Interview with S. Ugurlu, an IDP serves fellow IDPs, fond memories of Lachin

"File:Lachin corridor (checkpoint) - 6.JPG" by Benoît Prieur is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Interview by Irina Tsukerman

December 1, 2020 

Image credit: “File:Lachin corridor (checkpoint) – 6.JPG” by Benoît Prieur is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Name, age, current location of the respondent

Name as given, S. Ugurlu. Currently, I live and work in the Takhtakorpu settlement, Agjabadi district, where internally displaced people of Lachin temporarily settled.

When and under what circumstances you left Lachin? What were your memories of the city before invasion and departure?

We left Lachin on May 18, 1992, when I was 6 years old. On the day we left, the Armenians fired the grad rocket into our yard and a large mulberry tree in our yard fell into pieces … I had a big swing hanging from a mulberry tree in our yard, and it disappeared among the pieces. My father had his first heart attack at that time … Before the occupation, we had been living very happily. We had a beautiful family, beautiful neighbors, a beautiful house and a big yard … I think my childhood ended there, we- hundreds of children like me had to grow up one day. … Lachin was a very developed city for the time.

There was a cinema, beautiful monuments, sightseeing to visit in Lachin. Unfortunately, we did not spend our youth in the place where we were born, and for years we were called refugees … But nevertheless, we always believed that one day we will return to those lands. Today, as a result of the courage of the brave Azerbaijani army and the determination of our Supreme Commander-in-Chief, our lands have been liberated.

I bow in front of the martyrs. We had very difficult days when we were displaced. Today, young people who were not born in Lachin shed blood for Lachin, They are registered voluntarily for fighting for Lachin, and I think there is a special wisdom here. You do not need to see it to love your homeland. I grew up in Baku, but 19 years later I decided to serve internally displaced children in Takhtakorpu and began my teaching career there, although I worked as a translator for a very large company and was a graduated from Azerbaijan University of Languages.

 How do they feel about the upcoming reintegration? 

 Of course, we are looking forward to the return to the place, where our home, our land, the spirit of our ancestors are waiting for us. Every day I pray to God that nothing will happen to my mother because adults have a greater right to see the sacred lands where they have spent half of their lives …

 Do you hope to return home? what are you looking forward to when you do it?

I would be very happy if our house was as same, because my father painted, decorated on the walls of our house with his own hands… I miss our yard as if when I return, my father will be resurrected and I will feel like a child again…

 Any comments on plans to contribute to rebuilding the city?

I wish that the old structure would not be completely destroyed in the reconstruction of the city so that people who left there years ago could easily find the place they wanted.

I believe that Lachin, like all prosperous regions of Azerbaijan, will improve, and as a young man, I am ready to do everything for my land.