Residents who fled Karabakh conflict hope to return one day

Years of tension and sporadic violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region between Azerbaijan and Armenia has displaced tens of thousands of people. Many hope to go home one day.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

More than 50,000 ethnic Azeris have been driven out of Karabakh by Armenian separatists.

Fighting flared again this year on the Azeri-Armenian border as Azerbaijan and Armenia blame each other for violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Hundreds have been killed and more than 50,000 ethnic Azeris were driven out of Karabakh by Armenian separatists after they declared independence from Azerbaijan in 1988.

Bloody clashes between ethnic Azeris and Armenians again erupted in 1991, causing many to flee the region.

"By 1993, the Armenians invaded all of Karabakh and cut the railroad and regular roads between Baku and our village. All of our surroundings were invaded and we escaped to Iran." said Vali Quliyev, a displaced man who fled Karabakh 25 years ago.

Richard Giragosian, the Founding Director of the Regional Studies Centre said resolving the conflict is difficult as "both sides interpret what happened in Karabakh differently."

However, Quliyev hopes that his grandson, Nuru, who was born in exile will return to Karabakh someday.

TRT World’s Ali Mustafa met Quliyev to hear his story.

A ceasefire was agreed upon in 1994, but Azerbaijan and Armenia regularly trade accusations of violence. In April 2016, dozens were killed when fighting again flared.

Efforts to secure a permanent settlement of the conflict have failed despite mediation led by France, Russia and the United States. 

Azerbaijan and Armenia have regularly traded accusations of violence around Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Azeri-Armenian border. (TRT World)

TRTWorld and agencies