By Laman Ismayilova
The International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation has hosted an international scientific conference "The Great Silk Road and the Turkic World".
A book presentation "Azerbaijan on the Silk Road" published in English and Russian was also held as part of the event. The book was published on the initiative and with the support of the organization, Azertag reported.
President of the Foundation Gunay Afandiyeva addressed the conference. She spoke about the activities of the organization in preserving, promoting and popularizing the cultural heritage of the Turkic world, as well as about future projects.
She stressed the importance of studying the Great Silk Road for the foundation. In 2017, Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation organized a round table to discuss Turkic heritage at the crossroads of cultures and civilizations within the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue Turkic Culture.
In 2019, a round table on the topic "The Role of Great Silk Road in building dialogue among Turkic speaking countries" was attended by heads and representatives of international organizations, including the Turkic Council, TURKPA, TURKSOY, UNESCO, IRSICA, as well as ambassadors, scientists and turkologists from different countries of the world.
In her speech, Gunay Afandiyeva noted that the publication of the book is the first part of the large-scale international project "Turkic-speaking States on the Great Silk Road" implemented by the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation.
The project is planned to be held in the member and observer countries of the foundation.
Gunay Afandiyeva emphasized the importance of the rapprochement of the Turkic-speaking peoples, as well as the promotion of the common Turkic cultural heritage in the international arena.
It was noted that the book is the first general academic publication on the study of the history of Azerbaijan on the Great Silk Road from ancient times to the late Middle Ages.
The work carried out research on the impact of international land and sea trade routes passing through the territory of Azerbaijan on the political, economic and cultural development of the country in the 2nd century BC. - 16th century AD, that is, in a period of almost 1700 years of history, as well as the role of Azerbaijan in the global cultural exchange on the Silk Road. The monograph has been compiled on the basis of numerous historical, archaeological and written sources.
Speaking about the preparation of the book, the President of the Foundation expressed gratitude to the scientists who participated in the project for their merits in presenting at a high scientific level the exceptional role of Azerbaijan in research on the Great Silk Road.
Gunay Afandiyeva stressed that one of the main junctions of the Great Silk Road is the historical and ancestral lands of Azerbaijan, liberated from occupation. As an example, she cited the famous Khudafarin bridge in Jabrayil region.
As a result of the Armenian occupation, the territories where the Great Silk Road passed, unique architectural monuments, caravanserais, ancient mosques and madrasahs that have existed for thousands of years were destroyed.
The President of the Foundation noted that there is no doubt that today, thanks to the well-deserved victory of Azerbaijan, art samples will soon restore their appearance, acquire a new look, and this path will be the path leading to development, peace, integration.
Speaking at the conference, First Deputy Culture Minister Vagif Aliyev noted that the Silk Road throughout history accelerated the cultural development of mankind and made a significant contribution to the expansion of cultural exchange, being its catalyst.
"Historically, people moving along this economic artery not only transported goods from East to West and from West to East, but also carried the culture of different peoples and civilizations. The ancient Silk Road left a rich heritage in the history of our country. Today, many of the remains of ancient cities, caravanserais, baths, mausoleums and other monuments preserved in various regions of our country are the cultural heritage of both our country, as well as an integral part of the Turkic world and Great Silk Road," he said.
Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Secretary General of the National Commission of Azerbaijan for UNESCO Elnur Sultanov said that this topic is relevant for the UNESCO National Commission and is of great importance in terms of the development of regional cultural relations.
"It is gratifying that the historical and architectural monuments of our cities located on the ancient Silk Road are protected, and our intangible cultural heritage is preserved to this day. Mehriban Aliyeva, First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, has made exceptional achievements in including samples of our material and spiritual heritage in the UNESCO lists, as well as in protecting and promoting them in the international arena," said Sultanov.
"In the context of the topic discussed today, I would like to mention national and multinational nominations, such as "Traditional art and symbolism of Kelaghayi, making and wearing women's silk headscarves", "Traditional Azerbaijani carpet-weaving art"," Art of Miniatures", as well as our other nominations included by UNESCO in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity"," he added.
Speaking at the conference, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan Serzhan Abdykarimov, Charge d'Affaires of the Kyrgyz Republic in Azerbaijan Mukhamed Lou, Ambassador of Turkey to Azerbaijan Cahit Bagci, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Azerbaijan Bahrom Ashrafkhanov, Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan Mekan Ishanguliyev highly appreciated the project and spoke about the impact of the Great Silk Road on the cultural, social and economic life of the countries they represent.
Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor, full member of ANAS Shahin Mustafayev, who made an extensive presentation at the conference, highlighted the role of the Great Silk Road in strengthening relations between Turkic countries and popularizing the historical and cultural heritage, customs and traditions of Turkic-speaking peoples and expressed gratitude to the president of the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation Gunay Afandiyeva for support in the implementation of this project.
The conference participants stressed the importance of holding events related to the Turkic world within the framework of cooperation, as well as an exchange of views on the implementation of various projects in the revival of the historical Silk Road.
Furthermore, Gunay Afandiyeva presented certificates of appreciation to Azerbaijani scientists for their services in the preparation of the book "Azerbaijan on the Silk Road".
The author of the idea and the foreword to the book is the president of the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation Gunay Afandiyeva.
The monograph under the guidance of Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor, full member of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev was prepared with the participation of Doctor of Philosophy in History Farda Asadov, Doctor of Architecture, Professor, full member of the International Academy of Architecture of the Countries of the East, corresponding member of ANAS Jafar Giyasi, Doctor of Philosophy in History, Associate Professor Goshgar Goshgarli and Azerbaijani scientist-archaeologist, Doctor of Historical Sciences Tarikh Dostiyev.
International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation focuses on the preservation of Turkic heritage in member countries as well as conducting projects in collaboration with partners in third countries.
The organization provides assistance in the protection, study and promotion of Turkic culture and heritage through supporting and funding various activities, projects and programs. It carries out its activities in cooperation with TURKSOY and the Turkic Academy.
In 2019, at the 7th Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States (Turkic Council), Uzbekistan became a member of the organization, and Hungary received the status of an observer country.
In February 2021, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation and the Lithuanian embassy in Azerbaijan.
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