Azerbaijan Celebrates Independence Day

Azerbaijan celebrates the 106th anniversary of the formation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR).

The formation of the ADR, the first democratic republic in the Muslim East, was announced on May 28, 1918, in Tiflis by the National Council chaired by Mammad Amin Rasulzade.

At that time, Baku was under the occupation of the Bolsheviks and Armenian gangs, so the provisional government of Azerbaijan, led by Fatali Khan Khoyski, continued to operate in the city of Ganja for some time.

The Ottoman Empire was the first to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence.

According to the agreement signed between the two countries on June 4, 1918, the Caucasian Islamic Army, led by Nuri Pasha (Killigil), arrived in Azerbaijan.

The regions of Goychay, Salyan, Agsu, and Kurdamir were liberated from the Armenians and Bolsheviks, and on September 15, 1918, Baku was liberated.

In the battles for Baku, 1,130 servicemen of the Caucasian Islamic Army were killed.

In a short time, Azerbaijan implemented reforms in the fields of economics, education, religion, and other areas.

The “Declaration of Independence” of Azerbaijan secured equal rights for all citizens, regardless of race, religion, or gender. Azerbaijan became the first country in the Muslim East to give women the right to vote.

The national currency and postage stamps were introduced, and a state bank and Baku State University were created. On June 26, Azerbaijan established a national army, with officers of the Ottoman army playing an important role.

By a government decision on June 27, 1918, the Turkic language was declared the state language in the ADR. Previously, many schools conducted education in Russian, but after the creation of the ADR, education in the Turkic language became mandatory.

On December 7, 1918, the 120-seat national parliament began its activities, representing all political parties and ethnic segments of the country’s population. During its 17 months of activity, the parliament adopted 230 bills.

On April 28, 1920, Red Army troops occupied Azerbaijan, putting an end to the existence of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. Most government officials and intellectuals left the country. The founder of Azerbaijan, Mammad Amin Rasulzade, spent the last years of his life in Türkiye. In 1949, he founded the Azerbaijan Cultural Association in Ankara, continuing to speak about the situation in his country, writing books, and organizing conferences.

Rasulzade’s words, “Once raised, the flag will never come down,” became a slogan for all Azerbaijanis.

After the collapse of the USSR, Azerbaijan regained its independence. Modern Azerbaijan is considered the successor to the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic of 1918-1920.

Independence Day was called Republic Day from 1991 to 2021. At the plenary session of the Azerbaijani Parliament on October 15, 2021, a new law “On Independence Day” was adopted. On the same day, the law was approved by President Ilham Aliyev.

After the law was approved, the name of May 28, Republic Day, was changed to Independence Day.





Back to top button