Conference held in Kars within Azerbaijani Week in Turkey

Conference held in Kars within Azerbaijani Week in Turkey
# 27 October 2011 08:03 (UTC +04:00)
According to APA, a conference within these events was held in the Caucasus University in Kars. Coordinator of the Center for Strategic Studies on Turkey Javid Veliyev, APA Director General Vusala Mahirgizi, ATIB Director for Projects and Research Kenan Aslanli, Associate Professor of the Caucasus University Gulshen Aydin addressed the conference.

Moderator of the panel discussions was the head of the Caucasus University’s Research Center for the Caucasus and Central Asia Hajali Najafoglu. Reporting about the Turkish-Azerbaijani relations, Gulshen Aydin highlighted the history of independence of our country and spoke about the political situation in Azerbaijan since 1991. She said Turkey supported Azerbaijan in the Nagorno Karabakh issue and touched upon the tensions between the two countries over the Turkey-Armenian borders. Aydin said these tensions were left behind and emphasized the importance of strengthening the relations.

Coordinator of the Center for Strategic Studies on Turkey Javid Veliyev spoke about the influence of Turkish-Azerbaijani relations on the region and said along with the friendship between Turkey and Azerbaijan the strategic interests of both countries coincide in the region.

Veliyev said spiritual relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan in early years turned into pragmatic relations later. In 1993-2003, both political and economic relations between the countries were developed. Then it was followed by the transition period in the relations. Veliyev said the relations have begun to be structured since 2009. The high-level relationship between the governments promoted the forming of relations between other layers of societies. Veliyev informed about the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and expressed his opinion about the importance of Turkey’s position in this issue.

APA Director General Vusala Mahirgizi spoke about the role of media in the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey. She said Turkish media supported Azerbaijan and covered its problems before the regaining independence, as early as first years of freedom movement. “First foreign media coming to Azerbaijan was Turkish press. After the regaining of independence by Azerbaijan, Zaman newspaper, TRT, Anatolian News Agency opened their bureaus in Baku. Zaman’s presence in our country is contemporary of our independence”.

Mahirgizi said the development of relations between Azerbaijani and Turkish media had three periods: “First period began before the independence of Azerbaijan and lasted until 1993. In this period, relationship was established on spiritual and nationalist tones. The articles with patriotic, nationalist rhetoric dominated in that period, which was characterized with the topic of Turkey-Azerbaijan brotherhood covered by media, the carrier of nationalist ideology in both countries.

The second period covers 1993-2009. At this period our media stood most of all on pragmatic topics. They are the writings on economical and military relations between two countries, as well as the news. Unfortunately we don’t see Turkish media campaign on Nagorno Karabakh conflict in that period. Media most of propagandized the economical relations of the two countries, mostly pipelines constructed for energy transportation from Azerbaijan.

Mahirgizi said that the third period was on mediatic political disputes, which started with the news about opening of Turkish-Armenian borders in 2009 and continuing up to now: “Unfortunately, some Turkish authors and media organizations launched a campaign on opening of borders with Armenia, visited the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. But our colleagues must know that Azerbaijan can’t exist without Nagorno Karabakh. The least indifference on this issue hurts Azerbaijani people. This attitude of Turkish media creates certain hesitation in Azerbaijani society. Though we, persons participating in the active processes, know that this manner in Turkey was based on the personal interests of several media organizations, it is difficult for society to accept it”.

Mahirgizi said that the second forum of journalists of Turkic-speaking countries was held in Baku this year. At the same time she said that Azerbaijani Public Television and TRT were making joint broadcasts, as well as the news agencies of Turkic countries were functioning: “The continuation of these relations is useful both for us and Turkish media. We have an opportunity to extend to Western media with the aid of Turkish media, which has an opportunity to extend to CIS area via us. Unfortunately, this opportunity is not being assessed enough”. Mahirgizi underlined the implementation of joint projects in the future.

Then in his speech, Kenan Aslanli spoke about the economical cooperation between the two countries. He informed about activity of Turkish businessmen in Azerbaijan, spoke about the steps taken towards extension of these activity. Informing about the investments of Turkish businessmen in Azerbaijan, as well as investments of Azerbaijani businessmen in Turkey, Aslanli sounded his proposals on measures which had to be taken for extension of economical relations between the two countries.

The next conference dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s independence will be held in Igdir tomorrow.

TIKA and ATIB are sponsors of the event.
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