Why is Teknofest Azerbaijan 2022 so important? - SELÇUK TÜRKYILMAZ

Why is Teknofest Azerbaijan 2022 so important?

It was May 25, 1918, when Nuri Pasha established his headquarters in Azerbaijan’s Ganja as the Caucasus Islamic Army commander. The formation process of the Caucasus Islamic Army was expedited once the pasha reached Ganja and established his headquarters. Three days later, Azerbaijan declared to the world that it was an independent state. The March Catastrophe had taken place, and Armenian terrorist groups attempted massacres in many cities throughout Azerbaijan. According to news from the south Caucasus, it was suspected that Armenian terrorist groups would commit simultaneous massacres in east Anatolia and South Caucasus. This is because the Russian weapons taken from the Caucasus front following the October Revolution had largely passed onto Armenian groups. The information that reached Enver Pasha indicated that action was due. The Caucasus Islamic Army could not prevent the March Catastrophe, but a new era began on May 28 in Ganja, which impacts present-day Azerbaijan as well. Azerbaijan’s independence was declared on May 28, and after a war that went on for about four months, capital Baku was freed from invasion. Following Baku’s liberation, one wing of the Caucasus Islamic Army turned its focus toward Shusha, as the presence of Armenian terrorist groups was still a great threat. Azerbaijan’s independence was short-lived, but the picture that was revealed upon Baku’s liberation could not be changed even in the Soviet era. 

 A century on, Turkey and Azerbaijan’s solidarity is strongly reflected on the ground once again. We saw this in the second Karabakh War. This victory should not be considered as history repeating itself. Yet, it does not go without saying that the similarities are striking. The three days between May 25 and 28 were critical in terms of our joint history. As a matter of fact, it makes no sense to overlook these three days based on Azerbaijan’s short-lived independence. We can consider the “Teknofest Azerbaijan 2022” festival being held between May 26-29 as a declaration of the significance of these three days. Turkey’s support ensured permanent results back then as well, but a stronger level of cooperation is in question today. Much greater steps are being taken. 

 We know that certain groups in Turkey like to exchange opinions under headlines such as “the reasons behind the Islamic world’s regression, the state of Muslims, missing out on scientific discoveries and the industrial revolution,” which have become cliches. We cannot really say that these groups are not united ideologically, or that they ideologically represent a large segment, yet it is very clear that they take a common approach in their criticisms of the past. When they complain about missing out on scientific discoveries and the industrial revolution, they additionally show that they see making reference to the ahistoricity of past actors as an intellectual privilege. Just as they fail to see the Turkey-based change, they are turning their back on the process as well, and undermining the strong-willed. It is this attitude that is pushing them out of history. 

Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank says, “Teknofest Azerbaijan saw applications from more than a thousand teams and more than 6,000 contenders in its first year.” This is very important data in terms of interpreting the first three days. This data reveals that once the opportunity arises, a new generation that is not afraid of taking on responsibility will emerge in Azerbaijan. Data on the interest in participation is a sign that the desire for change has spread across a vast base. Surely, to make a sound evaluation, we would need to know from which cities and school types participation emanated. Similarly, information on student profiles is also important for evaluation. However, it is an indisputable fact that based on thought, political will, organization, and participation success, we have a wonderful picture. 

Teknofest Azerbaijan 2022 itself is not only a praiseworthy achievement, but it also shows hows Turkey-Azerbaijan relations are developing in various fields. If the cooperation was limited, it would not have resulted in an assertive concept like the Turkey-Azerbaijan axis. This further solidifies the fact that the victory achieved in the second Karabakh War was not coincidental.

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