Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva met with Turkish athletes who dedicated their victories to Azerbaijan at European Weightlifting Championships
28 April 2023, 16:00
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva have met with the Turkish athletes who dedicated their victories to Azerbaijan at the European Weightlifting Championships in Yerevan.
Welcoming the Turkish athletes, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Greetings and welcome to Azerbaijan! You have raised the glorious Turkish Flag and had the National Anthem played at the European Championship in Armenia. I heartily congratulate you on behalf of the entire Azerbaijani people on this occasion. At the same time, you have dedicated this victory to Azerbaijan. This is something that makes us particularly happy. This once again shows that Türkiye and Azerbaijan are two brotherly countries that stay together in all matters. You are there when we are not, and we are there when you are not. We are one; we are allies. We are brothers!
Your victory has particular importance. You are still very young, and there will be many more victories in your life, but this victory is remarkable because you restored justice when disrespect was shown for Azerbaijan, our national flag. The fact that the Turkish flag was raised there was a restoration of justice. The playing of the National Anthem of the Republic of Türkiye made all the people sitting there stand up. They burned our flag, but the Turkish flag, which is as dear to us as our own, was raised there. And this was done by you – beautiful young people and representatives of the brotherly country.
As you know, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva and I congratulated you with a letter and invited you to Azerbaijan. I am glad that you have accepted our invitation and come to Azerbaijan, your fraternal country, and your arrival again shows our unity.
To burn a flag brings no honor to anyone. Today, the flags of our two brotherly countries, Türkiye and Azerbaijan, fly together on Mount Ağrı, Mount Murov, the Zangezur Mountains, and Shusha, and will fly there together forever.
I want to congratulate you again from the bottom of my heart. For once again demonstrating Turkish-Azerbaijani unity, I am awarding you the “Taraggi” medal, the highest award of the Azerbaijani state. I would now like to present this medal to you.
x x x
Then, the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on awarding Turkish athletes Cansu Bektas, Gamze Altun and Nuray Gungor with the “Taraggi” medal for dedicating their victory to Azerbaijan as a manifestation of the unshakable brotherly relations between Azerbaijan and Türkiye at the European Weightlifting Championships held in Yerevan was read out.
President Ilham Aliyev presented the medals to the Turkish athletes.
A commemorative photo was taken.
x x x
Talat Unlu, president of the Turkish Weightlifting Federation: We also have gifts for you, Mr. President, and we would like to present them too. Dear Mr. President. This is one of the first gold medals we won in Armenia, and this is the medal won by our Cansu. I would like to ask you to accept this on behalf of my country, our weightlifting organization and Cansu.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, thank you very much.
Mehriban Aliyeva: Thank you very much.
Talat Unlu: Given the day's significance, this medal is very important. We were all deeply saddened by the attack against the Azerbaijani flag there, and that night we experienced the same feelings together with our Azerbaijani brothers. Even when we talk about that now, it sends shivers to our bodies. Our kids have displayed tremendous perseverance and achieved excellent results. Thank God. Inshallah, our unity and solidarity will always be there. As we always say, we are one nation in two states and should be together, alive and strong.
President Ilham Aliyev: Inshallah.
Mehriban Aliyeva: Inshallah, Amen.
Talat Unlu: We know that you and our President are brothers. This is very important for us. Please accept this.
President Ilham Aliyev: It is true. Thank you very much indeed. We should put it in our sports museum. This is another symbol of Türkiye-Azerbaijan unity and a manifestation of the high qualities of our young people. This hard-fought medal won by our girl Cansu has been gifted to Azerbaijan. Thank you. All Azerbaijani people love you, as you know, all of you. Thank you very much.
Cansu Bektas: I love them too.
Yasin Arslan, Vice-President of the Turkish Weightlifting Federation: This is the logo of our federation, the Turkish Weightlifting Federation, Mr. President. Please accept this too.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much.
Talat Unlu: This is a gift to Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva.
Mehriban Aliyeva: Thank you, thank you very much indeed. Let me put this on, and we will have our picture taken. Thank you very much.
Talat Unlu: This is for the significance and importance of the day, Mr. President, the national uniform of our country.
Then, the meeting continued at a tea table.
President Ilham Aliyev: Congratulations again. You have made all the people of Azerbaijan truly happy. Our girl Cansu said that I am dedicating this win to Azerbaijan, and she has touched the feelings of the entire Azerbaijani people and made us all happy. In the letter Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva and I wrote, we mentioned that we are proud of you, and this is the case.
Talat Unlu: Dear Mr. President, I would like to thank Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva and you very much on behalf of our country and all our athletes. You have made us very happy. Because on such a day, it is very important that you have invited and received us here. The burning of our flag, the worst event there, of course, burned us inside.
President Ilham Aliyev: Yes, and the person who burned that flag was not punished; nothing was done to him or said. On the contrary, they greeted him with applause. As you know, nobody gets any punishment for burning a flag now. On April 24, they burned the flags of Azerbaijan and Türkiye in the main square of Armenia. But can they approach our flags on Mount Ağrı, Mount Murov, in Shusha? Of course not! Therefore, this shows that they are helpless and powerless.
Our girls raised our flag there, and when the National Anthem of Türkiye was played, all those sitting there rose to their feet. This is the triumph; this is the proud occasion. Our states and peoples deserve this victory. In the Second Karabakh War, Türkiye was always with us in all other matters, and this was also the case in sports.
I invite you to Karabakh next time. I hope your next visit is to Karabakh. There you will see that the flags of Türkiye and Azerbaijan fly side by side in Shusha, which is a manifestation of the great love in the hearts of our people.