International Conference on “Karabakh: History and Heritage” 10-11 November 2016, Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan
Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and IRCICA organized an international conference titled “Karabakh: history and heritage” was jointly organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, the National Academy of Sciences and the OIC Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA).
An international conference titled “Karabakh: history and heritage” was jointly organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, the National Academy of Sciences and the OIC Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA). The conference was opened by the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan H.E. Dr. Abulfez Garayev and IRCICA Director General Assoc. Prof. Halit Eren. The workshop concretized the aim of a project formulated jointly by IRCICA and the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, to highlight and preserve the cultural and architectural heritage of the Karabagh region of Azerbaijan. The project represents a scholarly, scientific, and practical effort to collect research findings and documentation, inform world opinion and encourage attention to preservation of this heritage.
In his opening speech, H.E. Abulfez Garayev, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan stated: “Every day the people of Azerbaijan feel the consequences of the Armenian occupation. Armenia’s aggressive policy against Azerbaijan is not just limited to the occupation of Azerbaijani territories”. The Minister noted that “every day we are witnessing the reflections of Armenian aggression in international events, in the cyber space and press media as well as in cuisine. Armenian policy continues to infringe on the culture, historical monuments, music and cuisine of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is trying to prevent such false claims by the Armenian side, therefore Azerbaijani people managed to include many samples of their cultural property within the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list. These values do not belong only to the Azerbaijani people, but to all mankind”.
Assoc. Prof. Halit Eren, Director General of IRCICA, in his speech underlined that the conference and the project on the heritage of Karabagh were devised in line with the resolutions of the 13thIslamic Summit Conference which was held in Istanbul, Turkey on 13-15 April 2016 and the 43rd Session of the Council of the Foreign Ministers of the OIC held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 18-19 October 2016. In these resolutions, the OIC Member States affirmed their principled position on condemnation of the aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan and condemned in the strongest terms continuous attacks carried out by the Armenian armed forces in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan as a result of which civilian population suffered, mosques were attacked, people died and social and economic infrastructure was destroyed. They strongly condemned acts of vandalism, looting and destruction of the archeological, cultural and religious monuments in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
During five sessions of the international conference, scholars presented the findings of their research related to the history and heritage of Karabagh. Participants of the conference included Prof. Amir Pasic, Consultant to IRCICA Director General for Architectural Heritage; Dr. Önder Bayır, Head of the Turkish Republic Prime Ministry Ottoman Archives, Istanbul; Prof. Şenol Kantarcı, Akdeniz University, Antalya; Prof. Gülşen Seyhan Alışık, Marmara University, Istanbul; and Assoc. Prof. Zekeriya Türkmen, Beykent University, Istanbul