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Culture, science and sport in new Azerbaijan

The restoration of state independence of Azerbaijan shaped opportunities for intensive development of culture, formation of national ideology and extension of international connections. There began acting “Permanent Soviet of the Ministers of Culture of Turkish- spoken countries” in the mid of 1992, its executive organ- “Turksoy” in 1993. In 1996, Azerbaijan signed memorandum about the cooperation with UNESCO and in 1997, Azerbaijan included to European Convention on Culture.

In 1996, there was created Azerbaijan – Turkish Vaqf of Friendship and in 2001, Azerbaijan Centre of Ataturk.

One of the major national identities is the language. With the aim of further completion of Azerbaijan language and strengthening of its role as official one the President Heydar Aliyev gave an Order “About the completion of applying of official state language” on July 18, 2001, and a little bit later, in September, 2002, the parliament of the country adopted “Law about the state language in Azerbaijan Republic”, which began to be applied by the Order of the President on January 2, 2003.

Due to turn the latin alphabet into universal and all-turkish culture for Azerbaijan nation there was adopted law about Azerbaijan writing on the ground of latin graphic on December 24, 1991. By the Order of Heydar Aliyev of June 18, 2001, entire transition into latin graphic began to be applied on August 1 and that day was declared as the Day of Azerbaijan alphabet and language.

The reforms in education were also essential: there were created new school and high-school programmes, were opened colleges, lyceum and gymnasiums. In 2001, there were 4485 secondary schools, 38 internats, 46 high schools (29 them were state and 18 were private), 73 special study institutions and 109 professional institutions in the Republic. There studied more than 1 million 62 thousand pupils and about 120 thousand students in the mentioned institutions. More than 3 thousand students of Azerbaijan studied abroad. There began the transition to bachelor and master degrees in the high schools of Azerbaijan during 1993/2004 education year.

Despite of all difficulties in these years science continued to develop in Azerbaijan as well. The increasing of wages of scientific workers, care and attention to their creating labour after the returning of Heydar Aliyev to the reign contributed to the stop of moving of intellectual forces abroad. By special Resolution, the Academy of Sciences of the Republic was renamed to National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, all functions of coordination of all scientific-research works were given to its responsibility. There were published general publications as “The history of Azerbaijan” in 7 volumes, “The encyclopedy of Uzeyir Hajibeyli”, “Encyclopedy of My grandfather Korkud´s book” in 2 volumes, special volume of “Azerbaijanis” as well as tens of monographic researches in the sphere of history, ethnography, archeology, literature, language knowledge, philosophy, economy and other spheres of knowledge in these years.

There were instituted international reward named after Fuzuli in the sphere of literature by the initiative of Heydar Aliyev in 1996, there was ceremonically celebrated 1300th anniversary of important world literature monuments – heroic ephos of “My grandfather Korkud´s book”, which reflected essential period of national history, culture and life-stock of Azerbaijan nation. Along with mentioned evidences, there were ceremonically celebrated dates of the history of Azerbaijan press, theatre and cinema.

In 1998, there was celebrated 80th anniversary of the establishment of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1998, and 75th anniversary of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic.

There was conducted First Worldwide Congress of Azerbaijanis of the World by the order of the President of Azerbaijan Republic on November 10, 2001. There was created “Coordinational Soviet of World Azerbaijanis” in the Congress, which participated in 560 deputies from 37 countries of the world. There was created the Representations of Azerbaijan under this Soviet in 150 countries of the world.

There shaped suitable conditions for the development of mass information in the Republic – more than 200 newspapers in various political directions, many journals began to be published, private radiostations and televisions were exploited as well.

Literature, Art and Architecture gained further increasment.

Such highly-artistic works as “My died world” by Ismail Shikhly, “Room in a hotel” by Anar, “Governor and his daughter” by Ilyas Efendiyev, “Ah Paris, Paris” by Elchin, “Evil” by Isa Husseinov enriched the literature.

Such creations as “Frenchman”, “All for the best” by Vaqif Mustafayev, “Bat” by Ayaz Salayev, “Useful with glad” by Rasim Ojagov, “Other time” by Niyazi Mehdiyev and others were recognized in international movie festivals. There was conducted film festival of East-West, which became traditional in Baku, in October 2002.

There were opened the monuments of Hussein Cavid (1994, O.Eldarov),   Shah Ismail   Khatai   (1993,   I.Zeynalov, Z.Mehdiyev), academician Yusif Mammedaliyev (1998, A.Askerov), mousaleum of Hussein Cavid in Nakhichevan and Jafar Jabbarli in Khizi (1999, C.Garyaghdi). In 1998, there was opened great monument on the honour of the victims of “Bloody January” of 1990 and in 2002, there was opened the monument to the genius of Azerbaijan poetry, Nizami Gandjavi in the city of Sankt-Petersburg.

The growth of Azerbaijan sport began in the second half of 90s. National Olympic Committee, which president is current leader of state, Ilham Aliyev, played an important role in the strengthening of material- technical basis and organization of sport movement in the Republic.

Azerbaijan sportsmen successfully represented Azerbaijan in many sport competitions at the end of the 20th century and the basis for the development of sport in the republic in those years gave its impact in Olympic games, world and European Championships in the latest decades, as well as enriched the thrift-box of Azerbaijan sport with high rewards.

Essential work in the spheres of strengthening of material- technical basis of the fields of culture, science and sport, completing of the process of its organization and implementation, responding to modern standards were realized even in the period after 2003. In latest five years, there were constructed 1600 new schools, repaired hundreds of schools. Generally, there functioned 4500 schools in Azerbaijan. If five years ago there was one computer to 1000 pupils, at present day this number reached to 29 pupils.

In coherence with the Confirmation of the President of Azerbaijan Republic of State Programme about 200 young people were sent to 45 leading high-schools of the world for study. It shapes opportunity for the integration of the education in Azerbaijan to European system of education. The Order of the President of Azerbaijan Republic of January 31, 2009, “About several measures, relating with the intergration of high-schools of Azerbaijan Republic to extension to the high education in Europe” is much more essential; there is mentioned that the including of Azerbaijan into the structure of European Union in 2001, and concluding Bologna declaration, which was adopted by the Ministeries of Education of European countries by Azerbaijan Republic was major step in the direction of integration of high schools of our country to European system of education.

Scientific   researches   are implemented by   approximately   30 thousand academic workers in high schools and more than 80 scientific- research institutions. It is characteristic that Azerbaijan led on the development of information technology among the countries of CIS. Azerbaijan takes the place in the first half among 127 leading countries of the world in the “Survey about global development of information technology”, compased by World Economic Forum for 2007-2008s.

Not only separate laboratories for the goals of oilchemistry industry, but also in other spheres of natural and art sciences are actively developing.

The preparation to the creation of nuclear reactor and own centre of nuclear investigation, which are planned to be exploited in 2010-2011, continued in Azerbaijan and the specialists of the country participated in the exploitation of Great nuclear collayder in Swetherland.

There is given big attention to the protection of cultural heritage of the nation. The prove of this are the orders of the President “About the publication of Azerbaijan National Encyclopedy” and “About the realization of mass publications in Azerbaijan language with latin graphics” (January 12, 2004), personal leadership over the publication of National Encyclopedy and signing of documents, relating with it, which examined extra expences for scientific degree, the increasment of the pensions of students, masters and Ph.D. students. By the support of the state there were constructed and exploited the buildings of international Mugham Centre and Azerbaijan state Film Foundation in 2008. There were made capital reconstructions in the buildings of the Palace of Heydar Aliyev, Academic National Dramatic Theatre, Russian State Dramatic Theatre, the Theatre of Young Spectators, Azerbaijan State Museum of Art, National Library named after M.F.Akhundov, Baku State Circus and many other institutions of culture. Baku was declared “The capital of Islamic culture” in the 5th Conference of Ministers of Culture by state-members of the Organization of Islamic Conference in 2009.

In May, 2004, there was opened the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which was instituted with the aim of study and propaganda of rich socio-political heritage of world-wide leader H.Aliyev. The president of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva gives special attention to the development of education and culture. There were constructed and repaired 226 schools, were provided with modern equipment 47 schools and kindergartens in the frame of programmes, realized by personal initiative of Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva in latest five years. The objects of special attention of Heydar Aliyev Foundation are the internats and orphanages and the support of talanted youth.

The achievements of the Republic in the spheres of sport, success, obtained by sportsmen in essential international contests became possible thanks to the acitivity of National Olympic Committee, 64 federations on the kinds of sport, 63 sport clubs and 66 sport communities. There was confirmed “State programme of the development of physical culture and sport in Azerbaijan Republic in  2004-2008s” by the order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan Republic №181 in August 2004. In latest 5 years, there were constructed 19 modern Olympic sport complexes, which have all conditions-opened and closed squares, swimming-pools, sport equipment – in all regions of Azerbaijan. It became traditional to organize complex mass contests- Republic youth games, Republic sport festivals and Olympiads among the students of educational institutions, in which participated hundred thousands sportsmen-amateurs-in the Republic.

From August 13 to 29, 2004, sport delegation of Azerbaijan, consisted of 38 sportsmen that participated in 28th Summer Olympic games. Azerbaijan sportsmen took 37th place as team, obtaining 1 gold and 4 bronze medals. On 17-28th of September, the team of Azerbaijan took place in 12th Parolympic games, obtaining 4 medals-2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze one. The continuence of successful participation was the 29th Olympic Games in Pekin, where the sportsmen of Azerbaijan gained one gold, two silver and four bronze medals and took 39th place as team; and in 13th parolympic games they gained more medals than in previous time – 10 medals.

Despite of olympic kinds, there is conducted great work on the development of national kinds of sports, which are lovely ones of the nation: national fought- wrestling, weight-lifting, backgammon, tag of war and etc.

In this plan, Republic sports festival on national kinds of sport, which becames traditional and is organized each year shaped the ground of mass character of sport among the population.

Since 2003, the successor of political school of Heydar Aliyev and the leader of New Azerbaijan Party Ilham Aliyev became a leader of the Republic of Azerbaijan. I.Aliyev won to his all hispolitical rivals and after the presidential elections on 15th October of 2003, on 15th October of 2008 and on 09th October of 2013 became a president of the Republic of Azerbaijan. At the result Ilham Aliyev is the first president that has elected for three times in succession in the history of Independent Azerbaijan Republic.

Ilham Aliyev is a continuer of Heydar Aliyev’s course in the foreign and internal policy, so his leading period to the government values as the new stage in political, socio-economic and cultural development of Azerbaijan. During these periods has taken many decisive steps in the direction of legislative state creation and citizen society. On 6th November of 2005 the III summon and on 7th November of 2010 the IV summon have carried out the elections for  the Parliament of the Republic Azerbaijan. In 2010, at the result of Parliament election 72 members from New Azerbaijan Party, 12 members from other political parties and 41 non-political parties members have elected. As it seems, in the Parliament elections New Azerbaijan Party was more superior than other political parties.

Azerbaijan has to direct a big part of its state budgetary to the military expenses because of confusion of territorial integrity and more than 20 years our lands are under the occupation of Armenian aggressors. Azerbaijan for its National Army that has trained according to the NATO standards and for its military power became the leader in the South Caucasus.

On 3th July of 2007, the gas pipeline of Shahdeniz by the means of the South Caucasus pipe has entered to the gas pipeline system of Turkey on the route Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum. Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline beside with compensation of natural gas requirements of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, plays an important role in passing Azerbaijan gas to Greece and other European countries through the Turkey. During 2011 and 2012, have signed some according agreements between the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkey about the project of Trans-Anadolu Gas Pipeline (TANAP) that intends to extract Azerbaijan gas to Europa. After the same agreement has appeared the realization of Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) in the energy provision of Europa. The TAP project intended the transition of “Shahdeniz-2” gas deposit in the Caspian Sea of Azerbaijan by the means of Greece and Albania passing through the bottom of Adriatic Sea to Italia and from there to the western European countries. On 17th of December of 2013, in Baku has signed the Final Investment Decision on Shahdeniz-2 with the participation of Azerbaijan, Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Croatia, Montenegro states and government leaders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italia, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey, the counselor of USA president on energetic problems and with the participation of commission of European Union on energy problems. The same documents as Ilham Aliyev the president of Azerbaijan calls “The Agreement of 21th centuries” has created many opportunities in widening The South Caucasus pipeline in all over the territories of Azerbaijan and Georgia also to the realization of the project on building Trans-Anadolu (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic (TAP) gas pipelines. With the new gas pipeline has prognoses to extract over 10 mlrd. cube meters in the first stage and over 20 mlrd. cube meters in the II stage to Europa. On the  same great project, that has got more over 3 billion cube meters gas resources and Azerbaijan is the main participant, intended to attract the investment in amount of 45 mlrd. USD and to open new work places for 30 thousands employees in the countries which the pipeline will be pass through the countries. In the Shahdeniz-2 project determined the part of British Petroleum (BP) is 28.8% as a main operator, but as a main supporter the part of the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan is 16.7%. There planned to start the building of the new energetic project in 2014, but on the project the exportation of the first Azerbaijan gas to Europe planned to 2019.

During 2003-2013s decreasing of depends of economy on oil industry, the state policy carrying out for guarantee the sustainable development, beside with oil industry and non-oil areas especially, for manufacturing industry has grounded the guarantee.

At the present-day Azerbaijan has trade relations with more than 140 countries of the world. The foreign trade circulating of the republic was more than 33mlrd USD, in 2013. From the republic to the foreign countries has exported the product in amount of 22mlrd.

USD and the products in amount of 11mlrd. USD has imported. In the foreign trade circulating Turkey, Great Britain and Russia play an important role for Azerbaijan.

During 2003-2013s we can say in all the regions of Azerbaijan has built the schools, museums and parks with new and modern technical equipment. In most of region of the republic has built the treatment and diagnosis centers and hospitals.

In generally, 2003-2013s in all over the republic near 18 the modern Olympic centers have given to utilization.

During 2003-2013s, at the result of carried out effective and purposely economic policy the production of general internal product (GIP) has increased more than three times. In 2012, the amount of GIP per men was more than 5800 manat (near 7500 USD). In 2013, in Azerbaijan the amount of general internal product reached to 73.5 mlrd. USD and the production of GIP per men increased to 10700 USD (8392 manat).

According to the correctly prepared accounting of the World Economic Forum, Azerbaijan in 2013, for the index of global competitive ability in comparison with 2012s, has grown for 7 levels and stood in the 39th place among 148 states. The world economy that is under the globalization period, our motherland Azerbaijan is one of fifty countries that has its own economic competitive ability in the  world and all of these are the visual indicators of purposely and progressive policy that is carried out in our republic. According to the effective makroeconomic environment the Republic of Azerbaijan is in the 8th place, for the effective labor market is in the 30th place and for the level of technological preparation is in 50th place.

On the base of order that signed on 13th July of 2012, by Ilham Aliyev the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan, for decreasing additional payments and for not wasting time, for ethical relations with citizens, for increasing the transparence, for stenghtening the faith against the corruption has created “ASAN Service” centers. The opening of such centers in our country created new conditions for state creation and citizen relations becoming into the new qualitative plane.

On 8th   of February, 2013, the first artificial satellite of Azerbaijan has sent to orbit and it is also could be considered as the great   progresses   of   the   republic   on   informational   and communicational areas.

The Azerbaijan government according to the speedy development strategy of the republic announced the 2014 year as the “Year of Industry”. The year of 2014, has started very progressive for Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijan state gives very high attention to the development of secondary schools and high schools, the guarantee of children and youths with the highest education and the training of the highest specialized personnel that meets the world standards. Since 2005, the given sources from the state budgetary to the educational areas increased for three times according to incomings of state budgetary and for the economic development of the country. On the base of financial supports by state budgetary and by the Heydar Aliyev Fund for the recent years has built or fundamentally reconstructed more than 2200 new schools.

The pupils gained the highest educational degree at the secondary schools of Azerbaijan achieved 18 gold, 38 silver and 71 bronze medals during 1998 – 2011s in the World Subject Olympia.

Beside with the science and educational areas in Azerbaijan, our state also gives very high attention to the development of culture and art.

At the result of the State Program on the development of Azerbaijan movies during 2008-2018, have finished the making of movies as “Buta”, “The world is inside out”, “Additional influence”, has completed. For widely propagation of our culture and art has activated the “Culture” channel since 15th of February of 2012. For developing our art of classic music has created the “International Mugham center” in 2008. During 2005-2013s have carried out 4 Mugham Television Contest and all of these were the best interesting events for our music art. In 2011, Azerbaijan participated in Eurovision Song Contest and won the 1st place among 39 participated countries.

The Azerbaijan sportsmen have active participation in the international sport contests and Summer Olympic Games and achieved to great progresses. On August of 2004, in Athena carried out the XXVIII Summer Olympia Games, Azerbaijan gained one gold medal (wrestler Farid Mansurov) and 4 bronze medals and were among 38-45 places in Europa, but in the XXIX Summer Olympia Games that carried out in Beijing we gained 1 gold (judoist Elnur Mammadli), 2 silver and 4 bronze medals and took the 20th place among European countries. In 2012, XXX Summer Olympia Games that carried out in London, the Azerbaijan sportsmen raised to 10 the number of medals (2 gold, 2 silver and 6 bronze). In London Olympia Games our free-style wrestlers Sharif Sharifov and Toghrul Asgerov stood up the highest level and achieved to rise our holy tree colored flag and to sound there our State hymn too.

In the first ten years of 21th century for the level of military – political power and socio-economic development the Republic of Azerbaijan became a main leading state in the South Caucasus. For the human resources our republic is one of higher countries of the region, for the highest economic development and powerful army made the necessity to liberate Azerbaijan territories from Armenian aggressors.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"