The ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ maps of Armenia and Karabakh

The 'correct' map of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh
The 'correct' map of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh

The 'incorrect' map of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh
The 'incorrect' map of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh

I came across today a Facebook group which, according to its description, is “dedicated to the promotion of using correct maps of Armenia and Artsakh.” The group’s description further runs:

When using or displaying a map of Armenia, Artsakh should not be left out! They are Armenian lands that should be properly included into every single map published. We live there, we govern it, we liberated it and therefore it is an integral part of the Armenian world.

With rather detailed descriptions, the group further explains the use of the terms ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ maps, saying the ‘correct’ one should “show Armenia and Artsakh as united” and not depict Karabakh “as an enclave, which is not the case.”

A while back ago, I remember the Armenian blogging community was actively campaigning to ensure, that the Armenian TV companies, Weather forcast programs, news websites have the ‘correct’ map of Armenia. This is quite understandable, especially considering the enormous efforts and activity Azerbaijan is putting into making sure, that all maps of Azerbaijan published around the world, in all kinds of maps, encyclopedias and information websites have their version of the ‘correct’ map.

What I don’t understand is – where does all this recent boost in hard-line, no-negotiable, Armenia+Artsakh, no return of ‘liberated territories’ approach come from? A couple of years ago Jirair Sefilyan was put to jail for speaking too loudly about this. What has changed? Why is it, that Jirair Sefilyan, ARF-Dashnaktsutiun, Ramkavars, Heritage (“Zharangutyun”), Karabakh MFA are all now speaking about it? Are we witnessing an unannounced shift in Armenia’s Foreign Policy – whereby the government says something, but works behind the ? Or is it genuine freedom of speech?

PS: Just an observation – these talks have become increasingly active after the announcement about the updated version of the Madrid Document in accordance with the ‘L’Aquila Declaration’ of Presidents Barack Obama, Dmitri Medvedev and Nicholas Sarkozy, we are repeatedly hearing about the need to reject those principles, to abandon the Karabakh negotiation process, to change the Foreign Policy course the country has taken and even calls for the resignation of the Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian.

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10 thoughts on “The ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ maps of Armenia and Karabakh

  1. I’m not sure about lumping those together: Jirair Sefilyan, ARF-Dashnaktsutiun, Ramkavars, Heritage (”Zharangutyun”), Karabakh MFA.
    Sefilyan has been consistent on the karabakh issue over the past decade, and this makes sense to me. I don’t know so much about the history of Zharangutyun’s policy. I think the Ramgavar’s are just jumping on the bandwagon – they don’t really have much of import to say or do. The NK MFA has had varied opinions and willingness to negotiate, it seems, over the past 15 years.
    The NK MFA, along with the ARF-D is the interesting one – originally part of the coalition, now “opposition.” They conveniently only called for Nalbandyan’s resignation (along with some other mostly pro-government groups), which conveniently, publicly showed pressure against Sargsyan’s “plans.” Maybe Sargsyan really underestimated how much opposition there would be to the way things are going… or maybe it was predictable, and he used it to his advantage.
    If he really wanted to solve the NK issue through negotiation, wouldn’t it make more sense to talk with LTP, rather than continue to try to keep HAK quiet and continue to allow opposition to his plans for NK?..we know he knows how to silence opposition.
    But now, he can just sit back and say to those international forces trying to pressure him: hey, I tried to move things forward, but look what happened; sorry, my hands are tied??
    It’s another way of continuing Kocharyan’s strategy of keeping the status quo.

    1. Tzizernak – I am quite sure about lumping those together, despite the fact, that they represent rather different political vectors in some cases.

      Resistance for compromise from such diverse spectrum signifies something – don’t know what. That’s, in fact, what I’m trying to find out. Are we facing widespread nationalistic sentiment in the society, whereby, any negotiations on Karabakh are meaningless? Or are we just witnessing isolated cases of trying to achieve political gains banking on nationalistic sentiment.

      1. I see your question, and what you’re saying. There seem to be two different levels of questions to be asked – one on the party/government level, and one on the people’s level… and its unclear how much sentiments voiced on the former level reflect the latter. Or does/will it even matter?

    1. Dear Tigran, are you aware of any source where I could download the relief versions of these maps? Thanks in advance.

  2. I’m a foreigner who lived in Armenia for years. And I support Nagorno’s right to self-determination.

    But the unilateral seizure of a couple of Azeri provinces seems rather hard to justify.

    Doug M.

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