A Third Hotel May Rise in Sheki on the Site of Historical Tragedy

A Third Hotel May Rise in Sheki on the Site of Historical Tragedy

In the picturesque city of Sheki, nestled within the verdant landscapes of Azerbaijan, lies a historical fortress steeped in the memories of the past. Yet, recent revelations have cast a somber shadow over its ancient stones, revealing a disturbing narrative of violence and oppression hidden beneath its tranquil facade.

Aydin Salis, a civil activist and journalist hailing from Sheki, has brought to light a harrowing tale of the innocent victims of repressions by Bolshevik and Tsarist Russian regimes. His impassioned plea to honor the memory of those who perished in the courtyard of the historic Sheki prison resonates with a call for justice that transcends time.

The narrative unfolds with the unveiling of archaeological excavations led by Khagani Almamedov, a researcher at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of ANAS. Buried beneath the soil near the fortress's upper gate lay the poignant remnants of a forgotten past – human remains clutching unexploded cartridges dating back to the early 20th century.

The significance of these findings cannot be understated. They evoke a grim tableau of violence and conflict, hinting at the fate of those who met their untimely end within the fortress's walls. Were they Turkish prisoners of war from the tumultuous era of the 1915 war, or perhaps officers of the fledgling Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, silenced by Bolshevik repression in the 1920s?

As the excavation efforts faltered due to funding constraints, the specter of oblivion loomed large over the site. The Tourism Agency's dwindling resources brought an abrupt halt to the quest for historical truth, leaving the findings shrouded in silence, concealed from public scrutiny.

Yet, amidst this lamentable turn of events, Aydin Salis emerges as a voice of conscience, sounding the alarm against the desecration of hallowed ground. His impassioned plea for the respectful treatment of the deceased echoes the sentiments of a community grappling with the weight of its past.

The prospect of repurposing the fortress prison into a commercial venture, namely a hotel, raises troubling ethical questions. Can we, in good conscience, build upon the bones of the innocent, consigning their memory to the annals of forgotten history? Salis's call for the relocation of human remains to a dedicated cemetery for victims of repression serves as a poignant reminder of the moral imperative to confront our collective past with reverence and compassion.

In an illuminating interview with Turan, archaeologist Khagani Almamedov corroborates Salis's account, shedding light on the excavations and the unsettling discoveries therein. However, uncertainty shrouds the fate of future excavation efforts and the intended use of the fortress building, leaving the community in a state of apprehension and unease.

As the city of Sheki stands at a crossroads, torn between the imperatives of development and the imperative to reckon with its past, one thing remains clear: the echoes of history cannot be silenced. In the pursuit of progress, let us not forget the silent voices of the past.

 

 

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