Speech of Heydar Aliyev at the solemn ceremony dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Baku State University

Speech of Heydar Aliyev at the solemn ceremony dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Baku State University

Nationwide Leader Heydar Aliyev proposed to declare Azerbaijani as the state language of the Azerbaijan SSR at the extraordinary session of the Supreme Council on April 21, 1978.

Speech of Heydar Aliyev at the solemn ceremony dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Baku State University:

“Along with all the other merits of Baku State University, its contributions to the development of the native language of Azerbaijan people should be particularly noted. The majority of the university’s teaching staff were not Azerbaijanis when it was founded, with great contributions to the development and promotion of Azerbaijani in later stages. Today, we as an independent nation are proud of our mother tongue - Azerbaijani. But if we remember the past, we can see that our literary language filled with cultural values, and a with a rich vocabulary, wasn’t always like this. There were people who laid the scientific foundations of our language and developed it. This is the greatest national wealth of independent Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani people. Each nation appears with its tongue. But to ensure the language to develop and attain the level of world culture is only possible thanks to scholars and intelligent people. From this perspective, Baku State University’s work should be highly emphasized.

The University’s main departments are History, Philology and Philosophy, that is, the humanities occupy a special place in the development of the Azerbaijani language and science.

This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of our great poet Mahammad Fizuli. We are proud that 500 years ago Fuzuli wrote in his native language. However, it should be noted that in the early part and middle of this century there were many writers who wrote in our language. Those who wished to enrich Azerbaijani were courageous people, many of whom worked at Baku State University.

I remember, at the 50th anniversary of the University, of course, I spoke in the native Azerbaijani language. It was a great sensation, surprising - the Head of the Republic speaks in Azerbaijani and speaks it well. Some congratulated me on this event, expressing their gratitude. People who love their language, living with a national spirit, indeed, accepted it as a great event. I told them “there is nothing unusual, you should not wonder, it is my native language and speaking in it is no feat. But ignorance of the native language cannot save us from being embarrassed in front of everyone.

I want to emphasize, the university has been a source, a fireplace, looking for the truth, developing a national spirit. I reiterate that most people who fought for the independence of Azerbaijan, national freedom, studied and worked here, and are still working at the university. I therefore underline the merits of Baku State University in the development of the Azerbaijani language, national spirit and national consciousness, promotion of a spirit of patriotism today in the independent state of Azerbaijan and I express my respect and esteem to such people for their commitment.

November 26, 1994