The Gulustan and Turkmenchay treaties, signed in 1813 and 1828 respectively, laid the foundation of the split of the Azerbaijani people and division of their historical lands, subsequently leading to expropriation of those lands. In a very short span of time, the mass resettlement of Armenians to Azerbaijani lands began. Although Armenians, who were resettled in the territories of Iravan, Nakhchivan and Karabakh khanates, were less in numbers than the Azerbaijanis living there, they managed, with support from their patrons, to establish an administrative unit called the “Armenian oblast”. This artificial division of state territories encouraged the displacement of the indigenous people of Azerbaijan from their lands as well as the execution of genocidal policies against the Azerbaijani people. In order to realize the idea of “greater Armenia” on Azerbaijani lands, Armenians began to falsify their own history and the history of Azerbaijan and the entire Caucasus. Seizing the opportunity of the First World War as well as the February and October revolutions, which took place in 1917 in Russia, Armenians attempted to carry out their despicable intentions under protection of the Bolsheviks. From March 1918, the Baku Soviet, under the pretext of combating counter-revolutionary elements, developed a plan to exterminate Azerbaijanis in Baku Province. 31 March – Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis During those tragic events, tens of thousands of peaceful civilians in Shamakhi, Guba and other cities, as well as in Baku province were killed on ethnic and religious grounds, settlements were destroyed, cultural monuments, mosques and cemeteries were razed to the ground. The March 1918 events became the focus of attention following the proclamation of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) and in order to investigate violence against the Azerbaijani population the Council of Ministers on 15 July 1918 adopted a decision on the establishment of the Extraordinary Investigation Commission (EIC). A special authority was established at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to increase the world community`s awareness of the truth about these tragedies. In 1919 and 1920, Azerbaijan Democratic Republic commemorated 31 March as a national day of mourning.
On March 26, 1998, when President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev signed the Decree “On the genocide of Azerbaijanis” did those horrific events receive proper political recognition. March 31 was declared the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis. The Decree said: “All tragedies, which occurred in the 19th-20th centuries in Azerbaijan and were accompanied by the invasion of lands, constituted stages of the systematic genocide carried out by Armenians against Azerbaijanis. Attempts were made to give political recognition to only one of these tragedies – the March 1918 massacre. . As a political successor of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, azerbaijan Republic recognizes its historical duty to get political recognition of the events of genocide, which the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic failed to complete during its tenure.””.