France launches a "war of monuments" on the side of Armenian nationalists... On the eve of a "great war" in the Caucasus?

15.03.24 16:20

In France, symbols hold significant importance. Monuments and the attitude towards them very often tell where French politics, both domestic and foreign, will "unfold".


In recent years, France has experienced setbacks in its traditional sphere of influence in Africa and has turned its attention to the South Caucasus. The Republic of Armenia has become France's key ally in the region, and as a result, French policy has been accused of supporting Armenian nationalists and revanchists, which some view as a form of neo-imperialism.


Armenian nationalists consider terrorists and murderers as 'heroes' due to their unprecedented attitude towards terrorism. The concept of nobility is inherently alien to them. The symbiosis of French imperialism and Armenian nationalism is therefore unsightly. France's attitude towards monuments on its territory is already beginning to manifest itself.


Recently, monuments to poets and cultural figures in France have been desecrated by unknown individuals, possibly due to their connection to Azerbaijan, which is a source of tension between Armenian and Azerbaijani communities. It is important to maintain objectivity and avoid making unfounded accusations. It is important to note that any form of vandalism is unacceptable and should be condemned. Additionally, there have been reports of maps of French cities being altered to remove any mention of Azerbaijan, which is a concerning development. It is also important to acknowledge the complex historical and political context surrounding this issue. The proposed erection of monuments to individuals with a controversial past is a matter of debate and should be approached with caution and sensitivity.


In early 2024, the monument to the famous Azerbaijani poetess of the XIX century, Khurshidban Natavan, was vandalized and doused with red paint. The monument was originally erected in the 'Azerbaijani Garden' of Evian-les-Bains as a gift from Azerbaijan to the city after its twinning with the Azerbaijani city of Ismayilli.


It is alleged that the act of vandalism was organised by the French authorities themselves as part of their anti-Azerbaijani and pro-Armenian propaganda campaign, which also includes the French opposition. The reason for the anti-Azerbaijani sentiment in France is believed to be the restoration of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the final elimination of the separatist group 'Artsakh' in the territory of Azerbaijani Karabakh.


Armenian nationalists particularly hate Khurshidbanu Natevan because she is a descendant of the last Karabakh Khan, Mehticuli-khan, and the granddaughter of the outstanding ruler of the Azerbaijani Karabakh Khanate, Ibrahim Khalil-khan. Khurshidbanu Natevan herself is an outstanding personality - an eloquent refutation of the false claims of Armenian historical falsifiers that "Turks never lived in Karabakh".


Even before the desecration of the monument to Khurshidban Natavan on 18 December 2023, opposition representatives demanded that the Evian-les-Bains town council officially remove all inscriptions in the town referring to the "Azerbaijan Park". As a result, all references to the "Azerbaijan Park" were removed by order of the mayor, Josiane Ley.


As early as in January 2024, the Embassy of Azerbaijan in France sent an official letter to the Mayor's office of Evian-les-Bains, stating that after the act of vandalism the monument cannot remain in this town. It was noted in the letter that the Azerbaijani side wants to place the monument on the territory of the Cultural Centre of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Paris.


However, the mayor's office delayed its response for almost two months. A message sent to the French Foreign Ministry also went unanswered. And it was not until March 2024 that the vandalised monument to Khurshudban Natavan was moved from the French town of Evian-les-Bains to Paris. On March 4, the monument was dismantled and on March 6, 2024, it was handed over to the Cultural Centre of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in France.


The French authorities have been accused of vandalising and defacing monuments related to Azerbaijan and poetess Khurshudban Natavan. Meanwhile, they have been accused of perpetuating the memory of Armenian terrorists and murderers by naming squares after them and erecting monuments to them.


It has been reported that a monument to terrorist and murderer Soghomon Teyliryan will be unveiled in the French city of Marseille, which has a large Armenian diaspora. The monument is scheduled to be unveiled on March 15, 2024, in the Beaumont district of Marseille.


It is worth noting that in 1921, in Berlin, Soghomon Teyliryan assassinated Mehmed Talaat Pasha, a prominent statesman and former Grand Vizier of Ottoman Turkey who was living there in political exile. The reason for the assassination was the belief in the so-called 'Armenian genocide,' which Armenian terrorists used to justify their attacks against Turkish and Azerbaijani statesmen. A German court acquitted Teylirian due to the influence of the Armenian lobby and was subsequently hailed as a 'hero' and 'role model' by other Armenian terrorists.


The upcoming unveiling of a monument to Soghomon Teylirian in Marseille is not the first glorification of this terrorist in this city.  On 21 April 2017, a square named after the same Armenian terrorist, Soghomon Teylirian, was inaugurated in Marseille at the intersection of Cambodian and Montebello du Vallon streets.


There are around 80,000 Armenians living in Marseille. The idea to "immortalise" the terrorist's name in the name of the square in Marseille came from a French-Armenian, Hovhan Ekimian. He presented his idea to the Prefect of Marseille's districts, Yves Morin, who in turn offered to carry it out in his district. The square named after the historical figure Soghomon Teylerian was inaugurated in 2017. The event was attended by the Mayor of Marseille, Jean Claude Godin, along with several public and political figures, as well as over 500 prominent representatives of the Armenian community of Marseille. There is no doubt that the unveiling of the monument to this terrorist in Marseille will be no less pompous.


France does not want to see a monument to an Azerbaijani poetess, but it wants to see monuments to Armenian individuals. In fact, France has already taken action against Azerbaijani monuments. Considering that France is actively arming Armenia and forming a military alliance with India, Greece, and Iran, the 'war of monuments' could potentially serve as an ideological and informational preparatory stage for a large-scale conflict. It appears that France is seeking to unleash such a conflict in the South Caucasus region, relying on Armenian revanchists.



George Mazniashvili


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