Azerbaijan Museum of Independence was established on January 9, 1991 and reflects the struggle of Azerbaijan people for its independence. 1 The flag of Azerbaijan Republic was adopted in 1991 and consists of three horizontal stripes of equal width. The upper stripe is blue, the middle stripe is red and the lower one is green. White crescent and eight-pointed star are depicted in the middle of the red stripe on both sides of the flag. The blue color expresses Turkism, the red color means modernity and the green represents that Azerbaijan is an Islamic country. The state coat of arms of Azerbaijan Republic was adopted in 1993. In the centre of the emblem there is a fire, which symbolizes the “Land of Fires”. Colors used on the coat of arms, are the colors of the national flag of Azerbaijan. Eight-pointed star symbolizes the eight branches of the Turkic peoples. Below is a garland of wheatears and branches of oak. The garland of wheatears symbolizes wealth and fertility. The branches of oak signify glory, fame and power. The state Anthem of Azerbaijan Republic was adopted in 1992. The authors of the anthem written in the period of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic are composer U.Hajibeyov and poet A.Javad. The main law of our country is the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic. It was adopted on 12 November 1995 by referendum and entered into force on 27 November 1995. 2   The historical territories of Azerbaijan is a place of the primary cultures which gave the start to modern civilization. For the ancient find of the shin-bone of the most ancient Azikh man (Azikhantrop) lived 300-400 thousand years ago the territory of Azerbaijan has been included into the map of «The ancient settlers of the Europe». Azeri people has the ancient state system establishment which dates to 5000 years. The first state unions in Azerbaijan were established round Urmiya at the end of 4th and at the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC. Great states such as Manna, kingdom of Iskit, Atropatena and Albania appear on the lands of Azerbaijan in the 1st millenium BC and the 1st millenium AD. Azerbaijan was occupied first by the empire of Sasani-Iran at the 3rd and later by Arabic Caliphate in the 7th centuries.
The culmination of the struggle against Arabian caliphate that started in the middle of 8th century was Khorramdin movement. Babek (816-838) had been the single leader of this movement since 816. The center of Babek movement was Bazz fortress which was occupied by Arabian in 837. Arabs captured Babek by betrayal committed by Sahl Ibn Sumbat, an Armenian ruler of Shaki. On January 4, 838 Babek was taken to Samira city. Caliph Muntasim tortured Babek to death.
At the early of 16 century – in 1501 Safavid empire was created. The founder of the state was prominent Azerbaijan poet, military leader and statesman Shakh Ismayil Khatai. Shakh Ismayil Khatai for the first time declared Turkish language as native language, expanded the borders of Azerbaijan , established diplomatic relations with foreign states but soured the relations with Ottoman empire. The tension that was between two Turkic states resulted in the Chaldiran battle on August, 1514. Ottoman won a victory in this battle.
4 The late of XVIII– beginning of XIX centuries was a very difficult period for Azerbaijan. At that moment Azerbaijan turned into battlefield between two large states: Russia and Iran. Azerbaijan went through the period of feudal division, territory of Azerbaijan was divided into khanates. Each of its khanate had its own khan, flag, money.
Baku khanate was established in 1747. In Oct 3, 1806 it was occupied by Russia. Ganja khanate was founded in the middle of 18 century. In the latter part of the 18th century, the Ganja khanate was one of the most economically prosperous polities in the Caucasus. On January 3, 1804 after long battles between last Ganja khanate Javad khan (1786-1804) and Russian general Titsianov Ganja khanate was occupied by Russia.
Sheki and Karabakh khanates were founded in the middle of 18 century. These khanates were captured by Russia by Kurekchay treaty in 1805.
Irevan khanate was established in the middle of 18 century. The local population were Turkic Azeris. In 1827 Irevan khanate was occupied by Russia by Turkmenchay treaty.
5 As a result of two Russian-Iranian wars (1803-1828) Kurekchay, Gulistan and Turkmenchay treaties were signed. In accordance with those treaties the territory of Azerbaijan was divided into two parts: the North Azerbaijan became part of Russia, the South Azerbaijan became part of Iran. By Turkmenchay treaty Armenians lived in Iran moved to Irevan khanate, 30 million our compatriots live on the territory of South Azerbaijan in Iran till now. 5 As a result of the signing of treaties in XIX century the north part of Azerbaijan continued its development as part of Russian empire. The new era for science, culture and literature started in the first part of XIX century in Azerbaijan. A.A.Bakikhanov, M.J.Topchubashev, M.M.Kazimbek and others lived and worked during that period. The establishment of press was an important event in the public life of Azerbaijan at that period. The founder of press in Azerbaijan was H.B.Zardabi. He started to publish the newspaper «Ekinchi» in native language. The first issue of this newspaper was published on July 22, 1875. This day is celebrated as Day of National Press in Azerbaijan. The first satiric magazine «Molla Nasreddin» was published on April 7, 1906. The editor of the magazine was Dz.Mamedkulizadeh. M.F.Akhundov was a founder of realistic drama not only in Azerbaijan, but also in the whole eastern literature, M.A.Sabir was the representative of satiric realism in Azerbaijan literature.   6   The history of the oil industry of Azerbaijan dates back to the ancient period. The first stage started with the mechanical production of oil from the dug wells in 1847. The years of 1847-1848 were characterized by the first production of industrial oil from the dug wells in Bibieybat and later Balakhany fields and the development of oil industry of Azerbaijan started from that moment. The industrial method of oil production was first used in the Balakhany-Sabunchun-Romany oil field in the Absheron peninsula in 1871. The fountain that was in 1873 intensified interest to the oil industry. Baku became the industrial centre of Caucasus and attracted capital from the largest oil companies such as Nobels, Rotshilds. At that period the oil millionaires made great contribution to the development of oil industry (Hadjy Zeynalabdin Taghiyev, Murtuza Mukhtarov, Musa Naghiyev and others).
6 The same bloody events repeated in March 1918. On March 31 early in the morning bolshevik-dashnak groups attacked the districts inhabited by Azerbaijanis. These districts were fired by military aircrafts and warships. Armenians destroyed houses and burnt people alive. Most of Baku was turned into ruins with national architectural sights, schools, hospitals, mosques and other monuments destroyed. Only in Baku more than 12 thousand of people were killed in March genocide. Within a brief period of time, the Armenians committed massacres in Shamakhi, Guba, Irevan, Zengezur, Karabakh, Nakhchivan and other regions. In 1998 the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan issued the Decree on declaring of March, 31 as the day of genocide of Azerbaijanis. In 2007 during the construction of the stadium in the town of Guba the place of mass burial was discovered. According to the conclusion of Azerbaijani experts, it is the burial place of local residents who are the victims of national massacre organized on March 1918 by Bolshevik-Armenian armed forces. With a view to delivering the facts of territorial claims and aggression policy of Armenian nationalists against Azerbaijan, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed in 2009 an order to create Genocide Memorial Complex in the town of Guba. On September 18, 2013 President of the Republic of Azerbijan Ilham Aliyev and spouse Mehriban Aliyeva inaugurated the Guba Genocide Memorial Complex.
8   The intelligentsia of the country became active during this difficult period for the country. In 1904 Azerbaijan intelligentsia created the organization «Hummet» and began to publish the newspapers «Tekamul» and «Yoldash». The founders of the organization were M.E.Rasulzadeh, M.Hajinski, M.Azizbekov and others. The national party «Difai» was established in 1906 by A.Agayev. The party «Musavat» which was established in 1911 played an important role in the political life of Azerbaijan. The leader of the party was M.A.Rasulazadeh.  10 Azerbaijan Democratic Republic ADR) was founded by the National Council on May 28, 1918. It was the first democratic, parliamentary and secular republic in the Muslim word. ADR existed during 23 months but played an important role in the historical development of the country. Azerbaijan language was declared the state language of Azerbaijan on June 27, 1918. The government approved the state flag of Azerbaijan (red colour with symbol of white crescent and eight point star), the flag was replaced by tricolor on November 9. The decree on the establishment of National Army was issued on June 26. On 20th November 1918 the law on the formation of the Azerbaijan Parliament was passed in the National Council. The first meeting of the parliament was held on December 7, 1918. M.J.Topchubashev was elected the chairman of the parliament, H.Agayev his deputy. The creating of the Baku State University was an outstanding event not only in Baku but in the whole Muslim East. The first national library on the native language was opened on March, 1919, the first museum Independence (Istiglal) was opened on December 7, 1919. Azerbaijan State Theatre began its activity under the leadership of Huseyn Arablinski. The main direction of foreign policy of young Azerbaijan state was to achieve recognition in the world and to establish friendly relations with neighboring states. As a result of successful diplomatic policy of young republic the independence of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was recognized de-facto at Paris Peace Conference.   11 After the signing of Gulustan and Turkmenchay contracts the territory of Azerbaijan was divided into 2 parts: South and North Azerbaijan. Three national-liberation movements took place in the South Azerbaijan during XX century. In 1905-1911 in Tabriz the national-liberation movement under the leadership of Sattar khan (Mashruta movement) had started. Soon this movement spread to the whole South Azerbaijan. In 1908 Sattar Khan was appointed as Commander in Chief of the Supreme Council and Baghir Khan as his deputy. Till April 1909, despite many losses of Tabriz uprising rebels the enemy’s armed forces were withdrawn from Tabriz. For the unusual heroism demonstrated by  Sattar Khan and Baghir Khan in this battle Sattar Khan was honored by the title of Sardar-e Melli (National General) and Baghir khan Salar-e Melli (National Leader) by the order of the Assembly. The strengthening of revolution was against interests of Iran, Russia and Great Britain. To discredit Sattar Khan and his supporters, they tried to separate Sattar Khan and Baghir Khan from their followers and supporters and to take them out of Tabriz. In March 6, 1910 Sattar Khan and Baghir Khan, together with 300 associates were invited to Tehran for negotiations. Sacrifices were cut, and the population of Tehran welcomed him as a savior. In August 7, 1910 Armed forces of Shah and police forces led by Armenian from Tehran, dashnak Yefrem Daviyants attacked Sattar Khan at night in Atabey park, surrounded Sattar Khan’s forces and attempted to disarm forces of Sattar Khan. Sattar Khan was wounded in foot at that battle. Sattar Khan’s troops were not allowed to leave Tehran. Finally, as a result of a bullet wound Sattar Khan died at the age of 48 on 9th November of 1914.   12     Azerbaijan people continued their revolutionary struggle. Khiyabani was a leader of the second movement. In 1917, the conference of the Azerbaijan Province Committee was held.  ADF was established in conference under the leadership of S.M.Khiyabani. The Central Committee of ADF fought for driving foreigners out of country and granting of autonomy to South Azerbaijan within the boundaries of democratic Iran. The National Government under the leadership of Khiyabani was established in 1920. It was the first democratic national government in the history of South Azerbaijan. The government realized reforms in the economy, education, health. In September 1920 shah government troops attacked Tebriz. Khiyabani was killed. 13 The Second World War had a great influence on social and political life of Iran in the part of the South Azerbaijan. The number of rallies, demonstrations had grown since 1941. Iranian National Party was established in September 29. The social and political clubs, associations were established by the initiative of the party. Society «Azerbaijan» and newspaper «Azerbaijan» played an important role in the mobilization of national democratic forces. The main demands of the revolution were the struggle against bribe, to strengthen the democratic movement. Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP) under the leadership of S.Dz.Pishevari was established. The first conference of the founders of ADP was held on September 13. The conference elected the Interim Comitee of 11 members, the Central Comitee under the leadership of S.Dz.Pishevari, the Program was approved. The national government has conducted a series of reforms: public lands were divided among the peasants, had issued a decree on labor, language, Tabriz University was established. 13 Archive, awards, military uniforms and other personal items of General JafarKavian given to museum by his relatives are kept here. Some of these are exhibits in the third hall of the exposition.
Jafar Kavian was born in 1895 in Salakhan village near Tebriz. He received religious education. He was an active member of “Mashrute”, “21 Azer” movements, one of the founders of the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, head of the National Army troops, a member of the National Assembly. In late 1930, he was arrested by agents for revolutionary activity. After Soviet army entered Iran, he was released from exile in 1941. On December 1945 the founder of Azerbaijan Democratic Party Seyed Jafar Pishavari was appointed by people as Prime Minister as a result of the military coup in the South. Jafar Kavian having extraordinary skills and military experience has been rewarded with the rank of major-general and was appointed as a defense minister by the decision of the National Government of Azerbaijan. 13 The forth hall of the exhibition consists of 2 parts: Azerbaijan during the repression and heroism of the Azerbaijan people during the Second World War. The Soviet power was established in Azerbaijan on April, 1920. The Communist Party became the leader of the society. M.J.Bagirov was a leader of Communist Party of Azerbaijan. A law was about to give justification victim of political repressions, to restore political, social citizenship rights. One of the tragedies which happened in Azerbaijan history was s repression that had been continued for about 30 years since 1920. Repression has killed most talented citizens. Mass killing of people with different accusations like “spy, rebel, people’s enemy”. They were exiled to Siberia, Kazakhstan. Stalinist model totalitarian socialism was created in Azerbaijan. R.Akhndov, A.Garayev, H.Javid, M.Mushfig and other intellectuals were shot in the repression of 1937. In the period of repression of the 1920-30s the most prominent sons of Azerbaijan people had to leave country and run abroad to escape from the prisons. Many political emigrants left the country during April occupation 1920-1930. Among these people were the leaders of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic: F.Khoyski, A.Topchubashev, M.Rasulzadeh and others. Azerbaijan women took an active part in social and political life of the republic and became the victims of repression. 15 The Second World War began in September 1, 1939. Germany attacked USSR in June 22, 1941. Azerbaijan played a special place in plans of Germany. Azerbaijan together with other people of Soviet Union took an active part in the struggle against fascism. More than 600000 were sent to the front during the Second World War. Within these years Azerbaijan produced 75 million tons of oil, sent to the army 15 kg of gold, 952 kg of silver. In 1942 the city’s industry produced 130 species of arms and ammunitions. 402, 223, 271 и 77 divisions formed in Azerbaijan played a great role in the victory.   16   The scientists of Azerbaijan made a great contribution to the victory. Under the leadership of Y.Mamedaliyev our scientists managed to get highoctant aircraft fuel. It was an important achievement in petrochemistry. He was awarded the USSR State prime. The famous surgeon M.Topchubashev developed the new methods of treatment in the military surgery and saved thousands of wounded. The admiral of Azerbaijan J.Javadov took an active part in the defence of the cities Tuapse, Kherson, Sevastopol, Novorossiysk. For the merit during the Second World War in 1968 he was conferred the rank of admiral. The war ended on May 9, 1945. Azerbaijan played an important role in the victory. 123 of Azerbaijanis were awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union, 30 people received the Order of Glory and 176 000 people received different orders and medals. Israfil Mamadov was the first Hero of Soviet Union from Azerbaijan, A.Aslanov was twice Hero of Soviet Union. The guns, different equipments which were used in the war and the caricature of the prominent azerbaijan painter A.Azimzadeh dedicated to this theme are demonstrated in the exhibition. 17 In the late 80s of XX century Azerbaijan had been attacked by Armenia. At the direction and instruction of the Armenian government, more than 200 thousand Azerbaijanis were expelled from their homes in Armenia. Armenians committed the violence in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, raised the issue of alienation from Azerbaijan and joining to Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, which  is historically native Azerbaijani land. This period the people held the meetings at Liberty Square, expressed their protest against Armenian, demanded independence. The curfew was entered on November. But these government actions have not stopped the protestors. In December the protestors were dispersed, many of them were arrested.  November 17 is marked as the Day of Azerbaijan National Revival. Home-made tricolor flag of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic as a symbol of the Independent Azerbaijan State was braised in Maiden Tower in spite of curfew on 28th May 1989 on the Republic Day (this flag is exhibited in the museum).    18   During this period increased the danger of the collapse of the USSR and union republics were on the verge of gaining independence. This led to the tragedy of 20 January 1990 which was a continuation of the aggressive policy of the empire. As a result of this tragedy hundreds of capital inhabitants were killed including children, women and elderly. 150 people died and 700 injured. 19 The Khodjaly genocide is one of the most horrible events in the history of the Azerbaijanian-Armenian and Upper Garabagh conflict commencing in 1988. At the night from 25th to 26th of February 1992 the Armenian armed divisions with participation of the shooting regiment №366 attacked the Khodjaly town. Within one night Khodjaly city was razed to the ground. As a result of barbarity of the Armenian armed formations 613 peaceful people were killed, 487 people were mutilated, 1275 Khodjaly inhabitants including old men, women, children, taken as hostages were subject to inconceivable tortures, humiliation and mockery. 8 families have been entirely destroyed. Under the decree of President Heydar Aliyev, this issue became a topic of hot debates at Parliament meeting of 24 February 1994, 26 February was announced a day of genocide and mourning. mubariz   As a result of Armenian aggression 20% of our territory is occupied by Armenia, about 20000 people dead and more than 50000 were wounded or injured. More than 1 million of our compatriots were displaced from their native lands and became refugees. Nationwide leader of Azeri nation Heydar Aliyev came to the power on June 15, 1993 and this day went down the history of  Independent Azerbaijan as the Day of National Salvation. The agreement about cease-fire was signed between Azerbaijan and Armenia on May 12, 1994. 214 people were awarded the National Hero of Azerbaijan.
600 schools, 65 vocational schools, 22 museums and 700 medical organizations were destroyed on the occupied territory. The occupied territories lost its exhibits. 17000 exhibits from Jabrayil museum are kept in our museum, part of them are presented in the exposition
 20 Heydar Aliyev was born on May 10, 1923 in Nakhchivan City. Chairman of the Committee of State Security under the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan Republic (1966-1969), First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan (1969-1982), member of Soviet Politburo (since 1982). In October 1987, Heydar Aliyev was resigned from his post. By return in July 1990 to Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev has lived at first in Baku, then in Nakhchivan, and on the same year he was elected as the Deputy to the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan. In 1991-1993s, he held the post of Chairman of the Supreme Mejlis of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On November 17, 1990, the first session of the Nakhchivan ASSR Supreme Soviet’s 12th summon was held under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev. A very important decision was adopted in that session. The session ruled out to change the name of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The decisions were made to change the name of the Nakhchivan ASRR Supreme Soviet as Nakchivan Automous Republic’s Supreme Assembly, and to restore the three-colored state flag of the Azerbaijan Republic as an independence symbol, and to adopt it as the national flag of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. On 15 June 1993, Heydar Aliyev was elected as the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan and this day went down the history as a Day of National Salvation. On October 3, 1993, as the result of nationwide voting, Heydar Aliyev was elected the President of Azerbaijan Republic. On October 11, 1998 he was re-elected the President of Azerbaijan Republic. The economy, culture, army and other spheres developed during the power of National Leader Heydar Aliyev.On 12 December 2003 Heydar Aliyev passed away in Cleveland Hospital in the United States of America.
21   The Heydar Aliyev Foundation had been established on the grounds of the nation’s wish to express its esteem for the memory of Heydar Aliyev , and the necessity of reflecting his rich moral heritage, cultivating the national statehood ideas among our children. Starting its activity since 2004, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation   has been actively participating in building a new society and contributing to the social and economic development of the country, by implementing various projects in spheres such as education, public health, culture, sports, science and technology, environment, social and other spheres. First Lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban  Aliyeva is the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.  22 Since 2003 the head of Azerbaijan is Ilham Aliyev, well-deserved successor of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev’s way. During Ilham Aliyev’s tenure Azerbaijan has been developing dynamically. Ilham Aliyev took active part in preparation of oil strategy, worked out by Heydar Aliyev, in succeeding and realization of this policy in the world, drawing up of different projects, execution of very hard diplomatic missions and played vital role in flow of the investments into our country. He has his own share in carrying out of the economic reforms, in extension of economical, cultural and international relations of Azerbaijan with foreign countries, in conclusion and realization of historical contracts, especially with progressive oil companies of the world on joint exploitation of oil and gas fields, and particularly the contract on the main oil export pipe-line of Baku- Tbilisi-Jeyhan. In 1997 Ilham Aliyev was appointed the president of the National Olympia Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan. His tireless and tense efforts fixed up Azerbaijan sport, brought it world fame. Today Azerbaijan occupies the first places at the international competitions in different spheres of sport and Baku has become the center of the vital international competitions.

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