Toivo Klaar, the European Union's special representative for the South Caucasus, used the words "Khankendi/Stepanakert" and then "Stepanakert/Khankendi" in two different tweets he shared one day apart. This ambiguity of Klaar paved the way for discussions in the Armenian segment of social networks, information websites and Telegram.
For example, Sossi Tatikyan, a commentator-blogger, wrote that while in Kosovo, she saw place names written in both Albanian and Serbian languages. Wherever the ethnic group is the majority, its language is also used. Sossi Tatikyan also asks a fair question from the Armenian perspective: why shouldn't we have this?
Faktyoxla Lab. has tried to clarify this claim.
For Sossi Tatikyan, as for the vast majority of her compatriots, not international or the constitution, but the Armenian logic is the main and important thing. However, just because Armenians consider Noah Armenian, neither Noah was Armenian, nor the history of the human race begins with Armenians.
First of all, the comparison and parallel between Kosovo and the former "Nagorno-Karabakh" is quite unsuccessful and time has proven it. Just like the time buried the hopes and dreams of the Armenians for the "Kosovo option". Kosovo is a de facto independent state. It is true that Azerbaijan does not recognize this state, and many of our interests here are based on the principle of territorial integrity and our friendly relations with Serbia. Although Türkiye recognizes Kosovo, it considers Karabakh an integral part of Azerbaijan. Although we do not know, let's say that we compete with Kosovar athletes in sports competitions. Our national football team even managed to lose to their colleagues from Kosovo. In these games, UEFA's procedures have also been implemented. In other words, most of the world, especially the West, recognizes Kosovo as a state. Of course, this cannot be said about the terrorist regime in Karabakh, which dreams of independence. Even Armenia itself has not taken this risk for nearly 30 years. Moreover, a separatist institution is a quasi-institution that does not exist in the legal space outside of international law. It is ridiculous for the terrorist organization and its representatives to refer to any international practice.
Over 90% of Kosovo's population is Albanian. According to the constitution, there are two state languages: Albanian and Serbian. The majority, of course, speak Albanian. And Serbian? There is an interesting point here. The second most used language is Bosnian, followed by Serbian in third place. By the way, the fourth place is the Turkish language.
If the Albanian and Serbian languages are recognized as state languages by the constitution, can the same be said about the Armenian language in our case? Of course not. Azerbaijan is a unitary state, and the Constitution mentions "Azerbaijani" as the state language. The whole world, including Yerevan, recognizes and accepts Karabakh as the territory of Azerbaijan. Therefore, our Constitution rules in Khankendi as well as everywhere in the country. In this case, why should "Stepanakert" be written and accepted as a place of residence?
It is interesting that the claim of the Armenians and Tatikyan in particular is groundless from the historical point of view. Firstly, the name of this settlement was historically Khankendi. It was Armenianized only with the arrival of the Bolsheviks. Secondly, after Azerbaijan became independent, the historical name was returned to the city. There is no doubt that Tatikyan knows these things. Simply, with what she wrote, she expresses in a different way that the last place of hope for Karabakh Armenians is "autonomy" as the people of Yerevan think.
- The expression "Khankendi/Stepanakert" in the tweet written by the special representative of the European Union for the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar, is not true at all. The name of the largest city of the Karabakh economic region of Azerbaijan is Khankendi.
- The Armenian commentator's criticism of Toivo Klaar, who made a mistake, and her comparison with Kosovo are baseless.