By Vafa Ismayilova
The delegation of the Turkic Council (Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States), TURKSOY (International Organization of Turkic Culture) and the Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation have visited Azerbaijan's newly-liberated Fuzuli and Aghdam regions, local news sources reported.
The visiting delegation consisted of Turkic Council Secretary-General Baghdad Amreyev, TURKSOY Secretary-General Dusen Kaseinov, Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation President Gunay Afandiyeva, Turkic Council Deputy Secretary-General Gismet Gozalov, representative of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's Second European Directorate Zamin Aliyev, Turkic Council representative Farrukh Jumayev and others.
Turkic Council Secretary-General Baghdad Amreyev, who visited the regions in question as part of the delegation, said that Azerbaijanis expected the return and liberation of the Armenian-occupied lands for 30 years.
"This is a very big victory not only for the Azerbaijani people but also for all Turkic countries. That is why all fraternal Turkic peoples perceived this victory this way. Today we visited the destroyed Aghdam,” Amreyev said.
He added that Aghdam was waiting for its owner.
“It was clear that this city was waiting for its owner. Previously, it was a prosperous place and I am sure that now, after the liberation of these lands, the Azerbaijanis will return here, reviving the former glory of these places. We are very glad to be here today and see all this," he added.
Sharing his impressions about the scenes he witnessed in Aghdam, TURKSOY Secretary-General Dusen Kaseinov said that it is difficult to convey the feeling when one sees how the civilization, created by the Azerbaijani people over the centuries, died here as a result of Armenian occupation.
“Passing by the fertile lands, I thought that just as after a drought these fertile lands await rain, so this land awaits its poems, its architectural structures that have been created here for centuries. Having united, we, all Turkic peoples, will give these lands a new life, we will revive these lands spiritually and culturally on an economic and financial basis. We must all do this together," he said.
In an interview with journalists, Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation President Gunay Afandiyeva said that historical and religious monuments had been looted and destroyed in Aghdam.
"This is a crime against humanity. We cannot remain indifferent to this. We have prepared reports and will send them to the relevant international organizations. At the same time, we want to play a role in the restoration of these beautiful lands and monuments," she said.
The delegation members visited Aghdam's Juma Mosque, reviewed the houses destructed in Aghdam by Armenia and the mausoleum of Karabakh's Panah-Ali Khan. They later left Aghdam for Fuzuli.
In Fuzuli, they visited the ruins of the city of Fuzuli, destroyed by the Armenians, familiarized themselves with the construction of the Fuzuli-Shusha road. The guests walked through the streets of Fuzuli, inspected the destroyed mosque, culture house and the editorial office of the Araz newspaper. They witnessed acts of vandalism committed by Armenians in the region where houses, public buildings, schools, kindergartens, hospitals and industrial enterprises, cemeteries, historical and cultural monuments had been destroyed and burned in the past 27 years.
Commenting on destructions in Fuzuli region, Gunay Afaniyeva urged international condemnation of Armenia's vandalism in Azerbaijan's liberated lands.
"These are purposeful crimes. They must be condemned by the world community. I am confident that our state will restore this place, as well as Shusha, Aghdam, Zangilan, Kalbajar, Gubadli, Lachin and other places, where the sounds of mugam will be heard again, and our artists will create their own works. The International Foundation for Turkish Culture and Heritage will also support it," Afandiyeva said.
Turkic Council Secretary-General Amreyev said that "Fuzuli was really razed to the ground. I believe the fraternal people of Azerbaijan will restore Fuzuli and this city will be one of the most beautiful and prosperous cities".
Turkic Council Deputy Secretary-General Gismet Gozalov said that the council had always supported Azerbaijan's territorial integrity internationally and ceratin resolutions had been adopted on this occasion.
"In the Second Karabakh War, the Turkish Council stood by the people and state of Azerbaijan. The Secretary-General also visited Ganja. At that time, the Secretary-General made a statement on the atrocities committed by Armenians in Ganja. Our goal in coming here after the war is to show the Armenian savagery to the whole world once again. We intend to take appropriate steps together with Azerbaijan to restore our historical heritage. We also want to work on the development of tourism, investment promotion and restoration of our cultural monuments on the liberated territories," Gozalov said.
Over 700 historical and cultural monuments registered by the state before the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were looted, including the 11 and 15-span Khudaferin bridges in Jabrayil, Ganjasar and Khudavend sanctuaries in Kalbajar, the mausoleum in Aghdam's Khachin Turbetli village, Azykh cave in Fuzuli as well as Shusha state historical and architectural reserve.
A Moscow-brokered ceasefire deal that Baku and Yerevan signed on November 10 brought an end to six weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
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