Speech by Heydar Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the solemn jubilee ceremony, dedicated to the 1300th anniversary of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" epic poem - Palace of "Respublika", April 9, 2000

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Dear Heads of State!

Dear Speakers of Parliament!

Dear Guests!

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Today the Azerbaijani people celebrates solemnly as an important holiday the 1300th anniversary of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" sublime epic poem. This jubilee is a historical event having a distinguished importance for us, for all Turkic world and for a culture of mankind. This is the holiday of respect of our centuries-old historical roots, our national traditions, our national and moral values, our culture and science. This is holiday of our national freedom and state independence.

"Kitabi Dada Gorgud", the great historical monument of Azerbaijani people and that of all Turkic -speaking people, has been existing during 1300 years. Taking into consideration how many efforts were made by our peoples for creation of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" even more earlier than 1300 years back and they finally managed to create this historical monument, we can realize what an ancient history, profound roots and rich culture have our peoples.

In the course of 1300 years "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" has passed a big, sublime and glorious way. Despite all difficulties and restrictions, "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" has always been a moral pabulum of our peoples, helped them to live, struggle, understand and protect their national self-consciousness.

However, it should be noted that highly appreciating the 1300 years long history of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud", we must admit that a big work in the field of study, research and propaganda of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" heritage was done in the course of the last three years in Azerbaijan and thanks to it, our people, all Turkic world and Turkic-speaking people got acquainted with "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" and it was presented to the world how invaluable property it is.

The VI Baku Summit of Commonwealth of Turkic-speaking countries successfully finished its work yesterday. At this summit, we have analyzed the work done during 8 years, since the establishment of Commonwealth of Turkic-speaking countries, we looked through this work and made known important achievements. The establishment of Commonwealth of Turkic-speaking countries, undoubtedly, became a historical event in the Turkic world, in the life of our people. However, the fact that commonwealth has been living, developing and expanding during 8 years, demonstrated on the one hand, how important it was is and, on the other hand, - how useful it would be for our people in the future.

Successes achieved during the past years are results of our joint efforts. However, it should be noted at the same time that the Commonwealth of Turkic-speaking countries established on the initiative of Republic of Turkey, our dear friend and brother Suleyman Demirel, first of all proves the great services of the Republic of Turkey.

Having finished successfully the VI Summit, today we take part at the jubilee of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud", which is a common historical monument of our peoples. The fact that we celebrate this jubilee together with Heads of Turkic-speaking countries, makes it more important and elevates its level. I am thankful to all those participating at this jubilee, who accepted our invitation and arrived to Azerbaijan and I greet them cordially.

I greet the President of the Republic of Turkey, the big friend of Azerbaijani people and my dear brother Suleyman Demirel!

I greet the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, our dear guest, my dear friend and brother Nursultan Nazarbayev!

I greet the President of the Republic of Kirgizistan, my dear friend and brother Askar Akayev!

I greet the Head of the delegation from Republic of Uzbekistan, Chairman of Supreme Majlis, Parliament of Uzbekistan, esteemed Erghin Khalilov!

I greet the Head of the delegation from Republic of Turkmenistan, Chairman of Majlis (Parliament) of Turkmenistan, esteemed Sahhat Muradov!

I greet the General Director of the UNESCO, our dear guest Mr. Koisiro Matsuura!

I greet the big friend of Azerbaijani people, old parliament member, veteran of French Parliament Mr. Jacque Bomel!

It is with a sense of great satisfaction I note that the public and political figures, scholars, writers from many countries of the world have visited and took part at the scientific conferences held in Azerbaijan in the jubilee of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud". They are together with here. I express my gratitude to all our guests for coming to Azerbaijan and I greet all of them cordially.

Study and propaganda of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" during the last three years have brought a big benefit to Azerbaijani people. Once again we commenced to realize our historical roots, our national and cultural heritage. We already understand how much contributions were made by the people of Azerbaijan and all Turkic-speaking peoples to the world civilization. "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" occupies a special place in this regard.

"Kitabi Dada Gorgud" is our main book. Dada Gorgud is our ancient ancestor. We are proud of having such a historical monument like "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" and we are proud of having such an ancient ancestor like Dada Gorgud.

"Kitabi Dada Gorgud" has always called the peoples and nations to unity and peace. Establishment of Commonwealth of Turkic-speaking countries in 1992 is a bright example of fulfillment of legacy of Dada Gorgud.

After achievement of state independence and national freedom, we obtained good opportunity for provision of this unity and we realized how important it is for our people.

Appeal of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" to unity is necessary today for each of us. National unity and national solidarity in Azerbaijan adhering the way of state independence and conducting the building of legal, democratic and secular state are of great importance.

Today celebrating solemnly the 1300th jubilee of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud", we demonstrate our fidelity of its legacies and will declare that Azerbaijani people will get more serried in ranks in settlement of all difficult and complex problems facing us and will always go ahead.

"Kitabi Dada Gorgud" is a heroic epic poem. Following nowadays in our life the legacy of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" we improve the deepening of sense of love and fidelity of our people in respect to Motherland and sense of patriotism. Today we are much in need of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud".

"Kitabi Dada Gorgud" called people and nations to peace and reconciliation. Our people is faithful to these legacies of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" today. As a result of aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, some 20 percents of our territory is occupied, more than 1 million of Azerbaijanis are driven out from the occupied territories and they live in hard conditions today. We received a hard blow. However, despite all this, Azerbaijani people demonstrates its peaceful politics to the world. We follow the way paved by Dada Gorgud. We follow the way of peace. We want to settle this conflict peacefully. We want the strengthening of peace and stability in all countries and in Turkic-speaking countries in particular. Hence, in this jubilee day, we demonstrate once again our fidelity to the legacies of Dada Gorgud.

"Kitabi Dada Gorgud" is a monument unifying great scientific, cultural and spiritual thoughts. A big work was done up today for studying and bringing of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" to our present generation. The work done by scholars, researchers, writers and public figures of Azerbaijan during the last three years is worth of high appraisal. Therefore, I express my gratitude to our scientists, writers and all those involved in research and propaganda of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" and wrote valuable scientific papers and books for these jubilee ceremony. I would like to express my confidence that being encouraged by the jubilee ceremonies, they will continue their scientific activity further. The pages of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" epic poem that were not revealed will be investigated and its unknown thoughts will be studied and brought to the present and future generations of Azerbaijani people and all the Turkic world.

Today we experience an infinite sense of proud because we have such a great historical monument like "Kitabi Dada Gorgud", because we are free and independent and having analyzed our moral values and culture as it is, we can bring it to our people, nation and future generations.

The biggest sense and importance of the jubilee of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" is that we demonstrate once more our national freedom and state independence. The legacies of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" call each of us to follow the way of independence and make the national freedom and state independence of Azerbaijan eternal. I wish all of you, the Azerbaijani people and citizens of Azerbaijan great success for the sake of achievement of this goal.
Thank you.