Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev in the festivities devoted to the opening of the 500th anniversary of the prominent Azerbaijani poet Muhammad Fuzuli in the campus of Bilkent University near Ankara. November 1, 1994.

Mr. President of the Republic of Turkey, my dear friend and brother Suleyman Demirel,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today is a great holiday for our peoples. We celebrate the 500th anniversary of the scholar, wise man, philosopher, poet of the Turkic world, of the Azerbaijan and Turkic peoples Muhammad Fuzuli in Turkey, Ankara, in this beautiful palace of Bilkent University. I convey my greetings and express my esteem on this celebration to cognates assembled in this place, to our brothers and people of Turkey on behalf of the people of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Azerbaijan. I congratulate you all, the people of Turkey and the Turkic world on this great celebration.

 Over its long history, our people have gone through great trials, faced many difficulties, but retained its national identity, literature, language, religion and passed them to the present generations and happy days. Our peoples contributed many figures to the world culture and enriched the civilization with many valuable works in science and culture.

Muhammad Fuzuli occupies a peculiar position among the greatest personalities of our people. It is already 500 years, that poetry of Fuzuli inspires our people, who live and work under their influence of this poem and develop their spiritual values and culture. Due to his works, his great spiritual and cultural heritage, Mohammed Fizuli laid the foundation for the unity of our people and their coexistence. His works always helped our people to overcome the difficulties, to come to the present day, his poems were always a school for us, we learned from these works. The heritage of Fuzuli is priceless. The Azerbaijani people achieved great successes in the development of their culture for centuries, and especially in the XX century under the influence of the works created by Mohammed Fizuli. The prominent Azerbaijani composer, Uzeyir Hajibeyov created the first in the orient, in the Turkic world the professional opera based on the poem "Leili and Majnun" written by Fizuli 500 years ago. The Azerbaijani writers, scientists, composers, artists created great works, developed the culture of our country, and made a tremendous contribution to the world culture under the influence of Fizuli. All this, the great heritage of Mohammed Fizuli is an example for the present and future of the Azerbaijani people.

As you know, the Azerbaijani people have passed through various stages in its history. Great socio-political changes took place beginning from the early years of XX century to the present day in the life of our people. Despite the political regimes, socio-political situation, the Azerbaijani people never forget its culture, language, spiritual values, never forgot the heritage of Fizuli, on the contrary, using this heritage went through great difficulties, gained its national independence and created an independent state.

The Turkish people have a great history, 71 years have passed since the establishment of the Turkish Republic. The Turkish people, Turkey have always been an example for the Turkic world in the past centuries and in republican period. The Turkish Republic established by a brilliant man, a great leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, vividly demonstrated to the world the power of the Turks, the Turkic world, the Turkic people in the past 71 years.

When the Azerbaijani people fought and tried to achieve their national liberation, to create their own national state, they have always relied on the support of the Turkish people, learned from the experience of the Turkish Republic, going by the road of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. All of it played a great role in the creation of independent Azerbaijani Republic, which is already existing for three years, and in its strengthening and development in these years.

There are friendly and brotherly relation between the peoples of Azerbaijan and Turkey welded with inseparable ties. Our ancestors established these relations. These relations were established by Fuzuli, he bequeathed and gave them us. Today the valuable people of Turkey and Azerbaijan, patriotic and peace-loving people, people who want to serve their country honestly and with dignity, extend these friendly and brotherly relations and will continue to develop them.

The Republic of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani people appreciate the friendly and brotherly relations with the people of Turkey, the Republic of Turkey, help and support provided by the Turkic Republic to Azerbaijan in this difficult period of its life. At a time when the Armenian aggression continues in the lands of Azerbaijan, we consider the Republic of Turkey our great supporter. I express my respect and esteem, gratitude to the people of Turkey, the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish government on behalf of the Azerbaijani people, the citizens of our country here, today. We are sure that the friendship and brotherhood between our peoples existing for centuries which have reached the highest peak will be unbreakable and last long. I can assure you that the Azerbaijani people are proud of its independence, will never lose it and always protect and be with the Turkish people and the Republic of Turkey on this road.

The number of people who wanted to come to this ceremony from Azerbaijan was very high. The scholars, writers, officials wanted to participate in this ceremony. Undoubtedly, there was no opportunity for everyone to come. But I believe that the number of people who came from Azerbaijan and the number of the people from Turkey here is about the same. It illustrates that the Azerbaijani people are interested in Turkey and Turkey always attracts the Azerbaijanis. The celebration of the anniversary of Fuzuli, the arrival of a great delegation from Azerbaijan here are symbols of our friendship and brotherhood on this significant day. All this makes us happy and enhances our sense of love for the people of Turkey.

I express my great respect and esteem to all the brothers and sisters who have services in the organization of this ceremony headed by Ihsan Dogramachioglu.

There has been created a large committee for the 500th anniversary of Fizuli in Azerbaijan. The news on the creation of such a committee also in Turkey pleased us very much. I convey my respect and esteem, gratitude to the heads and members of this committee on behalf of the Azerbaijani people.

It is the significant day from the other point of view. Today is the birthday of the President of the Republic of Turkey of our dear friend and brother, beloved friend of the Azerbaijani people, esteemed Suleiman Demirel. We call it the day of birth. It is not accidental. Fizuli was born 500 years ago, and 70 years ago an outstanding man of the Turkic world, a great, prominent politician, esteemed Mr Suleiman Demirel was born. It shows that the world of Fizuli, the race of Fizuli continues and gives the world community, world culture great personalities. Among these great people is Suleiman Demirel who is in politics and serves faithfully his state for over 40 years.

My dear friend and brother Suleiman bey, I cordially congratulate you on the occasion of your birthday, I wish you strong health, happiness and success in your activity for the future of the Turkish people, the Turkic world on behalf of the Azerbaijani people.

 The Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan elected our dear friend, brother Ihsan Dogramachioglu an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic. We are waiting for him in Azerbaijan. He could not come because of time. Thus, I ask you to let the president of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan Academician Eldar Salayev hand the Diploma of Honorary Academician of our academy to Ihsan Dogramachioglu.

Glory to the Turkic world, the people of Turkey!

Long live our literature, culture, spirituality!

Long live the unbreakable Turkish-Azerbaijani friendship!

Thank you!

“Azerbaijan” newspaper, November 3, 1994