Happy Republic Day!
The country’s independence is its main asset and a great achievement, which opens the window of opportunities for something new, unknown, and promising. When our country became independent, I was three years old, and thus it may be difficult for me to talk about how difficult was the path of transformation from the post-Soviet country to the state we live in today. Although Independence Day, as we know it now, falls on October 18th, May 28th was and is the same day that we identify with freedom these days. It is considered a successor to the 23-month independence of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic — the first democracy in the Muslim East. The republic lasted only twenty-three months and ceased to exist on April 28th, 1920, when the 11th Red Army of the Bolsheviks entered Baku. Therefore, May 28th is a historic day that has entered the Azerbaijani people’s lives as a great and significant event.
Having gained independence in 1991, the Azerbaijani people once again demonstrated the desire for freedom and national self-determination. Of course, the first years of independence were difficult and unstable. There are no known cases when a country could achieve political and economic prosperity right after gaining independence. Like any organism, the state also gets through tests of time and multiple transformations; and faces survival challenges.
Today, we are celebrating the 102nd anniversary of the creation of the first democratic Republic in the East. It gave the world the first parliament in the Muslim East and the first suffrage for the women of the East. And so, we can analyze the path of 29 years of modern independence. Of course, we understand that over the years, Azerbaijan has proven that it successfully passed the survival test by building a strong and stable state. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic established the idea of statehood, which was nurtured, developed, and matured only due to the National Leader Heydar Aliyev’s endeavor. Thanks to the enormous efforts and aspiration of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has become an independent state that demonstrates gradual economic growth and political stability.
Happy Republic Day! Long live Azerbaijan!