View of Azerbaijani Parliament some time in 1919-20. Courtesy of Cavid Aga

In early 1920, the Azerbaijani Republic released its Address-Calendar – effectively the country’s “Yellow Pages” – that detailed its political, economic and social organization.

Among other things, the more than 300-page book lists the names and address of 11 Armenian members of the Azerbaijani parliament. (Armenian parliament at the time had 7 Muslim members). Ankara-based Azerbaijani researcher Cavid Aga has translated some of the speeches of one of the Armenian MPs, Dashnaktsutyun member Arshak Malkhazyan, who among other things addressed cases of anti-Armenian violence in Azerbaijan.

But even with 11 of 96 members, Armenians were under-represented relative to their population – 21.4 percent of the territory claimed by Azerbaijani Republic, including 19 percent in the city of Baku and one-third of Ganja Gubernia, which included Karabakh and Zangezur.

The book also includes the organization of the “Temporary General Governorate of Karabakh Region,” installed with Ottoman Turkish and British support, and involving both Muslim and Armenian representatives, pending resolution of Armenian-Azerbaijani territorial disputes. The book outlined the position of Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry as follows:

“As far as relations with Armenia, its government’s policy towards Muslim population of some of the regions, such as Nakhichevan, Sharur-Daralagez, Boyuk-Vedi and others, as well as in the Karabakh and Zangezur questions, which was initially war-like and uncompromising, after long-term diplomatic engagements, that even drew the involvement of foreign states, specifically England and America, resulted in agreement on November 23 [1919] between prime ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan and the start of the Armenian-Azerbaijani [Peace] Conference that began working on December 14, 1919. The agreement and the Conference must mark a start of truly good-neighborly relations between the two Republics, which agreed that from now on all issues must be resolved peacefully, and not through force of arms.”

This optimism did not last long, however. Fresh clashes resulted in the massacre and expulsion of Shusha’s Armenian population between March 20-26, 1920, shortly before Azerbaijan’s and later Armenia’s Sovietization.