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Azerbaijani forces display pan-Turkic slogan near Armenian village school: Tatoyan

Azerbaijani troops have unlawfully deployed close to the school in Shurnukh, a village in Armenia’s Syunik Province, displaying the pan-Turkic slogan “Önce vatan" in big letters, former Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan, the head of the Tatoyan Foundation, said on Saturday.

"Önce vatan" is one of the fundamental Turkish nationalistic slogans created during Ataturk's rule in the 1930s. It means "Go Forward Homeland" or "Homeland First", he explained.

“This slogan is directly connected to pan-Turkism. It does not consider possible equality of representatives of non-Turkish ethnic groups or nations living in Turkey with Turks, because according to Turkish nationalism, the idea of creating a nation, an ethnically Turkish homogenous nation, is equally important to the motherland. Moreover, this nationalism was based on the ideology of the Young Turks, pan-Turkism, and was essentially its continuation,” Tatoyan wrote on Facebook.

“In this Azerbaijani position, that is immediately in front of the Shurnukh school, in front of children, servicemen are always on duty, armed and watching the school and the children. Cameras are also installed there to track people's movements, illegally collecting personal data,” he added.

The former ombudsman said the facts were collected during his team’s mission to Syunik jointly with lawyers Garo Ghazarian and Karnig Kerkonian. The studies were carried out by the Center for Law and Justice Tatoyan foundation.

“Now the question arises: What does this nationalistic slogan do at the Azerbaijani unlawful armed deployment right in front of the Shurnukh school? It is clear that even children are being targeted from this location, they are trying to intimidate and put pressure on our children. It is specially designed in big letters and in a way that is visible to children,” he underscored.

“Obviously, the move is aimed at intimidating the civilian population. All this once again indicates that Azerbaijani forces not only seriously threaten people's physical safety and lives, but purposefully do everything to cause mental suffering to people, even children, and keep them in anxiety and tension.

“Azerbaijani army positions must be removed not only from the seized territories of Armenia, but also from the areas near villages and roads between Armenian communities. A demilitarized security zone must be created so that normal life of people is restored,” Tatoyan stated.

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