“January 20 Martyrs are sign of Azerbaijan’s independence” – Ahmad Shahidov talked to TRT World

Today is a very important day in the history of the Azerbaijani people. Although January 20 is a day of grief, in fact, today it is also a symbol of the heroic history of the Azerbaijani people. Because, 31 years ago, the people of Azerbaijan raised their voices in protest against the Soviet Empire, and the Soviet government, which wanted to stifle this voice, sent troops to Baku. The aim was to kill the spirit of freedom of the Azerbaijani people and suppress the struggle for freedom.

It was also an unequal struggle. Armed soldiers on the tanks stood against the civilian population. Thousands of people took to the streets and stood in front of the tanks. It was similar to what happened in Turkey on July 15, 2016. In fact, I liken the events of January 20 in Azerbaijan to the events of July 15 in Turkey. In both countries, the people have made history, fought unarmed against armed terrorists and defended their state.

In his interview to TRT World Television, Dr. Ahmad Shahidov, head of Azerbaijan Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, said that January 20 is a heroic page for Azerbaijani people: “It was after this event that the Soviet Empire began to collapse and liberation movements began in all post-Soviet republics. However, the heaviest massacres took place in Baku, and the largest number of victims took place in Azerbaijan.

In short, if these events had not taken place, if the heroic sons and daughters of Azerbaijan had not taken to the streets on January 20, 1990 and fought against the occupying Soviet army, perhaps today there would be no independent country called the Republic of Azerbaijan. We are indebted to those days and are proud of our history. May God have mercy on all our martyrs.” – said Shahidov.

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