Here is another fragment of the interview with Ivantchik

- Does anyone play this historical card?

- Yes, everyone always plays it in ethnic conflicts. To begin with, I'll tell you how it was played before.
There was a scholar called Igrar Aliyev - an excellent scholar of the older generation, the same age as my teachers. He was a real, honest scholar, an expert on ancient history of Iran and the Caucasus.
Then in all the Soviet republics, those where the ethnic issue was especially important, as in the Caucasus, their versions of history were formed, including the ancient one. The versions were nationalistic and often scientifically pretty wild.
They Center turned a blind eye to it. It was believed that this helps to let off steam of nationalism. They thought say, people won’t not protest to demand independence, but instead will spend their time reading about the greatness of their people in the III millennium BC.
But obviously that these versions in different republics usually did not agree with each other.

So, the Azerbaijani nationalist version of history implied that the Turks have always lived in Azerbaijan, almost since the Paleolithic, and from the very beginning they were

But in fact, Turks appeared in Azerbaijan only in 11th-12th centuries, in other words, they were newcomers.
Before the Azerbaijanis, there was a rather strong Iranian element on the territory of Azerbaijan, it was part of the Persian Empire, the Achaemenid
Empire, and the word “Azerbaijan” itself is the name of Iranian origin, comes from the ancient name of Media Atropatena. After Alexander the Great, a satrap came to power, one of the local rulers, by the name of Atropat, he was a Persian, of course.
And this area, called Media Atropatena, has always remained, as it were, a separate historical area. And this name, having passed through mediation of different languages, became Azerbaijan. That is, even its own name, is Iranian.
And also on the territory of Azerbaijan there was a strong state of the Caucasian Albanians who spoke a special language and had a written language; later they were assimilated by the Turks.
So Igrar Aliyev, defending the historical truth, wrote that there were Iranians in Azerbaijan. And that the Turks came there later. And that before them Albanians lived here. This, of course, contradicted the official concept, and he was viewd as a terribly rotten.
- Was that in the 70s?

- In the 70s. But it was impossible to crush him, as he was a front-line soldier, a very famous scientist, but, say, at Baku University (in the course of national history) they always talked about the fabrications of the enemy of the nation Igrar Aliyev,
they smashed his windows, he had to move around Baku under the escort of his graduate students.

The point is that his concept has always been this: Azerbaijanis are the descendants of everyone who lived here, including Albanians, other peoples, and he also wrote that the
Karabakh people are also descendants of the ancient Albanians, like the Azerbaijanis, that is, they are the same people, but some converted to Armenian Christianity and adopted the Armenian language, and others converted to Islam and adopted the Turkish language.
Then nobody like it. But the situation changed on the eve of the first war in Karabakh.

And then it turned out that this concept is very beneficial, because if the Azerbaijani and Karabakh people are one people, then it is clear to whom Karabakh should belong.
And this persecuted Igrar Aliyev was immediately offered to write the history of Karabakh from this point of view ... And then he became one of the most respected official historians of Azerbaijan.
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