AzerNews. - 2018.- May 25. - ¹ 40. - P. 2 .


Azerbaijan celebrates centenary of ADR


By Kamila Aliyeva


Today, May 28, marks 100 years anniversary since the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), the first parliamentary republic in the Turkic-Muslim world and the entire East.

Millions of Azerbaijanis celebrate this holiday inside the country and across the world.

On May 18, 1918, a temporary National Council of plenipotentiary representatives of the Azerbaijani people - the true elite of the nation - was formed in Tiflis. The council, headed by Mammad Amin Rasulzade, proclaimed the independence of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.

On the same day, the Declaration of Independence was signed in the hall of the palace of the former governor of the Russian emperor in the Caucasus in Tiflis.

The document signed on that day stated: “Since this day, Azerbaijan, covering the South-East Transcaucasia is fully independent state. The people of the independent Azerbaijan are the source of government.”

The ADR was a pioneer that combined both European democratic values and the abundant cultural heritage of the East in one entity.

Its role in formation of statehood and socio-political thought of people cannot be overestimated, since all the measures undertaken by the state in this period have left a significant footprint in the national history.

During its existence, the ADR achieved great progress. All citizens of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, regardless of their ethnic and religious affiliation, were granted a right to vote. Thus, women gained suffrage for the first time in the Islamic world.

The ceremony of the opening of Azerbaijani Parliament was held in the building of the maiden seminary (currently, the Fizuli Institute of Manuscripts) at 13:00 on December 7, 1918. That was the first parliament in the entire east, formed on the basis of the most democratic principles of that time. Rasulzade, the chair of the National Council of Azerbaijan delivered a wide congratulation speech at the opening ceremony of the Parliament.

The Parliament of Azerbaijan, which existed only 17 months, was conducting its activities in a very tense socio-political situation. The Parliament conducted only 145 sessions within this period, during which it worked on the establishment of the most up-to-date legal and democratic state that would ensure human rights and liberties and protect the country's independence and territorial integrity.

Moreover, to prevent the approaching danger of foreign intervention, the government and the parliament of the ADR did a great job in order to achieve international recognition of the young republic by other states, including the great world powers. In this regard, the Parliament decided to send a special delegation headed by the Chairman of the Parliament Alimardan bey Topchubashev, to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.

A delegation of the best representatives of intelligentsia of the time included Mammad Amin Rasulzade, Alimardan bey Topchubashev, Fatali Khan Khoyski, Samad bey Mehmandarov and others. They devoted their lives to establish and immortalize the first independent republic.

The ADR leaders played very important role in the foundation of the ADR and in the country’s history. Some of them were killed, forced to emigrate and punished in many different ways for dedicating their lives to the idea of free, secular, democratic and independent Azerbaijani state.

For the first time, the anniversary of the proclamation of Azerbaijan's independence was celebrated on May 28, 1919. The young state of Azerbaijan was established in complicated internal and external conditions. Therefore, the ADR could survive only 23 months.

On April 28, 1920, the 11th Red Army of the Bolsheviks occupied Baku, and the republic fell. After the collapse of the USSR, Azerbaijan regained its independence in 1991, declaring itself an heir to the ADR and restoring the attributes of Democratic Azerbaijan - flag, emblem and anthem. 

Nevertheless, the establishment of the ADR was noted as great and historic event in the chronicles of the Azerbaijani nation, and marked a glorious page in the country's history. In its short period of existence, the ADR managed to return national consciousness to the Azerbaijani people.

The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, having declared the independence, demonstrated the people’s desires for independence, freedom and national self-determination.