Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the TEKNOFEST Azerbaijan Festival in Baku
28 May 2022, 15:06
My dear brother, President of the Republic of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Dear friends, sisters and brothers.
As you know, it is a holiday in Azerbaijan today – Independence Day, our dearest holiday. This is because my dear brother, who has boosted these celebrations with his presence, is with us today. On behalf of all the people of Azerbaijan, let's please cordially welcome the President of the Republic of Turkiye and all our brothers and sisters who have come to Azerbaijan alongside him.
One hundred and four years ago, the people of Azerbaijan established the first Democratic Republic in the Muslim world. Unfortunately, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic did not exist for a long time, it fell two years later, and Azerbaijan lost its independence. It was only in the early 1990s that Azerbaijan's state independence was restored. For 30 years, the people of Azerbaijan have lived freely in the environment of independence, building their own lives and confidently walking the path of independence. During these 30 years, our Turkish brothers have always been together with us. We have always felt this support, this fraternal support, for 30 years, and we are still feeling it today, and Turkiye and Azerbaijan are together again.
Two weeks ago, I was with my dear brother in Rize, one of the most beautiful places in Turkiye. Two weeks later, we are together again, this time in Baku. We are always next to each other, both in good times and in difficult times, and we must and will make sure that there are only good days ahead. Turkish-Azerbaijani brotherhood and unity are the main directions for our peoples, a crucial factor for the region and the world, and a factor of security and stability. The more confidently Turkiye and Azerbaijan stride together, the more robust the peace in our region will be. We and the whole world saw this during the Second Karabakh War. Turkiye was with us. My dear brother, the words of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the first hours of the war that "Azerbaijan is not alone, Turkiye is with it," gave us additional strength, inspiration and confidence. The Azerbaijani people will never forget this.
Our history is bright, and we were together in the most critical moments of our history. I remember that in a military parade dedicated to the liberation of Baku from Armenian occupation, Turkish and Azerbaijani soldiers stood shoulder to shoulder on Azadlig Square. We saw a repetition of this in the 2020 Victory Parade. After our historic victory, my dear brother and I hosted a military parade of the Turkish and Azerbaijani armies in Azadlig Square again. It was a celebration of our unity. It was a clear message to the whole world that we are together, that we will be together, and that our strength will grow day by day.
Dear President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in Shusha on 15 June last year, on National Salvation Day. This was a very significant event. 15 June is a holiday too. 28 May is also a holiday. We celebrated these holidays together, and by signing the historic Shusha Declaration, Turkiye and Azerbaijan officially rose to the level of an alliance. This alliance manifests itself everywhere – in politics, economic relations, energy, transport projects, culture, education, and army building. Today, TEKNOFEST is another demonstration of our unity. TEKNOFEST is a celebration of science, development, knowledge and technology. I am sure the young people participating in TEKNOFEST will never forget this historic day. The young people of Turkiye and Azerbaijan, who have been together for several days, have become as close as a family and got to know each other, and I am sure they will always be together in the future.
The outstanding son of the Turkic world, world-renowned scientist, the Nobel Prize Laureate Aziz Sancar also visited TEKNOFEST as a guest of honor. I remember my meeting with Aziz Bey. He told me that he had always had a big dream – to visit Shusha. After meeting with me, he went to Shusha and said that I had already achieved what I wanted to achieve in life – I have now been to Shusha. This made us very happy. People like Aziz Sancar are role models for young people – a scientist, a citizen, a Turk and a patriot. It would be best if you, young people, strived to be like Aziz Bey.
At the same time, I would like to welcome Selcuk Bayraktar sincerely. Selcuk Bey is not only the organizer and initiator of TEKNOFEST, Selcuk Bey and the Bayraktar family are very famous in the world. No one in the world would not know the role of the famous "Bayraktar" unmanned aircraft in the Second Karabakh War. Selcuk Bey was in Shusha yesterday. When he saw Shusha, I am sure he got further convinced that Azerbaijan and Turkiye were ready and able to fulfill any task. Our peoples are always selflessly ready to take every step to protect and ensure their national pride. Selcuk Bey is also an excellent example for young people, and I am sure our young people will try to be like Selcuk Bey.
A little immodest as it may sound, I think there are two more examples today – my brother and I. We are leading our countries forward along the path to independence. I have repeatedly said that Turkiye's growing power strengthens us, and we have become a global powerhouse by joining our forces.
Turkiye's successful development is first of all associated with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In my activity, I have always tried to protect the national interests of the Azerbaijani people and the state to ensure the independent policy of Azerbaijan. The brotherhood between us should be an example to the people of Turkiye and Azerbaijan.
I would like to again express my gratitude to my dear brother, esteemed President and all our friends, brothers and sisters from Turkiye for being with us on this holiday. I want to express my confidence that Turkiye and Azerbaijan will continue to progress.
Long live Turkish-Azerbaijani unity and brotherhood! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!