Idea #513 – Visiting the remains of the old city of Şuşa in Nagorno Karabakh
The city of Chouchi, or Choucha, is a city of the Republic of the Nagorno-Karabakh. The city and its fortress habe been mentionned since the Middle Ages; the city is again widely quoted as important element of the military districts of oriental Armenia which plays a key-role in the campaign of Armenian commander Avan Yuzbashi, David Bek’s support, against the Ottoman strengths having invaded the Caucasus of the South in the years 1720-1730. In the 1760s, the fortress becomes ownership of Panah Ali Khan, founder of the khanat of the Karabakh.
In 1805, Karabakh is joined into the Russian Empire. During the Russian-Persian war of 1826-1828, the citadel of Chouchi resists for several months without ever being taken. Afterward, the city does not stop growing thanks to the successive waves of immigration, in particular Armenians leaving Persia. In 1830, the city is divided into two parts. Districts from the east of the city are inhabited by the turcophones populations whereas the Armenians populate districts the West, more in height, marking the first tensions between both ethnic groups. In 1905, within the framework of the massacres arméno-Tartars, hundreds of people are killed and more than 200 burned houses.
At the end of the World War I, after the fall of Ottoman Empire, Karabakh is occupied by the British troops, which passes on its governance in Azerbaijan. The tensions increase and in 1920, more than 20 000 Armenians are massacred during a pogrom. In 1923, in spite of the bolchevic promises made for the Armenians, the Nagorno-Karabakh becomes an autonomous region within the new soviet republic of Azerbaijan. Between 1988 and 1994, the war of the Nagorno-Karabakh engedered numerous massacres and deportations, on behalf of both camps, and ends in the taking of more than 14 % of the Azeri territory by the Armenian army, and the deportation of almost 1,2 million people. Today, more than 20 000 soldiers are present on each side of the frontline. A sporadic resumption of the conflict, said ” War of Four Days ” took place in April, 2016, with exchanges of artillery fire and helicopters between the Armenian and Azeri troops, provoking some hundred deaths.
With the war and the taking of the city by the Armenians on May 9th, 1992, whole districts were ravaged and stay today still in ruins. In the city, almost all of the population, that is 4500 inhabitants, is Armenian, the populations Azeris having avoided the region during the war of the Nagorno-Karabakh. The city presents the vestiges of its ramparts of the XVIIIth century, and houses with balcony of the XIXth century, built during the Russian period.
Where is it?
Şuşa, Républic of Nagarno KarabakhAutonome du Haut Karabagh