WESTERN AZERBAIJAN DISTRICTS: 70.5% of the population of Sharur-Daralayaz were Azerbaijani Turks according to the census of 1897

WESTERN AZERBAIJAN DISTRICTS: 70.5% of the population of Sharur-Daralayaz were Azerbaijani Turks according to the census of 1897
# 15 February 2023 16:09 (UTC +04:00)

APA continues Western Azerbaijan Districts projecst.

The purpose of the project is to provide detailed information about the history, geography, culture, monuments, lifestyle, and everyday life of the people of the Western Azerbaijan districts, to introduce it to the readers, especially the young generation. The next guest on the project is researcher-writer Nazir Ahmadli from the Daralayaz district.

Daralayaz is one of the largest districts of Western Azerbaijan, bordering Zangezur in the east, Vedibasar in the west, Goycha in the north, and Mavazikhatun in the south of Nakhchivan Khanate. The length of the district from east to west is 50 versts, and the width from north to south is 40 versts, the area is about 2 thousand square meters. was a verst (taking into account that 1 sq. verst, which was used as an area unit in former Russia, was 1.13 sq. km, this figure is 2,260 sq. km).

It is assumed that the toponym "Daralayaz" originates from the combination of the words "dara" (Valley) and "elayaz". There was also a village named Elayaz in Daralayaz district. But it would be a mistake to think that the toponym Daralayaz was taken from the name of this village. There was also a widespread plant called alayaz in Daralayaz, which the inhabitants of this place used as a food product. Women collected it in the spring and prepared it for the winter, preparing various dishes from it all winter. This plant has taken a significant place in the lives of local residents, especially in the past. Therefore, it should be considered the most logical idea to think that the toponym "Daralayaz" means "the valley where the aleyaz plant is abundant".

Armenians called this area "Vayotdzor", they made this word by adding the word "dzor" meaning "valley" to the word "vai", that is "Valley of Vai".

This is how they explain the origin of this name.

According to historical sources, the city of Moz, located on the caravan routes and with a population of 10,000 people, which is considered a large number for the Middle Ages, was destroyed by an earthquake in 735, so many people died there that moans and wails of the survivors were heard. . Since then, the name of this valley has remained in memory as "Way Valley".

The ruins of the city of Moz were located on the right bank of Arpachay, between the village of Malikshah and the settlement of Soylan, where the highway to Yerevan passed.

The names of Vedibasar, Zangibasar, Garnibasar, and Karpibasar districts of Western Azerbaijan were derived from the names of the Vedi, Zangi, Garni and Karpi rivers passing through those districts. From this point of view, Daralayaz district could also be called Arpabasar, because Arpachay, which flows through the entire district and flows into the Araz river, was the main river that fed the crops and gardens of Daralayaz district.

Near the village of Bilak, in a beautiful valley watered by Arpachay, in a place called Sariyer, several springs joined together to form the Girkhbulag river. At the place where this river flows into Arpachay, there were springs with hot and sour water, the temperature of which was higher than 25 degrees. Here there was a stone bath belonging to the time of Shah Abbas. For centuries, the local population used the healing effect of that water to cure various diseases. There was another mineral water containing iron compounds 4 versts away from Eyar village.

Long before the Russian occupation, silver and lead were extracted from the silver mine near the village of Gümüşkhana. Flint for rifles was made from the silicon-containing mineral near the village of Aynazur.

With its high mountains, deep valleys, mild climate, mountain rivers, and flowery meadows, Daralayaz was called the "Switzerland of the Caucasus" by the Russian ethnographer Ivan Chopin, a French national who traveled all over the South Caucasus. Daralayaz really deserved this name. Ivan Chopin is the author of the camera drawings made in 1829-1832 on the territories of the former Iravan and Nakhchivan khanates.

The main caravan route passing through Daralayaz also went through Nakhchivan to the Karabakh Khanate.

Daralayaz district was rich in ancient monuments. Selim's caravanserai was the most famous among them. This caravanserai was built on the road from the Daralayaz district to the Goycha district, at a place called Salim Pass. Selim Pass separated Daralayaz and Goyche districts from each other.

As for the political history of Daralayaz, this area together with Goycha and Zangezur districts formed the Sunik province of Azerbaijan Albania in the Middle Ages. Daralayaz district was the first part of the caliphate, then the Seljuks, Mongols, Karagoyunlu, Aggoyunlu, Safavids, Afshars, Gajars, and since 1828, the Russian Empire.

The name Daralayaz as an administrative-territorial unit is found for the first time in Sharaf Khan Bidlisi's work "Sharafname" (1596).

Sharaf Khan writes that Shah Tahmasib I (1524-1576) gave the administration of the cities of Khoi and Sokmanabad, as well as their surrounding areas, to the Dunbulu tribe, and passed their rule from father to son. This privilege continued during the reign of Shah Tahmasib's son Muhammad Khudabanda (1578-1587). After the death of Haji Bey, the emir of the Dunbulu tribe, Muhammad Khudabanda appointed his son Ali Bey to this position. Suleyman-Saray district and half of Abanay district were also given to him. The author further writes: "He (Ali Bey) lived in poverty for several years in Sharur as the emir of that province. Because that province fell and was empty as a result of riots, it did not give any income. He received a certain amount from the taxes of Sharur and Derayi-Alkis, who were subject to Nakhchivan, and he died here, in Sharur" (Sh. Bidlisi. "Sharafname", I c., M. 1967, p. 362).

Daralayaz consisted of two parts, Eastern and Western Daralayaz. Yayci, Akhura, Yukhari and Ashaghi Danzik, Havush, Hamza Ali Diza, Dostalibey Diza, Jagazur and other villages located around the lower reaches of Eastern Arpachay and currently included in the Sharur district of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, as well as Khachik, Aynazur and some other villages that currently remain in the Republic of Armenia the villages were included in the Western Valley. Except for the villages of Khachik and Ainazur, the population of this place consisted of Shia Muslims. Western Daralayaz was located in the southern foothills of the Daralayaz mountain range.

Azizbeyov and Yeghegnadzor districts were organized in the territory of East Daralayaz located in the upper reaches of Arpachay during Soviet rule. The population of this place consisted of Turkmen from Karachor and Armenians who were transferred from Iran in 1828. Before the occupation, 1,001 local Muslims and a total of 58 Armenian families lived in the Daralayaz district, and after the occupation, 507 Armenian families moved here from Iran and 8 Armenian families from Turkey, and the Daralayaz district underwent ethnodemographic changes. Before the resettlement, 94.2% of the families in the region were Turks, and 5.8% were Armenians, after the resettlement, the number of Armenian families reached 25.8%. According to the results of the 1st All-Russian census held in 1897, Azerbaijani Turks made up 70.5% of the population of the Sharur-Daralayaz district.

According to the new administrative-territorial division carried out in 1870, Sharur and Daralayaz regions were united and the Sharur-Daralayaz district was created. During Soviet rule, a part of the district - Eastern Daralayaz was given to the Republic of Armenia without any reason, and Western Daralayaz was the scene of bloody wars together with the former Sharur district. and remained within the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic after the stubborn resistance of the Azerbaijani Turks.

Daralayaz district was a part of the Nakhchivan Khanate until the Russian occupation in 1828, the Nakhchivan province was created after the occupation, and the Nakhchivan district until 1870.

In June 1918, Daralayaz district was subjected to terrible destruction by the bandit Andranik's army, many people died, and the survivors managed to escape. After the establishment of the Soviet power, a large part of the population of the district returned to their homeland, but in 1948-1951, they were deported by the decision of the Soviet government and moved to the Kur-Araz plain of Azerbaijan. Although most of the patriotic people of Daralayaz returned to Daralayaz after the death of Stalin (1953), taking advantage of the softening of the regime, in 1988, as a result of the conflict created by Armenian separatists around the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Province of Azerbaijan, they were forced to leave their native land once and for all.

During the years of Soviet rule, not only the local Turkish population was subjected to deportation and persecution, but the toponyms of Daralayaz, most of which are of Turkish origin, were changed and Armenianized and monuments belonging to Turks were either Armenianized or erased from the earth.

As a result of the last deportation, the population of Daralayaz district, scattered to most regions of Azerbaijan and even to foreign countries, has a rich folklore and unique ethnography.

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Western Azerbaijan