On the speech of the President of Azerbaijan at the Extraordinary Summit of Leaders of the Organization of Turkic States

On March 16, 2023, at the Extraordinary Summit of the Leaders of the Organization of Turkic States in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev voiced territorial claims and threatened aggression against the Republic of Armenia, presenting the Republic of Artsakh, Syunik (Zangezur) and other Armenian territories as historical lands of the Azerbaijani people (https://twitter.com/presidentaz/status/1636428918331719681).

He presented the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia under the fictitious name "Western Azerbaijan", and also regarded the return of Azerbaijanis to the occupied territories of Artsakh as a "great return" to the historical homeland of Azerbaijanis.

Moreover, Aliyev accused the Armenians of dividing the Turkic world, stating that "the decision of the Soviet government to separate Western Zangezur, our historical land, from Azerbaijan and transfer it to Armenia led to the geographical division of the Turkic world." https://twitter.com/i/status/1636428133648744461

Continuing his speech, the President of Azerbaijan noted that they had already begun to implement the Great Return program in order to return the former deportees to their homeland.

The Organization of Turkic States is an international organization whose goal is to form close relations and cooperation between the Turkic states. The summit, which started on March 16, was attended by members of the organization: the presidents of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the Prime Minister of Hungary, the head of the People's Council of Turkmenistan and others with the status of observer and adviser https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/organization-of-turkic-states-extraordinary-summit-starts-in-ankara/2847203 .

Our response

Raising provocative theses in Ankara, the presentation of the historical Armenian homeland as Azerbaijani is an attempt to spread disinformation in the international community that grossly violates not only the UN Charter and a number of provisions of international law, but also the cultural rights of the Artsakh Armenians, which they were forcibly deprived because of the deportation and because of the ban on cultural and creative life.

In this case the cultural right is the right to freely participate in cultural life, to live one's normal life in accordance with one's ideas and cultural customs, which is enshrined as a fundamental right in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to the latter, "Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits." The process of creation, full implementation and transfer of cultural practices, forms of self-expression cannot be provided in isolation from one's own cultural / natural landscape.