Gevorg S. Stepanyan
Since immemorial times the oldest city of Eastern Transcaucasia Shamakhi had been inhabited by Armenians, according to rich bibliographic and archive materials. A part of them considered it to be their native land. Local Armenians had as unified, social-economic and spiritual-cultural active life full of high level creative and scientificcultural work, as well as played significant role in the region’s development. Armenians presented an enlightened and viable element in the backward environment of the alien Turkic speaking population.
Frequent catastrophic earthquakes had negative impact on the natural growth of the Armenian population of Shamakhi. As a result of a destructive earthquake (May, 1859) in Shamakhi the provincial central administration was removed to Baku, thus Shamakhi lost gradually its former glory. The Armenians of Shamakhi suffered hard period especially in 1918. During their aggression against Baku the Turkish troops occupied Shamakhi (July 20) and massacred, forcibly Islamized and deproted the Armenian population of the city.The policy of repressions, deportations and ethnic cleansing commited against Armenians had been continued in the years of Musavatist Azerbaijan and the Soviet power, which followed the latter. In 1989 as a result of deportation Shamakhi was finally deprived of its Armenian population.