On the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide, the “Justice for Khojaly” Week has been launched in Istanbul, Turkey. Reformist Youth Public Union has been organizing for already six years the “Justice for Khojaly” Week by joining the International Campaign for Khojaly (Justice for Khojaly) initiated by the Vice President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mrs. Leyla Aliyeva. The first conference of the week was held at Istanbul Yeni Yuzyil University with participation of state officials, MPs, media and NGO leaders.
After the introduction of anthems of Azerbaijan and Turkey, Farid Shahbazli, chairman of the “Reformist Youth” Public Union, opened the conference and said that Khojaly genocide was a terrible crime of humanity in the twentieth century. Farid Shahbazli noted that 26 years ago, Armenian armed groups, with the support of the 366th motorized regiment belonging to the former Soviet Empire, killed 613 people, including 63 children.
Deputy Minister of Defense of Turkey Shuay Alpay, Rector of the Istanbul Yeni Yuzyil University, professor Yashar Hacisalihoglu, Consul of Azerbaijan in Istanbul Yadulla Pashayev, Vice Chairman of Parliament of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Zorlu Tore, Turkish MP from AKP Suat Onal, Macedonian MP Enes Ibrahim, Human rights defender Ahmad Shahidov, Chairman of the Scientific and Technical Society of Turkey Ismail Hakki Shener, Chairman of Rauf Raif Denktash Thoughts Association Latif Akcha, former MP Alovsat Agalarov, head of the State Agency for Protection of Minorities of Macedonia Ilhan Rahman and others made a speech at the conference.
Speaking at the conference, Ahmad Shahidov, Head of the Azerbaijan Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, spoke about the Khojaly genocide and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, touched upon the fact that the genocide was not given international legal and political assessment and that the European community remains silent on Khojaly truths. Human rights defender Ahmad Shahidov, who has been working in various European countries, influential international organizations, including the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and other organizations, has been steadfast in promoting the truth of Azerbaijan, noted that they are working on international platforms not only for Azerbaijan, but also for the interests of Turkey, Northern Cyprus and the Turkic world in general.
Kurdoghlu Asgarov, son of the Azerbaijani hostage Dilgam Asgarov, who is in the Armenian captivity now, spoke at the conference and informed about the important steps taken by the Azerbaijani state for the release of his father from hostage. Kurdoghlu Asgarov also said that they expect support from brother country Turkey for the release of his father from Armenian captivity.
The Honored Artist of Azerbaijan Aybeniz Hashimova and students of her Academy of Arts performed the compositions of music, describing the horrors of Khojaly.