Ahmad Javad: Poet of unbending lofty spirit in defense of independence
By Vugar Khalilov
May 2022 marks the 130th birthday anniversary of Ahmad Javad, a prominent representative of the Azerbaijani literature, great poet, renowned educator, and public figure.
Ahmad Javad, born on May 5, 1892, lived and created at a time when he was destined to serve his nation, the national statehood, and he never hesitated to sacrifice his life for the happiness of the Azerbaijani people.
The anniversary of Ahmad Javad, independence poet, and author of Azerbaijan's national anthem, is being marked across the country, with several memorial events as envisaged in the April 20 presidential decree to this end.
Ahmad Javad's legacy played an exceptional role in the formation and shaping of the idea of national independence in the early XX century, in cementing devotion to the national statehood during the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918-1920), for the survival of the idea of independence in the Soviet era, when Azerbaijan lost its independence under the coercion of the Russian red army.
He is a poet with a unique place in the independence history of Azerbaijani literary and creative philosophy. The poet is rich in patriotic motives since he spent his entire life upholding the national independence beliefs.
The poet's literary works, which describe Azerbaijan’s state symbols with high poetry and instill love for independent statehood, are an excellent lyrical expression of passionate patriotism. He devoted a poem to the flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1919 and wrote the lyrics of the young state’s anthem.
The poem's ideological and aesthetic force is such that it has become the contemporary republic's anthem as well. It is as if the poet's blood, rather than ink, was used to write the words.
Ganja, where Javad lived and worked, was the first capital of Azerbaijan's first democratic state. His poetry from that time clearly demonstrates what this new, independent state meant to the patriotic, progressive intellectuals who had struggled and endured inconceivable hardship to succeed in it.
Ahmad Javad was an expressive voice in Azerbaijan's literary, artistic, and public thinking history, marked by his own style as an independent poet in the enlightenment of the Azerbaijani people, with an outstanding position and resolve.
As one of the most prominent figures of his time, Ahmad Javad was always in the swirling uncertainty, reverse of a fortune, and of public and political events, for, he was subjected to terrible repressions in the 1930s and became a victim of the Soviet tyranny.
Ahmad Javad is also regarded as one of the greatest Turkic writers. Azerbaijan's famous poet played a pivotal role in the formation and spread of Turanism ideology in the early XX century.
The renowned poet's historical contributions and poetry are significant for the entire Turkic world. A number of his works, especially "The Black Sea Flickering" (or "Give way to the Turkish flag") and other poems are very famous today.
The great poet has always been in the whirl of public and political events and fought side by side with the Turkic people for the integrity of the Turkic world.
Therefore, the poet's 130th anniversary is being commemorated throughout a number of Turkic-speaking countries, including Turkey and Kazakhstan, as a sign of tribute to the Turkic world's great son.
A statue of Ahmad Javad, a patriotic poet, and public personality, who made a significant contribution to the Turkish and Azerbaijani peoples’ struggle for independence, has been erected in Ankara, Turkey, in appreciation of his merits.
The Turkish History Museum and Park in Istanbul hosted the monument's opening ceremony, which was attended by officials and notable members of the Turkish public.
Addressing the event, the chairman of the Etimesgut district municipality of Ankara, Anvar Demirelб stated that Ahmad Javad is a well-known figure both in Azerbaijan and in the Turkic world at large.
He recalled that Ahmad Javad stood side by side with the Turkish people in the struggle for national liberation, as well as in the Balkan wars, and it is a national duty not to forget the historical services of the prominent person. The erection of Ahmad Javad statue in the Turkish History Museum and Park in Ankara is a tribute to the great poet.
The statue of Ahmad Javad now stands next to the statues of Abay Kunanbayev, the founder of Kazakh written literature, Chingiz Aitmatov, the great Kyrgyz writer, Abdulhamid Suleyman Cholpan, the prominent Uzbek poet, and Ismail bey Gaspirali, the prominent thinker of the Turkic world.
Ahmad Javad was a true fighter for his homeland, people, and the Turkic world as a whole, and his devotion to Turkism was viewed as a major threat by Soviet ideologues. For this reason, the patriotic poet was a victim of the ruthless repression of 1937.
The diversity of Javad's creativity, in terms of ideas and problems, and the development of national citizenship reflects more clearly his place in the history of Azerbaijan, as well as literary thought.
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