Why is Azerbaijani language taught in Nagorno-Karabakh, and Armenian in Azerbaijan?
Armenian language taught in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani – in Nagorno- Karabakh
The Genesis Armenia Foundation announces the opening of the Center for Azerbaijani Studies in Nagorno-Karabakh where Azerbaijan studies and the Azerbaijani language will be taught. A week ago, information appeared that the Armenian language will now be taught at the Azerbaijan State Economic University.
Expert opinion: what caused the interest, and why the conflicting parties decided to study Armenian and Azerbaijani languages.
Center in Nagorno-Karabakh
The Genesis Armenia Foundation considers the opening of the Center for Azerbaijani Studies as a project of strategic importance.
As stated on the official website of the foundation, “Genesis Armenia” is a non-partisan initiative, a research analytical center. Its goal is to consolidate the intellectual potential of Armenia in the field of international relations, security, economy, business, industry, technology, education, culture, healthcare and the environment.
It is reported that the new center is equipped with the necessary teaching equipment and didactic materials:
“At the first stage, more than a dozen young people will study the Azerbaijani language and study Azerbaijan for free. The goal of the program is to prepare an educated generation which knows their national and state interests well”.
The Foundation announces that this initiative involves overcoming military and political challenges, training specialists in the Azerbaijani language who “will be able to use their skills to neutralize information and propaganda threats” and ensure security.
Armenian taught at an Azerbaijani university
It is known that the Armenian language course at the Azerbaijan State University of Economics is intended for researchers. It is designed for 6 months. This is the initiative of the Center for Economic Research of Armenia operating in Azerbaijan.
According to Azerbaijani media, the course will be taught by Huseyn Askerov, a lecturer at the Department of Caucasian Studies at the Azerbaijan University of Languages. He told reporters that after the second Karabakh war, more and more Azerbaijanis want to learn the Armenian language:
“I can’t manage enrolling everyone who wants to learn Armenian in my schedule, although we really need such specialists”.
Armenian publications, referring to Azerbaijani sources, report that, in particular, employees of the state security services of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, border guards, and journalists have signed up for the courses. But only students of the university where they take place can participate free of charge, for the rest the classes are paid.
Azeriologist Taron Hovhannisyan says that interest in the study of Azerbaijani in Armenia and Azerbaijan was observed immediately after the proclamation of the republic, there were simply passive and active stages. In both countries, an increase has been observed since 2010:
“First of all, this was due to the need to study, understand the policies of the other side, the trends that are manifested there, as well as security considerations. It is no coincidence that in both Armenia and Azerbaijan, the language of the other side is studied by the employees of the security forces and the national security services”.
According to Taron Hovhannisyan, the opening of the Center for Azerbaijani Studies in Nagorno-Karabakh is also associated with the objective necessity of training specialists.
Regarding the interest in Armenian in Azerbaijan, the expert believes that perhaps this is due to the demonstration of some positive signals in the field of normalization of relations.
However, based on the statements of the Azerbaijani authorities about their intention to completely return the entire territory of Nagorno-Karabakh under their control, the specialist is more inclined to view the interest in Armenian in this context:
“The state policy is as follows: they are trying to show that they are allegedly ready to live peacefully with the Armenians as part of the Azerbaijani state, although its actions prove the opposite.
Baku will continue to work in this direction. For propaganda purposes, Azerbaijanis will try to convince Armenians that they can return and live in the territories of Nagorno-Karabakh, which came under the control of Azerbaijan as a result of the last war – for example, in Hadrut”.