Speech of the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev at the Centre of History, Culture and Arts of OIC in Istanbul - May 8, 1997

Distinguished Professor Ahment Ihsan oglu!

Distinguished Centlemen!

Now I am in the Centre of History, Culture and Art of OIC in Istanbul, so I would like to draw your attention to such a thing that in Azerbaijan the extensive researches into the history of Islam are being carried out. I think these researches should be dissaminated and propogated. Noting the importance of further development of the close relations between the Centre of OIC in Istanbul and the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, its Institute of Oriental Studies and other centres in our republic, I would like to mention that these relations may play an important role in the studying and extensive propogating of the history of our people, of Islam and of islamic culture. Reminding that the lives of distinguished and well-known figures of Azerbaijan and the ancient culture of our people occupy n important place in the common Turkic and Islamic history, I hope that when history of the turkic people and islam will be explored and rewritten, the life and the works of the great thinkers of Azerbaijan will occupy their worthy place there too. The Azerbaijani culture has very rich history. IT is very important to study and propagate of this culture. In the XX century, which is going to an end, the achievements of the Azerbaijani literature, culture and art are particularly noteworthy and they are the achievements of the world. Distinguished composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov created the opera "Leyli and Mejnun" based on the poems of the same name of outstanding azerbaijani poets Nizami and Fuzuli. And Gara Garayev composing symphonic poem "Leyli and Mejnun" in 1960 converted this classic oriental subject rased it to the level of modern music. Of course, we have many such prominent persons and we can talk about the creative work of each of them for hours and days. Since they also belongs to the Islamic world, it is imortant to study and propogate them in the Islamic world, in the Turkic and Arabic countries. In this respect, it is important to pay everincreasing attention to the preparation and conduction of joint measures for rapprochement the relations between the OIC centre in Istanbul and Azerbaijan.

The words written in the book for the honorary guests after getting thoroughly acquainted with the centre:

"The activities of the Centre of OIC in Istanbul are of great importance and evokes a feeling of deep satisfaction. Rich library, precious exhibits creat opportunuties for studing the history and culture of Islam. I wish new successes to this centre.

Heydar Aliyev
President of the Azerbaijan Republic