Azerbaijan celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan (ADR). The major events were held throughout the country and in several countries of the world on May 28, the day when Azerbaijan declared its independence in 1918.
“ADR was a first democratic republic in the Muslim world. We are proud that the Azerbaijani people founded this republic,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the official reception on the occasion of the holiday.
President Aliyev declared 2018 as the Year of ADR. This event significantly contributed to the study of the indispensable contribution of the first republic and its founders in the history of Azerbaijan. Dozens of books have been published, documentary and feature films about events of that period have been made, various educational activities have been held. This is a new stage in the study of the ADR heritage in Azerbaijan, which is important for strengthening the independence and development of the country.
There is a lot of evidence to study. “Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan had a short life, 23 months only. But plenty of work has been done in this period, including the establishment of the national flag, citizenship, and national army of Azerbaijan. Next month we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of our army. In September 1918, the national army of Azerbaijan, together with the Caucasian Islamic Army, liberated Baku from Armenian Bolshevik detachments and returned our ancient historical city, Baku, to the people of Azerbaijan. ADR authorities created the border patrol units. The city of Ganja regained its historical name. More than 200 bills were adopted within a short period. One of them was the law granting women the right to vote. The founding of the Baku State University shows that the ADR government planned to do a great deal of work on training and education. Also, the Azerbaijani language was adopted as a native language at all educational institutions,” Ilham Aliyev said listing the achievements of the founders of ADR.
Due to global reasons, the founders of the first republic could not accomplish all of the missions but the historical and political significance of ADR cannot be overestimated. The mission of ADR was continued at the end of the 20th century.
Even before the collapse of the Soviet Union and a year before the declaration of independence by Azerbaijan in November 1990, the tricolour of ADR was adopted as a national flag on the initiative of the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan, Heydar Aliyev. Only then, the parliament of Azerbaijan adopted the flag and the coat of arms of ADR as official attributes of the new independent state.
Later, under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev, Azerbaijan managed to defend its independence. “1993 was a turning point in our history. In fact, the history of our independence begins this year, because in 1991-1993, independence was formal, conditional. Azerbaijan was controlled from outside. We all know this well. Therefore, the Azerbaijani people quite rightly consider Heydar Aliyev as the founder of the state independence of Azerbaijan, the architect of the Azerbaijani statehood, which is a historical truth,” Ilham Aliyev said.
Thanks to great experience and incredible efforts, Heydar Aliyev managed to take Azerbaijan out of political and economic crises, prevent further occupation of its territories by Armenia and achieve a truce, concentrating on state building. Azerbaijan adopted its Constitution, which the founders of ADR did not have time to make, completed the army construction, became a full-fledged master of its natural resources and established mutually beneficial international relations.
“As a result of serious economic reforms, we could see an inflow of large investments into Azerbaijan. The Contract of the Century was signed, which was the main factor that conditioned our economic independence. We are all well aware that without economic independence there can be no talk of political independence. Serious steps were taken in building the army. A regular army was established in Azerbaijan. In general, since 1993, Azerbaijan has been confidently following the path of development, which continues until presence,” noted President Aliyev at the reception on the 100th anniversary of ADR.
Today Azerbaijan is one of the few countries with a small territory and population that is able to conduct a truly independent policy thanks to its economic strength and consistent foreign policy.
Modern Azerbaijan has managed to defend its independence, to strengthen and develop the ideas of democratic statehood proclaimed by ADR and to confirm the historical statement of the founding father of ADR, Mammad Emin Rasulzadeh: “The flag once raised will never fall!”