Finding monument to Fuzuli
We learned before visit that monument to Fuzuli was erected in the park in the center of the city. Truly, finding the monument, stuyding its latest situation was also interesting for me as a person, who brought with love to the great poet in the familty from childhood. But how would I do it? A person, who was born in Fuzuli, could do it with a difficulty, let alone me.
My visit friends shoot in front of a nice wall, left behind (if I am not mistaken) from History-Ethnography Museum. According to my information, our flag in Fuzuli city was put here for the first time. I move away from them, go down, I say that maybe I will see something. There are just destroyed houses, blackberry bushes, acacia, birch trees yet. Right part of me is full greenery, buildings are not seen. I think that if there is no building in this part of the city, which was once the center of the city, then the park was somewhere. And suddenly I saw the collapsed plinth (?) about 50 meters away. I do not dare to approach alone (mine!). I call the police, our guide. A guide comes, looks around, and after determining that it is safe, we approach and explore the area around the plinth.
The around of the plinth is filled with pieces of stone-concrete. Moreover, for many years the grass, sand covered it. I walk behind the plinth to see what's there. Whatever is good! The foot part of the monument (Which monument? I don't know yet.). I quickly cleaned the stone and found the body of the monument. Honestly, I do not want to believe, I mean, I found the monument to Fuzuli on the first attempt? As if removing the victim from the rubble of the earthquake, I slowly clean the sides of the figure from stones, and when I throw the pieces of stone, I pay attention (again mine!), this time the arm of the monument is seen. Then I compare the image I have with the remains of the monument I found.
Yeah! It seems that I found a monument to Fuzuli. Frankly, I can't believe it. Maybe he found me, I didn't find him. He wanted me to find him! Or how I came and found directly it as if I had left it with my hand! No work has been taken so easily before this age (the place of the smile is seen here).
Maybe it's another monument, not Fuzuli's? At that moment, I call our shooting crew. They come, look and they also confirm that the statue belongs to Fizuli.
In the case we have found a monument to Fuzuli in this ruin, it will probably be interesting for all of us to know its history. Then let's hear Samir Sadigov, Doctor of Philosophy in Art History.
According to him, the statue of the great Azerbaijani poet was erected in Fuzuli in 1970: “The author of the monument is People's Artist, sculptor Jalal Qaryagdi. However, I found this information only in Jamila Novruzova's book "Azerbaijan Soviet Sculpture". The author of the monument is mentioned in one sentence, no additional information is given about the dimensions and material. There is no information on the monument in other sources.
Sadigov also draws attention to the similarity of style between the existing monument and other monuments authored by Jalal Qaryagdi – monument to Carl Marx and Nariman Narimanov: “Furthermore, Jalal was considered one of our famous sculptors in the 70s. All this gives reason to say that the author of the statue in Fuzuli is Jalal Qaryagdi.
It seems remains of the monument of great poet we found in Fuzuli city is not just a monument, it is an example of art, coming from hack of great artist.
We are leaving the city with nice impressions of finding monument to Fuzuli. Our road is to Gochahmadli village. We intend to shoot mosques belong to the 18-19th centuries, Sari Baba there.
(to be continued)
You can read next: What stopped our car in Gochahmadli? The current state of 4-century-old monuments in the village of Garghabazar. A secret well in front of the Qiyas ad-Din mosque. Mysterious monuments in the center of Garghabazar village.