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The activities of Diaspora


The history of the Azerbaijani Diaspora
Diaspora is an ancient Greek word, literally means getting scattered. The history of formation of this word coincides with the period of occupation and shifting that was started by Greeks very early of BC. During the military marches Greek army soldiers settled in different occupied countries and made it a part of the permanent residents. The word Diaspora derived namely from their language.
Regardless of activity scope, engagement and religious faith settlement of people of any ethos outside the native land and public activity leads to formation of Diaspora.  
Compatriots living compactly as community in abroad voluntarily or forcibly due to certain socio-political, socio-economic and other reasons by migrating, preserving the national- cultural origin and developing it, establishing regular links with historical motherland, as well considering self as Azerbaijani from language, religion, moral-cultural values form Azerbaijani Diaspora.
Approximately 50 million Azerbaijanis live in 70 countries in the world, including the Republic of Azerbaijan. Our compatriots living in historical areas and turned to be citizens of foreign country as a result of any border changes in course of certain public-politic events, without any fact of migration – ethic Azerbaijanis living in trans-border areas of Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Russian Federation are not considered as  
The formation of the Azerbaijani Diaspora, the history of the formation and development directly connected with the history of immigration of the people. Though immigration of Azerbaijanis abroad historically rooted in ancient times but on systematic way this process is connected with the processes of the first half of the nineteenth century, in connection with political and military conflicts, wars between Iran and Russia, forced migration at the Caucasus region. After the Treaty of Turkmenchay 1828, the division of historical Azerbaijani territories into two along the Araz River, uniting of North Azerbaijan khanates under the patronage of tsarist Russia as a single administrative-territorial division on the one hand gave impetus to decentralization of peoples but on the other hand its resulted with immigration of those dissatisfied with the policy of tsarism. The center of the empire in the nineteenth century, some have taken place on a voluntary muhacirəti. In this century, Mirza Kazim Bey, Mirza Jafar Topchubashov, Mirza Abuturab Vezirov, Khan Nakhchivanski, Samad bey Mehmandarov, Aliaga Shikhlinski and other well-known Azerbaijanis  worked in Russian science, culture, foreign policy and other fields and helped in growth of economic, political and military power of Russia.
In the twentieth century immigration of Azerbaijanis to foreign countries had received intensive character. The two world wars occurred during this period, radical changes in the either the North or South Azerbaijan, socio-political and social revolutions, resulted in next mass immigration of our compatriots abroad, and this immigration was implemented  in following waves till the restoration of tradition of independent statehood at the end of the century:
a) The first Russian revolution of 1905-07 and Sattarkhan movement in South Azerbaijan;
b) The First World War, establishment and collapse of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) in 1918-20 and Khiyabani Revolution in the South;
c) The Second World War, formation and collapse of the Azerbaijan National Government in South Azerbaijan in 1945-46;
d) Voluntary migration of from former Soviet Azerbaijan in 1970-80-year to Union republics of, as a result of the  Iranian Islamic revolution of 1979, political migration from South Azerbaijan to Europe;
d) Economic migration of the Azerbaijanis living in Turkey in 1950-60 to Europe.
After the collapse of ADR the flow of immigrants from Azerbaijan to the Republic of Turkey rose sharply and exceeded 50 thousand. The purposeful public activities of main part of the political migrants in abroad (M. A.. Rasulzade, A.. Topchubashov, M. Mammadzade, J. Hajibeyli, M. Vekilov, A.. Agayev, S. Agaoglu, A.. Huseynzade, Kh.P. Sultanov, Sh. Rustambeyov, M.S. Aran, K. Oder, A.. Sheykhulislamov, N. Seyxzamanlı and others) differed from the basic activities of peoples emigrated at different times. 
The first press organ of  the Azerbaijani Diaspora published  abroad  in 20 years of the XX century - New Qafqasiya (1923, Istanbul), Azeri-Turk (1928-31, Istanbul, Turkey), Odlu Yurd (1929-30, Istanbul, Turkey), Bildirish (1929-31, Istanbul, Turkey), Istiqlal (1932-34, Berlin), Qurtulush (1934, Berlin), Azerbaijan (1952, Ankara) newspapers and magazines, and published earlier by Azerbaijanis in the neighboring countries Akhtar (1875-95, Istanbul, Turkey), Shahseven (1888, Tabriz), Shams (1899-1920, Tabriz), Fikri-istiqbal (1910, Istanbul), Burhani-Taraqqi (1906 -11, Astrakhan), Milli (1918, Simferopol), Nur (1906-09, St. Petersburg), Kave (1915-21, Berlin), Iranshahr (1921, Berlin) compared to others tried to concentrate  just on the problems of the Diaspora, political and social, economic and social situation of the historical homeland and focus on the uniting of our compatriots living as migrants.
The emergence of first national communities organized abroad relate to period after the Second World War. In February 1949, Association of Azerbaijan Culture” created in capital of the Republic of Turkey in Ankara under the leadership of M. A.. Rasulzadeh was the first step in the direction of organization of the Azerbaijani Diaspora. The Azerbaijani-American Society (AAC, its headquarters is located in the state of New Jersey) founded in 1956, is one of the most influential institutions of the Azerbaijani Diaspora. The new Diaspora organizations especially after the tragedy on January 20, 1990 had activated their works. One of the foreign companies operating in Azerbaijan in these years was Ojag” Cultural Center founded on the initiative oif intellectuals, scientists and cultural figures in 1988 in Moscow. Society had Chirag press organ.
 At present, Ojag Cultural Center was included in the structure of the All-Russian Congress of Azerbaijanis,  the single center of the Azerbaijani Diaspora in Russia (URC).  Among Azerbaijani societies emerged in the former USSR there are Diaspora organizations, which were established in the Baltic countries in the 80s of last century:  in the Republic of Lithuania, “Society of Lithuanian Azerbaijanis (1988, Vilnius), in the Republic of Latvia Azeri society (1988, Riga) and in the Republic of Estonia “Ojaq” community (1988, Tallinn). A total more than 20 thousand Azerbaijanis live in all three republics. Most of them have migrated here on the basis of economic relations of the former Union. Since 1992 Sunday schools function in Riga, and Azerbaijani children here get familiar with Azerbaijani language, literature and history. Azerbaijan Cultural Society (1990) was established in Vienna, Austria. On November 3, 1990 in Istanbul Ataturk Culture Center, an international congress of Azerbaijani societies was held. 
The Azerbaijani delegation as well as a number of representatives of the Azerbaijani community in foreign countries (England, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Estonia, etc.) took part in work of the Congress. It was a step forward in the direction of strengthening of Azerbaijani Diaspora, integration around a common center. In the course of Congress decisions on establishment of regional centers of the Azerbaijani Diaspora in Istanbul, Baku and Hamburg, Union of cultural centers of Azerbaijan were adopted, and the Coordination Council was established to control building of Diaspora.
In 1991, restoration of the tradition of independent statehood of the Republic of Azerbaijan and subsequently socio-political events in the country have left their impact in the history of emigration of people. 
 In December 16, 1991, the Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan, Heydar Aliyev, taking into account the importance of creating the unity of world Azerbaijanis announced December 31 as the Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis (Let’s note that the basis of the Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis was laid at the end of December 1989 when borders (Soviet-Iranian border) were destroyed). Later by the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan 31st December was confirmed as the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis. Thus, dear to all of Azerbaijanis the 31s December is marked as holiday of the Solidarity Day of the World Azerbaijanis.
Since 1995, migration outside the country changed its character, and got purely economic nature, and like in other developing countries it got civil forms, which fell within the norms of international law. National cultural and political solidarity of Azerbaijanis scattered in various countries by protecting their identity is compatible with the interests of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan and one of its strategic goals. Strengthening the traditions of independence and statehood, strengthening our position at the international level, delivery of the actual voice of the people affected by the Armenian aggression to world community, getting a fair solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem within the framework of international legal norms and principles makes it necessary to achieve uniting of organizations engaged in Diaspora activities in foreign countries around a single center. Acting of world Azerbaijan as monolithic force in the county of their residence has a considerable influence on protection of their national and civil rights. In this respect, purposeful work, especially carried out since 1993, gave its concrete results in a number of leading world states.  
On May 23, 2001 by decree of President of the Azerbaijan Republic Heydar Aliyev I Congress of World Azerbaijanis held in Nov 9-10 of 2001 in Baku city. The Congress taking into view the opinion of representatives of representatives from various countries of the world, many offers, as well as social- political, economic, cultural and etc positions of Azerbaijanis in the world, interest based on Azerbaijanihood platform, the historically formed need in moral unity had adopted the decision. It was decided to hold the congress of world Azerbaijanis once in three years.              
In 5 July 2002, President of the Azerbaijan Republic Heydar Aliyev had signed a decree On establishment of the State Committee for Work with Azerbaijanis living abroad.  And with Decree No. 54 of President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan Republic dated November 19, 2008 the State Committee for Work with Diaspora was established on the basis of the State Committee for Work with Azerbaijanis Living Abroad. 
As early as in 1997, the organization coordinating   Azerbaijani Diaspora of the world - World Azerbaijanis Congress was created.
In recent years, active participation of Azerbaijani communities in the socio-political and cultural life of their countries is the most important directions at the establishment of Diaspora communities. Being represented in legislative, executive power, local self-government bodies of some countries, the opening of Sunday schools in compact areas of their living and functioning of 27 newspapers, 10 magazines, 3 radio and 1 TV at various associations and communities, organized various events for the purpose of informing the world community about the truth on Azerbaijan is the indicator of increasing of the socio-political activity of representatives of the Azerbaijani Diaspora.  

Oxunub: 193560