TODAY.AZ / Politics

Azerbaijan marks National Revival Day

17 November 2021 [11:15] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Vugar Khalilov

Azerbaijan marks National Revival Day on November 17.

Starting from early 1988 Armenia waged its open aggression against Azerbaijan. The anti-Azerbaijan rhetoric and activities gained momentum across Armenia and in Azerbaijan’s Khankandi city mostly populated by Armenians.

As a result of Moscow's indifference to these events, Armenians began widespread deportations of Azerbaijanis from their ancestral lands in Armenia under the instruction of its government.

Over 200,000 ethnic Azerbaijanis living in Armenia were forced to leave their native lands and several thousand of them were subjected to mass slaughter by Armenians.

The Soviet leadership under Mikhail Gorbachev did not adequately react to the Armenian vandalism against innocent Azerbaijanis.

In February 1988, Armenians living in Azerbaijan's historical Karabakh region staged revolts and even proposed merging the region to Armenia.

In response to the processes in Armenia and Karabakh, the Azerbaijanis expressed their protest to the government, which failed to take effective measures against Armenian aggression.

Initially, the slogans, photographs, and banners carried by Azerbaijani civilians at the period demonstrated their faith in Moscow and local authorities.

People from all around the republic came to Baku and congregated on Azadlig Square (former Lenin Square at the time), conducted rallies, and clearly showed their dissatisfaction after receiving no real response from Moscow and the local Soviet administration.

On November 17, 1988, Azerbaijani citizens began an infinite mass demonstration on Azadlig Square against the USSR's anti-Azerbaijani policy. It was a genuine national liberation struggle.

On 22 November, a curfew was imposed in Baku, and contingents of Soviet army divisions, together with Internal Troops and the Militia, began to be deployed to the city, with the local units activated to prevent protest actions. On December 3, protesters were dispersed by force and approximately 400 people were arrested.

In Azerbaijan, these events are seen as the beginning of the national liberation movement and the main factor in gaining the country's independence.

As a result, Azerbaijan became an independent state in 1991 just three years after the historic demonstrations.

Since 1992, November 17 has been marked as National Revival Day in Azerbaijan.


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