Tuesday December 6 2022

Azerbaijan marks National Press Day

22 July 2020 10:15 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan marks National Press Day

By Laman Ismayilova

With its rich history, Azerbaijani national press plays a major role in the country's public life.

Azerbaijani national press celebrates its145th anniversary, commemorating the first release of "Akinchi" (Ploughman) newspaper.

Published for the first time in 1875 (July 22) by Hasan bey Zardabi, "Akinchi" gave a powerful impetus to the formation of a national press.

With its progressive mission, the newspaper fought against injustice and ignorance.

The newspaper covered a wide range of scientific, educational and cultural topics.

"Akinchi" harshly criticized superstition and backwardness. Popular science articles on agriculture and natural sciences as well as various stories about social and cultural state of Muslims in the Caucasus were also published on its pages.

Over that years, Hasan bey Zardabi had to face many challenges. During the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), Tsar’s censorship prohibited to touch upon political issues in the newspaper.

Since 1880, this newspaper was published under the name Ziyayi-Qafqaziyye".

Despite its closing in 1884, "Akinchi" paved the way to other national publications.

In the following years, newspapers like Shergi-Rus (1903-1905), Hayat (1905-1906), Molla Nasreddin (1906-1931), Fuyuzat (1906-1907), Shalale (1913-1914), Igbal (1912-1915), Dirilik (1914-1916), Achiq Soz (1915-1918) continued the noble goal of the "Akinchi" newspaper.

The satirical magazine "Molla Nasraddin" was another achievement of Azerbaijani national press.

The magazine was revolutionary for that time as it criticized corruption, snobbery, ignorance, religious fanaticism.

"Molla Nasraddin" actively promoted equal rights for women as well as freedom of expression and preservation of national language and traditions.

The name "Molla Nasraddin" was inspired by the 13th century Sufi wise man with a good sense of humor. His stories had a subtle humor and was very popular in public.

"Molla Nasreddin" also addressed uneducated people and used satirical verses, stories and cartoons to convey its messages to the society.

The magazine was banned several times in 1912, 1914 and 1917. The magazine was printed over 25 years (1906-1931).

Since gaining independence in 1991, Azerbaijani press has been actively working on providing information about the unfolding of events .

Azerbaijan Press Council is in charge of media self-regulation. Founded in 2003, the Press Council aims at enforcing public oversight of the profession, ensuring freedom of the press and strengthening the relationship between government and media.


Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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Azerbaijan marks National Press Day - Gallery Image
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