Baku. 18 February. REPORT.AZ/ Azerbaijan's envoy to Turkey said Tuesday termed the 1992 massacre in Khojaly genocide of the Azeri people.
Report informs Turkish media, Ambassador Faig Bagirov made the comments at a commemorative event "Justice for Khojaly" organized by the European Azerbaijan Society in Ankara, where the victims were remembered.
"While witnesses of the massacre are still living the pain, the criminals are living freely, thanks to the double standards of the world," Bagirov said.
Armenian military forces had taken over the town of Khojaly in Nagorno-Karabakh on Feb. 26, 1992, and battered it with heavy artillery and tanks, assisted by an infantry regiment. The two-hour offensive killed 613 Azeri citizens, including 116 women and 63 children, and critically wounded 487 others.
A survivor of the Khojaly incident, Valeh Huseynov, said the offensive was "a crime not just towards Azeri people, but to the entire world."
After the conference, a film called 'Endless Corridor' narrated by Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons was shown, telling the story of the incident.
In February 1988, the regional parliament in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, which is largely populated by ethnic Armenians, voted to declare its independence from Azerbaijan.
Armenian parliament also voted to recognize the independence of the region, which forced the migration of over 200,000 ethnic Azerbaijanis from Armenia. Thousands of Azeri civilians lost their lives in the resulting conflict.
The conflict between Turkey’s two eastern neighbors, Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory has dragged on for decades. The often-violent conflict eventually saw Turkey close its border with Armenia in 1993.