President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Minister of National Education of the Republic of Turkey Ziya Selcuk.
Welcoming the Turkish Minister, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- You are welcome! I am delighted to see you. I am sure your visit will be very successful and, as is the case in all other areas, our relations will develop more rapidly in the field of education.
As you know, the relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan are at the highest level, and there is not a single area we do not cooperate in. As two brotherly countries, we cooperate in all areas on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interests. Education is also an important part of our cooperation because in order to raise the young generation and stay connected to each other, of course, very important steps must be taken in this area. In fact, these steps are being taken. I am confident that during your current visit, many important issues will be discussed and specific plans for our future cooperation will be drawn up.
A new era has begun in our country. After the second Karabakh war, a period of recovery and reconstruction began. I will also present you a book describing the destruction Armenia unleashed in the liberated lands. You will see the extent to which our lands have been devastated. A master plan for the cities is now being prepared and schools will be built as part of these master plans. The foundation of a school destroyed by the Armenians in Shusha was laid this month. The groundbreaking ceremony of the school, which is a gift offered by Turkey, will also be a part of the visit by my dear brother, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
We are currently carrying out very serious reforms in this area. Turkey's experience is very important for us. Additional proposals on education, improving the quality of education, as well as closer ties between young people from Turkey and Azerbaijan, should be discussed. After all, we have created a strong alliance for future generations to take their steps in accordance with it, with this alliance and brotherhood. They should be closely attached to each other. I think various events should be held for this purpose – youth forums, joint educational programs and other events. I am sure that you will discuss these issues with your colleague during the visit.
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Turkish Minister of National Education Ziya Selcuk said:
- Dear Mr. President. Thank you very much for receiving us and for allocating time. We have greetings of our President and the people of Turkey, and we are very excited to be here. We are here with the joy of the Karabakh Victory, the Karabakh Victory which has been inscribed in history. A thousand years later, your name will be praised by children, children will say your name, the name of the people, the names of our martyred soldiers, Inshallah. This is the greatest joy for all Turkish citizens who have taken to the streets and we are very happy.
At the same time, there can be no problem between us in terms of educational programs, the development of education and the work to be done in the future. We will resolve them all. I do not go into the technical details of that with you. My colleague, my friend and I will do whatever is necessary in excess. Don't worry. Your orders are sufficient for us. In this context, the protocol we signed on professional activities is currently being implemented. We will continue discussions about that today. Our relations continue even at a higher level than official ones. We are doing everything together to speed up the process and work.
Other issues are also being addressed. In particular, your determination and support in the matter of FETO have been very important to us. This also gives us great happiness and joy. We are very pleased with that. In addition, we will complete all the work to be done, solve all the issues together with our friends, and then report to you, Mr. President. Don't worry. We are at the forefront of this work, Mr. President.
I once again express my gratitude and respect for your reception.
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President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you. I am very glad that work on vocational education continues. There is a great need for that. In particular, as I said, Azerbaijan is at the start of a great creative process now, and the training of new qualified personnel is very important both in the liberated lands and throughout the country. Therefore, vocational schools should be established in liberated lands in accordance with the potential of those regions. Of course, we hope for the support of the Turkish side.
I have already ordered that the subject of the second Karabakh war be included in history books in our educational programs, schools and universities. Our relevant agencies, including the Ministry of Education, are working on this issue to study our glorious history. Because the international media are still publishing false and distorted information about the second Karabakh war. Therefore, we must convey the true story based on facts both to our citizens and to the world. I do hope that this issue will be reflected in Turkish history books too, especially if we consider Turkey’s great political and moral support for Azerbaijan since the early hours of the war. My dear brother, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made statements from the first minutes and from the first hours, saying that Turkey stood by Azerbaijan. This was of great moral and political significance. In 44 days, Azerbaijan restored justice, its territorial integrity and ended 30 years of occupation.
Therefore, our young generation, of course, must know history the way it is. While I was a student, we were studying distorted history. The leaders of the Dashnak-Bolshevik gangs, who shed the blood of the Azerbaijani people, were portrayed as heroes. When I was in school and university, I read these books, these fake history books. We learned the real history after gaining independence. Heroes were portrayed as enemies and enemies as heroes. Therefore, we, the people who lived in the Soviet Union – I was 30 years old when the Soviet Union collapsed and I had completed my education – when we learned what harmful and fake history was presented to us. Therefore, in the current situation, we must show our ancient history, as well as our modern history, the way it is, and we will work together in this area.
Ziya Selcuk: Inshallah.
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President Ilham Aliyev thanked the Turkish minister for the greetings of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and asked him to convey his greetings to the Turkish President.
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