According Sky News Arabia the Turkish government relocated dozens of Arab and Turkmen families from areas under its control in northeastern Syria to the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) region, to settle in areas from which Armenian forces withdrew, in order to to provoke a demographic change in the region.
The representative of the Autonomous Administration of Northeast Syria, Shafan al-Khaburi, told “Sky News Arabia” that he had confirmed information about the transfer of Syrian families by the Turkish Government of Justice and Development to the Nagorno-Karabakh region ( Artsakh).
Al-Khabouri explained that this is being done to bring about a demographic change in Karabakh, which is inhabited by large numbers of Kurds, and explained that the Kurds call the region “Red Kurdistan”.
He added that he and his administration were in constant contact with the Kurds and that they had ensured that some Syrian families reached there via Turkey.
Al-Khabouri indicated that demographic change is not a new approach for the Turkish government, having previously applied it in northeastern Syria, in the city of Afrin, which now has only less than 7% of its original inhabitants, and they want to repeat the experience in Artsakh.
Red Kurdistan, also known as Uyezd of Kurdistan or Kurdish Autonomous Province, was an administrative entity of the extinct Soviet Union that existed during the years between 1923 and 1929. Its capital was the city of Lachin, within the Azerbaijan SSR.
The presence of the Kurds in what is now Azerbaijan dates back to the 9th century. The area between Karabakh and Zangezur was inhabited in the 18th century by various nomadic tribes originating from Kurdistan. Eventually the Kurds became an ethnic majority in areas such as Lachin, Kalbajar or Qubadli.
Although Red Kurdistan has always been commonly considered to be an okrug or autonomous oblast, it never had that status. It was an uyezd, which in today’s independent Azerbaijan is just another administrative division, with no higher levels of autonomy than any other uyezd.