Speech of Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev in the solemn evening, devoted to the 500-year anniversary of great Azerbaijani poet and thinker Mohammed Fuzuli - November 8, 1996

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

Dear guests, friends!

I congratulate you with my heart on the occasion of 500-year anniversary of great Azerbaijani poet Mohammed Fuzuli, a holiday of our people!

I extend my gratitude to delegations, statesmen, public figures, figures of science, cultures, to all guests, who have arrived in our republic from many countries for participation in anniversary celebrations, 500-year anniversary of Mohammed Fizuli, for the respect and attention, rendered to Fuzuli activities, rendered to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

It is three years that 500-year anniversary of Mohammed Fizuli spreads all over the corners of Azerbaijan and the world. Big solemn ceremonies, which are expressions of respect to activities of the great poet, have been held during these three years concerning 500-year anniversary of Mohammed Fuzuli in the Republic of Azerbaijan, in its each city, settlement.

Anniversary of Mohammed Fizuli has solemnly been convened not only in Azerbaijan, but also in many countries of the world. Solemn ceremonies in connection with 500-year anniversary of Mohammed Fizuli has been held in Turkey - Ankara, Russia - Moscow, Iraq - Bagdad, Kerbala, Kerkuk, Iran - Teheran, in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Dagestan - Derbent, Makhachkala, Paris, in headquarters of UNESCO. Mohammed Fuzuli`s activities and his heritage have been widely propagandized and informed up to the entire world.

The decision, accepted by UNESCO of the United Nations Organization, on conducting 500-year anniversary of Mohammed Fuzuli on a global scale, is a high estimation to creativity of the poet, respect and esteem, rendered to our people, to our culture. The Director General of UNESCO, dear mister Federiko Major has arrived in Azerbaijan concerning 500-year anniversary of Mohammed Fuzuli and today celebrates the anniversary together with us.

Great events connected with 500-year anniversary of Mohammed Fizuli have been held in Azerbaijan for last three years. At III congress of writers of the Turkic world, Mohammed Fizuli`s creativity and his 500-year anniversary have been the focus of attention. At VIII meeting of the TURKSOY International organization of Turkic countries, creativity and heritage of Mohammed Fizuli have also been the focus of attention. The International symposium has been held in Baku. In these days, Mohammed Fuzuli`s activities have more elevated both for the Azerbaijan public and all over the world.

Mohammed Fuzuli, being the great poet, scientist, philosopher of the Azerbaijan people, belongs to all Turkic people, all Turks, the Islamic world.

Mohammed Fuzuli`s creativity, his heritage have brought the big contribution to world culture, enriched it. During his 40-year activities, Mohammed Fuizuli has created the works living for 500 years. He has reached the summit of the Azerbaijan poetry, Eastern poetry, his verses, poems, ghazals, odes, quatrams support moral spirit of people for 500 years.

Many fields of science, philosophy have been analyzed and found its reflection in Mohammed Fuzuli`s works. All his works, as being samples of poetry, literature, at the same time comprise high philosophical ideas, scientific ideas. Mohammed Fuzuli, widely having analyzed the previous period, absorbed in his works the best samples of everything that have been created up to him in the East, in the Ancient Greece, in the antique Roman literature, in the ancient Indian literature, has reached the highest top of poetry, science, philosophy, being synthesis of East and West.

Mohammed Fuzuli has erected an indestructible statue, monument for himself with his works, creativity. This monument lives in hearts of people for 500 years. He is in heart of each citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic. It is a spiritual monument. Having overcome all storms, earthquakes, fights, wars, conquering new tops, it lives. Today, in this national holiday, we went to the monument, erected on Fuzuli square in capital of Azerbaijan - Baku, we put there flowers. But the spiritual monument, erected by Fuzuli, lives in a heart of everyone. It will live eternally and will live in a heart of the future generations.

Having analyzed the historical way, passed by people, Mohammed Fuzuli has reflected high philosophical universal ideas and values in his works. Having analyzed social - political processes, human society, human life of that time, he has left immortal ideas, recommendations to people, to society. All his works, glorifying mutual relations of people, positive qualities of the person, rejected all negative moments in a society, in people.

In works of Fuzuli love, fidelity, mutual relations, loyalty, reliability, trustworthiness of people have been sung. In his works, Mohammad Fuzuli has called people for loyalty, reliability, love, fidelity to the Native land, parents, ground and loyalty to their lofty senses. As 500 years ago, all these are now the most important and high moral qualities of people.

Mohammed Fuzuli, having reflected the life of his time, has directed his works to the far future. Therefore, works of the poet live for 500 years and will live even for millennia.

Mohammed Fuzuli has written then dominating Arabian and Persian languages. However, the most important is for us that the most part of his works have been written in Turkish, in today`s Azerbaijani. It is such a factor which distinguishes Mohammed Fuzuli from previous and subsequent poets, scientists of our people. Today we freely read Fuzuli`s poem "Leyli and Mejnun", his divan (selected poems of the poet) written in Turkish language. Thus, one of Mohammed Fuzuli`s greatest merits is that he has highly appreciated Turkish, the native language, despite complexity of the processes occurred during his time and later.

Mohammed Fuzuli has lived during very complex time, time of big wars. He has witnessed these wars and seen with his eyes what impact wars, enmity, conflicts deliver to mankind, to a society. Therefore, one of the basic motives of his works is the protest against violence, tyrannies and wars. He has called people for the armistice, peace, friendship and sung these qualities in his works.

Fuzuli has been the peaceful, benevolent person as his descendants and these qualities have always found reflection in his works.

Mohammed Fuzuli has rendered the big influence on all the subsequent generations with his works. From century to century, from generation to generation poets, writers, scientists, philosophers have written poems, created works. Many of them tried to imitate it. And it is also one of the merits of Fuzuli`s activities before the humanity, before our people.

The ideas, which are put forward in Fuzuli`s works, have been an incitement for creation of new great works in culture, literature of our people, Turkic peoples and peoples of the Islamic world. Today with feeling of the big pride it is possible to tell that the great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi for the first time has created the immortal poem "Leyli and Mejnun" on the basis of famous east legend. It happened in XII century. In XV century, Mohammed Fuzuli on the basis of the same legend created the poem "Leyli and Mejnun". In the world there are many works of art devoted to Leyli and Mejnun. In Middle Ages hundreds such works have been created. But we consider that Fuzuli`s "Leyli and Mejnun" poem has lifted philosophical sense of this legend to the highest summit.

In the beginning of XX century, the great Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibayov created an opera "Leyli and Mejnun" on the basis of Mohammed Fizuli`s poem for the first time in the Muslim East. It is characteristic that in XII century Nizami Ganjavi created the first poem about it, in XV century Mohammad Fuzuli lifted this poem to the highest level, in the beginning of XX century Uzeyir Hajibayov created the first opera of Azerbaijan on the basis of this poem. It is 90 years that the opera "Leyli and Mejnun" is performed in Azerbaijan`s stage. For these years it has gone round all over world. It has shown creativity of Fuzuli and Uzeyir Hajibayov to the entire world, lifted poem and music of Azerbaijani people to the highest tops.

In our century, the Azerbaijani writers, poets, composers, artists, sculptors have created the fine works, devoted to Mohammed Fuzuli`s works using the ideas, put forward in his works. Gara Garayev`s "Leyli and Mejnun" symphony and Jahangir Jahangirov`s "Fuzuli" cantata can be an example for it.

Thus, Mohammed Fuzuli with his creativity, works has lived up to now and now lives, inspires us, - will serve the future generations as spiritual food, will inspire for creation of new works. All these are the sense and meaning of Mohammed Fuzuli`s activities and the heritage left to generations.

500 years have passed since then. But Mohammed Fuzuli has always lived during these years. It is not casual that the majority of his works have been reached up today. However, Mohammed Fuzuli has not been studied, investigated and analyzed sufficiently as today from the scientific point of view.

During these 500 years, Fuzuli`s anniversary is marked, celebrated at such high level for the first time. So the respect and esteem is shown by modern Azerbaijan, present generation, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani people to its culture, history, to the great persons. However, it is only the beginning of researches and propagation of Fuzuli`s activities. I consider that his activities, heritage is such an immense which is necessary to do still much to penetrate its profundity, to learn ideas, recommendations in the deep layers. I hope that events connected with Fuzuli`s 500th anniversary open big ways for research and propagation of his activities as well as in the future.

I am sure that the future generations will not forget anniversary ceremonies of Fuzuli`s 500 – year anniversary and lift this initiative to the higher tops.

Our people always felt respect and gratitude to Mohammed Fuzuli`s activities and works. But we have never so deeply realized Mohammed Fuzuli`s activities and works in the past as today. These are connected with achievement of the national freedom, the state independence by the Azerbaijan people. Now in the independent state, in the independent country we can estimate freely and truthfully our history, national-moral values, traditions, we can propagandize them, not being afraid of anything.

We celebrate Mohammed Fuzuli`s anniversary during the heavy period of a life of our people, republic. As you know, eight years ago military aggression has been undertaken against the Azerbaijan Republic by Armenia. As a result of this military aggression, a part of Azerbaijan`s territory, 20 percent, has been occupied by the Armenian armed forces. More than one million our compatriots, which nowadays live in heavy conditions, in tents, have been violently expelled from the occupied lands. Territorial integrity of Azerbaijan has been broken, delivered huge blow on national statehood, territorial integrity of the country.

Besides, during gaining the state independence and after it, Azerbaijan has gone through the period of big social - political, social - economic processes. During this period, in a life of Azerbaijan very dangerous events to statehood, national culture of Azerbaijan have occurred. All this has poisoned, disturbed, created big complexities in a political and cultural life of the republic. But alongside with it, after gaining the state independence, Azerbaijan has constructed the democratic, legal, secular state in the country. Democratic processes develop; economic reforms are carried out in our republic. We build the new state, we form a new democratic society and we create new forms of economy. All these are very difficult processes.

During such a time, such a period, Fuzuli`s activities inspires us, encourages us. He has always brought up feelings of national dignity in our people, educated our people to perceive, protect the national dignity. Fuzuli`s activity is one of the greatest factors helping us in struggle for national freedom, during processes of the state construction, during the processes of construction of democratic, legal state in our country. We are proud of that our people have always protected, enriched Azerbaijan`s national-moral values by means of its great persons and made them a part of universal values. We are proud of that we have such great poet, scientist, philosopher as Mohammed Fuzuli.

There are no doubts that anniversary celebrations related to Mohammed Fuzuli`s 500th anniversary enrich a spiritual life of our people even more, bring up in it feelings of patriotism, fidelity to the ground, to the Native Land, mobilize all of us for restoration of territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, clearing the occupied lands, inspire us to reach Azerbaijan to even greater tops. We both today and tomorrow, will lead our people to the happy future using the moral values, created by Mohammed Fuzuli in our life and work.

I am sure that these anniversary events, this big holiday will unite our people even more. Mohammed Fuzuli called people for friendship, love, kindness. As singing love, affection, singing the pure spirituality, the lofty feelings in people, Mohammed Fuzuli called people for unity, solidarity, friendship, love, kindness. Today these ideas of Fuzuli are more important than everything for us. We should strengthen the unity, solidarity to lead our country from this heavy period, to restore territorial integrity of the country, to release the occupied lands, to develop democratic processes in the country, to provide its worthy place in the world community.

With feeling of satisfaction, I can tell that last years have been the years of strengthening might of the Azerbaijan state. Last years have been the years of stabilization of a political situation inside Azerbaijan. Last years have been the years of establishment and development of kind attitudes among people. We estimate them as our achievements. But at the same time, we consider them our first steps for the future of our republic, and I hope that Fuzuli`s activities and his admonitions will help us to move forward on this way successfully.

Glory to the poem, glory to Fuzuli, glory to his activities!

Long live a science, culture, poetry!

Long live the independent Republic of Azerbaijan!