Turkey

Karabakh Victory Concert marks Azerbaijan's Victory Day in Turkey

TRT Ankara Radio Polyphonic Choir, artists from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan perform at concert

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 09.11.2021
Karabakh Victory Concert marks Azerbaijan's Victory Day in Turkey

ANKARA

The Karabakh Victory Concert was held Monday in the Turkish capital Ankara on the occasion of Azerbaijan's Victory Day, the first anniversary of the liberation of Azerbaijani territories from nearly three decades of occupation by Armenian forces.

The event, organized by the Azerbaijani Embassy in Turkey along with the Turkish-Azerbaijani Friendship Cooperation and Solidarity Foundation (TADIV), the International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY), Azerbaijan's Culture Ministry, the State Committee on Work with Diaspora of Azerbaijan, and Turkish public broadcaster TRT, hosted nearly 200 guests.

A short film was shown describing the main aspects of the 44-day Second Karabakh War, also known as the Patriotic War, in which Azerbaijan liberated some 300 settlements from Armenian occupation.

The concert program included songs performed by the TRT Ankara Radio Polyphonic Choir as well as a number of artists from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan and a folk dance group.

The national anthems of Turkey and Azerbaijan were also sung by the choir at the beginning of the concert.

During the event, the participants had a chance to sample Azerbaijan's traditional cuisine.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Aygun Attar, the head of TADIV and a member of the Presidential Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said the celebration of Victory Day in Turkey, which "shares the happiness and sorrow of Azerbaijan," has a special meaning.

Referring to the sons of Azerbaijan fallen in both Karabakh wars in the 1990s and in 2020, Attar said: "Those who were martyred in Karabakh suffered the same fate as those who were martyred in Canakkale."

Thousands of soldiers died in one of the world's most ferocious battles in the Gallipoli campaign in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

The battle took place between April 25, 1915 and Jan. 9, 1916.

'Sharing happiness today'

Rashad Mammadov, Azerbaijan's newly appointed ambassador to Turkey, speaking at the event noted that Victory Day is being celebrated with hundreds of events in different parts of the world.

"Our Turkish brothers and sisters, who shared the sorrow of the clashes, who remembered us in prayers, are also sharing our happiness today here with us," he said.

Dusen Kaseinov, the secretary-general of TURKSOY, noted that the history of the Turkic nations is "full of glorious victories," adding that Azerbaijan last year added "a new one to these glorious victories" with the support of the Turkic world.

"During the 44-day Patriotic War, the Azerbaijani army gave us the joy of victory by liberating our lands from the occupation at the cost of their lives," he said, adding Victory Day is a "very important day" for the Turkic world.

"I wish Allah's mercy to all my brothers who were martyred for the sake of the homeland, who enabled us to witness this blessed victory, and wish a fast recovery to our veterans, and I bow before them with respect," said Kaseinov.

- Shusha Declaration

Samil Ayrim, a Turkish lawmaker who chairs the Turkey-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Friendship Group, said with the events organized worldwide, they tried to explain the "just cause" of Azerbaijan on the first anniversary of the victory.

Ayrim recalled that during the 44-day war last fall, he visited the Azerbaijani frontline four times.

Speaking on the Shusha Declaration, he said they "proved to the world" that Azerbaijan and Turkey's relations are at the "level of alliance" besides the relations of brotherhood and friendship.

In June, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed the Shusha Declaration, a pact focused on defense cooperation and establishing new transportation routes.

The agreement also affirms that Turkey and Azerbaijan will work together in the face of any external threat.

Hasan Oymez, deputy general manager of TRT, stressed that as TRT, they made all efforts to announce the "just cause" of Azerbaijan to both Turkey and world public opinion from the first day and until the last day of the conflict as well as showed Armenia's attacks against civilians to the whole world.

Victory Day

The latest large-scale clashes erupted in the Karabakh region on Sept. 27, 2020, when the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, violating several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

Azerbaijan then launched a counter-offensive operation, later dubbed “Iron Fist,” which led to the 44-day conflict ending with the liberation of Azerbaijani lands from the nearly three-decade occupation of Armenian forces.

On Nov. 8, Azerbaijan celebrated Victory Day on the first anniversary of the liberation of Shusha, the pearl of Karabakh, which played a crucial role in the fate of the Patriotic War, leading to the defeat of Armenian forces.

Shusha, Azerbaijan's cultural and historical capital, was liberated after 28 years thanks to the army, mainly special forces teams, as heavy weapons and ammunition could not enter the city due to its geographical and natural features.

Azerbaijani forces entered Shusha, surrounded by a mountainous terrain and located on the top of a rock, with light weapons only and destroyed the Armenian army in a close battle.

The Armenian leadership had no choice but to accept Azerbaijan's terms and withdraw from the occupied lands in the following days.

On Nov. 10, 2020, the two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement to end the fighting and start working towards a comprehensive resolution of the dispute.

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