Agdam

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For other uses, see Agdam (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 39°59′35″N 46°55′50″E / 39.99306°N 46.93056°E / 39.99306; 46.93056

Ağdam
Ağdam is located in Azerbaijan
Ağdam
Ağdam
Coordinates: 39°59′35″N 46°55′50″E / 39.99306°N 46.93056°E / 39.99306; 46.93056
Country  Azerbaijan
Rayon Agdam
Elevation 369 m (1,211 ft)
Population (2008)
 • Total 3,770

Ağdam (also, Agdam and Aghdam) is a ghost town in the southwestern part of Azerbaijan and the capital of its Agdam Rayon. In July 1993, after heavy fighting, Agdam was captured by the forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic during its 1993 summer offensives. As the town fell, its entire population were forced to flee eastwards. In the immediate aftermath of the fighting, the Armenian forces decided to destroy much of Agdam to prevent its recapture by Azerbaijan.[1] More damage occurred in the following decades when the deserted town was looted for building materials. Agdam is currently a ruinous, uninhabited ghost town.[2] The town's large mosque survives intact but in a derelict condition.

Etymology[edit]

The city's name is of Azerbaijani origin and means White House, in which means "white" and dam is house or "attic", thus referring to a bright sun-lit, white house which was given by Panah Ali Khan of Karabakh Khanate.[3]

Another possibility is that it was derived from ancient Turkic glossary meaning "small fortress". In the distant past, Turkic speaking tribes built small fortresses for their protection and safety.[3]

History[edit]

Mosque in Agdam on Azerbaijani stamp (depicted as it looked before the Karabakh war)

Agdam was founded in the 18th century but granted city status only in 1828.[4] Located 26 kilometers from Khankendi, prior to the Nagorno-Karabakh War, butter, wine (Industrial Association for processing of grapes - Agdam Brandy Company), machine factories and a railway station functioned in the city.[5][6]

Nagorno-Karabakh War[edit]

Main article: Nagorno-Karabakh War
View of the destruction caused by war

Agdam was the scene of fierce fighting during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. According to journalist Robert Parsons, Agdam was used by Azerbaijan as a base for attacks on Karabakh, launching GRAD missiles and bombing raids from this location against civilians.[7] During the Battle of Aghdam, violations of the rules of war such as hostage-taking, indiscriminate fire and the forcible displacement of civilians were committed by Armenian forces.[8] As city fell, almost its entire population fled eastward and in the immediate aftermath of the fighting.[9]

The city is still currently used as a buffer zone by the Armed Forces of Armenia, meaning that Ağdam remains empty and decaying, usually banned for sightseeing.[10][11]

Post-war years[edit]

The ruined city once had a population of almost 40,000 people,[12] but today it’s an almost entirely uninhabited ghost town.[13] All the houses are ruinous, some by shells fired in the war, others looted for their building materials.[14][15]

One of the few buildings to remain intact is Aghdam Mosque. Its derelict condition drew criticism from Azerbaijani and Turkish communities, who complained to Pope Benedict XVI about the mosque's current situation.[16]

Sport[edit]

Despite the invasion, the town is represented by a professional football team competing in the top-flight of Azerbaijani football - FK Qarabağ, currently playing in the Azerbaijan Premier League.[17]

The Imarat Stadium, which was Agdam's only stadium, was also destroyed by bombardments from Armenian military forces during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.[18][19][20]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nicolas Holding, "Armenia with Nagorno Karabagh - Bradt Travel Guide", 2003, p200.
  2. ^ Города-призраки. Агдам – жертва мести, памятник глупости. (Russian)
  3. ^ a b "Agdam city". Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Значение слова "Агдам" в Большой Советской Энциклопедии". Soviet Encyclopedia. Retrieved 26 July 2010.  (Russian)
  5. ^ "Агдам (Азербайджан)". Landmarkers.ru. Retrieved 26 July 2010.  (Russian)
  6. ^ Girchenko, Yuriy. "Юрий Гирченко. В Союзе все спокойно...". Retrieved 26 July 2010.  (Russian)
  7. ^ Parsons, Robert (3 June 2000). "Tug-of-war for Nagorno-Karabakh". BBC News. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Human Rights Watch. Azerbaijan: Seven years of conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. p.19
  9. ^ Paul, Amanda. "Agdam -- an Azerbaijani ghost town". Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  10. ^ Hannigan, Chris. "Ghost Towns: Ağdam, Azerbaijan". Archived from the original on 13 August 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  11. ^ Chauffor, Célia. "Report: Agdam, ghost city". Caucaz Europenewz. Archived from the original on 1 July 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  12. ^ Azerbaijani cities
  13. ^ "20 Abandoned Cities from Around the World". Daily Cognition. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  14. ^ Esslemont, Tom (25 June 2009). "Karabakh guns still at the ready". BBC News. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  15. ^ Armenians occupied Agdam cities listed among the ghosts
  16. ^ "Turks complain to Pope on vandalism in Karabakh church by Armenians". Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  17. ^ Adil Nadirov: «Bizi az qala döyüb öldürəcəkdilər" (Azerbaijani)
  18. ^ Vaxt olmayan yer (Azerbaijani)
  19. ^ Ermənilərin xarabaya çevirdiyi Ağdamın «İmarət» stadionu (Azerbaijani)
  20. ^ “Caqa” ikinci dəfə lotereyada uddu (Azerbaijani)

External links[edit]