Իվանյան • Ivanyan
The panorama of Khojali town
|Country|| Azerbaijan (de jure)|
Artsakh (de facto)
|Rayon||Khojaly (de jure)|
|Province||Askeran (de facto)|
|Elevation||570 m (1,870 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+4 (UTC)|
Khojaly (Azerbaijani: Xocalı) is de jure a town in the Khojaly District of Azerbaijan; since 1992, it is under the de facto control of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh as part of its Askeran Province, where it was renamed Ivanyan (Armenian: Իվանյան). The village was one of the largest Azerbaijani towns in the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast until the massacre of its population during the First Nagorno-Karabakh war.
According to the Caucasian Calendar for 1910, in 1908, Khojaly had 184 Tatar (Azerbaijani) people inhabitants. According to the Caucasian Calendar for 1912, Khojaly had 172 Tatar (Azerbaijani) and 52 Russian inhabitants. Currently, the town has 1,397 inhabitants, primarily ethnic Armenians.
During the Soviet period, Khojaly was a village in the Askeran District of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast. As the First Nagorno-Karabakh War started, the Azerbaijani government began to implement a plan to create a new district center. From 1988 to 1990 the population of Khojali increased from 2,135 to 6,000 residents, mostly consisting of immigrants from Soviet Central Asia (including more than 2,000 Meskhetian Turks) and immigrants from Armenia (about 2,000). In April 1990 Azerbaijan abolished the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast and its internal divisions. Khojali was given city status and became the regional center for the newly created Khojali District composed of the former Askeran District and part of Martuni.
In 2001 the settlement was renamed Ivanyan, after the late general of the Karabakh Defense Army, Kristapor Ivanyan.
Khojaly was captured by Armenian forces on 26 February 1992 during the First Nagorno-Karabakh War. The Khojaly Massacre of February 1992, was the mass murder of at least 161 ethnic Azerbaijani civilians in Khojaly on 26 February 1992. According to the Azerbaijani side, as well as the Memorial Human Rights Center, Human Rights Watch and other international observers, the massacre was committed by the Armenian armed forces, as well as some military personnel of the 366th Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) regiment who were not acting on orders from their command. The death toll claimed by Azerbaijani authorities is 613 civilians, including 106 women and 63 children. Autopsies by the International Committee for the Red Cross indicated that numerous dead bodies were mutilated. Former President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, who also was the leader of the “Nagorno-Karabakh Forces Committee” during the First Nagorno-Karabakh War, in an interview with British author Thomas de Waal stated the following regarding the Khojaly massacre:
Before Khojali, the Azerbaijanis thought that they were joking with us, they thought that the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We were able to break that [stereotype]. And that's what happened.
Azerbaijani exile community
In February 2010, the Azeri-Czech Society reported that representatives of the Azeri administration of Khojaly in exile and the Czech town of Lidice were to sign an agreement making Khojaly and Lidice sister cities and that a street in Lidice was to be named "Khojali". In March 2012, reports quoted the mayor of Lidice, Veronika Kellerova, as officially stating that Lidice and Khojali had never been sister cities. She further repudiated reports that there exists a street named Khojaly in Lidice.
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- "Khojali to be twinned with Czech Lidice". Trend News Agency. 2010-02-22. Archived from the original on 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
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- Asya Chekanova (2010-03-09). "Лидице стали побратимами Ходжалы. Армения против" [Lidice twinned with Khojaly. Armenia is against]. Český Rozhlas. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
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