Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the reception held in honor of the Prime Minister of Turkey Tansu Chiller – «Gulustan» Palace, July 10, 1995

Distinguished prime minister, our dear sister Tansu Chiller!

Distinguished guests from Turkey, ladies and gentlemen!

Today we have gathered for the reception in honor of the prime minister of Turkey, our dear sister Tansu Chiller and the Turkish guests accompanying her. It is a significant event in the life of Azerbaijan.

There are indestructible ties between the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish people and the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani people. Our ancestors and previous generation established this friendship in the course of centuries, preserved and brought it to the present day. Our peoples are of the same root have always been loyal to their traditions. These traditions have kept the language, religion and the spirit of our nations alive. Just due to these reasons there is love and respect to the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish people in each corner of Azerbaijan. Today we have greeted our dear sister and guests, who came from Turkey, with these feelings we have gathered them in this palace

Turkey has a great history. The Republic of Turkey celebrated its 75th anniversary of its Parliament. The Turkish people have been living in freedom and liberty in the recent 75 years. It has entered into the world community as a secular and civil country. The Republic of Turkey occupies a worthy place in the world community. Its history of democracy, 75 years of freedom, history of liberty, period of 75 years of respect and esteem to human rights, 75 years of development have raised the Republic of Turkey to the level of the worthy states of the world community. As a friendly country and nation we are also happy for these achievements of the Republic of Turkey and applaud it.

Turkey has shown heroism and bravery in each period of its history and preserved its historical traditions. It is possible to mention with pleasure that the Republic of Turkey, its government today also preserve these traditions and develop them. It makes us happy and it is a good example for us.

In the recent years Turkey is experiencing difficult processes and events. The Republic of Turkey, government and people have handled it well. That is why, the Turkish people live in freedom, liberty and democracy. Only a secular and civil country based on democracy can overcome these difficulties.

The leaders of Turkey, the Turkish government and especially Prime Minister, distinguished Tansu Chiller have great role in all these processes. Today we greet the prime minister of Turkey as the head of the friendly and brotherly country. Meanwhile, we greet her as a political figure, great scholar and economist that has passed a long way in the life of Turkey and plays an important role. Just due to these reasons Tansu Chiller leads the Turkish government with dignity and achieves solution of all the problems.

The relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey have stepped into a higher level in the recent years. Today we can mention with deep pleasure that in each period of the history Turkey always paid attention to Azerbaijan and helped it. In 1918, when Azerbaijan created the first democratic republic, Turkey first recognized it. In 1991 also, when the Republic of Azerbaijan gained its independence, Turkey was the first to recognize it among the world countries, supported and helped it, and did it best for the recognition of Azerbaijan in the world scale.

Since 1988 Azerbaijan has been exposed to the military aggression of Armenia. Then Azerbaijan was not independent, it was within the Soviet Union. Undoubtedly, Turkey could not intervene to the huge country. Despite of this, politicians, scholars and men of art and culture were not indifferent to Azerbaijan and raised their voices for the protection of it, they morally helped Azerbaijan.

After gaining independence, Azerbaijan built mutual equal and beneficial relations with Turkey, and these relations are based on friendship, brotherhood, and our historical roots. These relations help the newly independent Azerbaijan a lot and it is very important for us.

Azerbaijan has a lot of problems, our country is experiencing deep economic and social crisis, 20 percent of the Azerbaijani territory has been occupied as a result of the military aggression of Armenia. The people, driven away from their lands live in hard conditions. Azerbaijan wants to end this situation peacefully. An agreement on ceasefire has been signed. We have been obeying this agreement for more than 13 months. We want to get out of this situation peacefully with the mediation of international organizations. All this time the Republic of Turkey, and its government were by us, did their best and gave moral support to us. The aids rendered to our refugees is matchless. However, the most appreciating is Turkey’s support to Azerbaijan as an independent state in the international arena and its activities for the fair decisions of international organizations in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. The Azerbaijani public highly appreciates it.

Not only these facts, in general, historical relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan, present relations, our friendly relations have created respect and tribute towards the Turkish people, to the Republic of Turkey and to each citizen of this country in Azerbaijan. Today we deliver these feelings to the prime minister of Turkey Tansu Chiller, to our distinguished, dear sister! We appreciate your activities and consider your official visit a great event, we are thankful to you for your attention and brotherly attitude to Azerbaijan.

Translated from «Azerbaijan» newspaper, July 11, 1995