Characteristic of national minority concept and multiculturalism

Characteristic of national minority concept and multiculturalism

Culture
13 June 2016, 17:40 1401
The European Centre for Minority Issues and "Amnesty International" have issued a report on "Minorities in Georgia for the years 1998-2005". According to the Georgian section of the report, in this country the rights and freedoms of citizens are very grossly violated by law enforcement officials. There are number of facts of torturing detained persons in Georgian police departments and regretfully any measures have not been taken yet due to put an end to such cases. According to the report, about 308,000 Azerbaijanis lived in Georgia in 1998, however the number of Azerbaijanis were 284,000 in 2005. 
As shown in the report, more than 300,000 Azerbaijanis ( about 50 %) have left Georgia within 1989-2005 years.  Since 1998, flow of Azerbaijanis from Georgia to Azerbaijan, Russia and other countries have been continuing. Differ from 14 thousand Georgians living in Azerbaijan, socio-political, socio-economic and living conditions of Azerbaijanis who live in Georgia is poorer.  
Human rights violations committed against Azerbaijanis living in Georgia show it in attitude towards Azerbaijani media running in that country too. Such violations repeatedly committed against representatives of "Yeni düşüncə" newspaper belonging to Azerbaijanis living there.

Currently, Azerbaijanis live compactly in Tbilisi, Rustavi, Batumi cities, as well as in 95 villages of  Marneuli region, 40 of Bolnisi, 12 of  Gardabani, 38 of Dmanisi, 4 of Lagodejhi and 7 of Sagarejo regions. Geographical names of cities, towns and villages where Azerbaijanis have been living  for centuries changed and named after Georgian names by Georgian authorities now and again. This process continues even today. During the archaeological excavations in the areas where Azerbaijanis dwelled compactly, local residents are not allowed to close and the found items called their own historical findings despite the fact that they belong to Azerbaijanis. 

However the condition in Azerbaijan is completely different. Steps taken by Azerbaijani National Leader Heydar Aliyev due to establishment of multicultural environment  in Azerbaijan and demonstration of Azerbaijani multicultural model to the world as our national wealth and other thorough information were noted in the report. 
Baku International Multiculturalism Center established by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in order to promote the country as a center of multiculturalism,  explore and  promote current multicultural models has launched a number of important works in a short period of time.
Firstly,  by the initiative of the State Adviser on Multinational, Multicultural and Religious Affairs, Chairman of Baku International Multiculturalism Centre Kamal Abdulla "Multiculturalism” and " Azerbaijani multiculturalism” subjects were launched and training programs on both subjects prepared and approved  by the Ministry of Education. 
Today, publishing of "Literary sources of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan”, writing of  "Azerbaijani multiculturalism” textbook, and preparation and presentation of the program "Azerbaijani multiculturalism” subject  to the world universities demonstrate benefits of this subject. 
 The above-mentioned subjects have been started teaching at master and bachelor levels of universities in our country. "Azerbaijani multiculturalism” department have been launched at Baku Slavic University. The department " Multiculturalism” "Culture and art of countries”,  "Ethnography of  countries” , "Comparative literature” and etc. subjects are taught at the Department. Moreover, it is planned to carry out the master's and doctoral theses on multiculturalism at the department. 
By the initiative of Baku International Multiculturalism Center "Literary sources of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan” "Scientific, philosophical and journalistic sources of Azerbaijani  multiculturalism” "Political and legal resources of Azerbaijani multiculturalism” works will be useful in the future to contribute to the study of Multiculturalism.

One of the projects with  ideological, social and cultural importance and regardless of nationality, involving all the country's citizens is " We learn Azerbaijani language” project. The Knowledge Fund under the Azerbaijani President  holds the project by the initiatives of State Adviser on Multinational, Multicultural and Religious Affairs. It is remarkable that Baku and Azerbaijan Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church attends the project and gives support for it. 

The project came forward with the law on " The State Language of the Republic of Azerbaijan” signed by President Ilham Aliyev on September 30, 2002. Baku and Azerbaijan Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church is not limited only with providing space, as well as, church leaders take a registration of persons who want to come to the course. 

As a result of the works done by President Ilham Aliyev, declaration of the year 2016 as the Year of Multiculturalism in Azerbaijan increase attention to this area and at the same time invites the world to take advantage of multiculturalism policy which has no alternative. Thus, according to the decree signed by Azerbaijani President on the 11st of January, 2016, Azerbaijan  located on the Silk Road and a place different civilizations mixed was known as the country where national and cultural diversities formed for the centuries and various nations, ethnic minorities live in peace and harmony with mutual understanding. 

In 2016, holding of 7th UNAOC Global Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan fairly demonstrates approach of the world countries to the Azerbaijani multicultural environment. 1500 represenatives from 147 countries attended the Forum. About 4300 people were generally registered. Totally, more than 6 thousand of people( including volunteers)  participated in the forum. About 129 high ranking officials attended the forum. Moreover 41 events were held within 3 days. 
The 7th UNAOC Forum maintained to develop of intercultural dialogue. The forum focused on interfaith reconciliation, harmony, the policy of dialogue among civilizations. The world witnessed that Azerbaijan a small Muslim state, in fact, can teach multiculturalism to big states. 
The Forum suggested coexistence in inclusive society  as the goal. During  the forum sharing good experiences, coexistence in inclusive society were discussed. 
Azerbaijani and Turkish Presidents, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations and Spanish FM stressed importance of defense of the peace, improvement of the  inclusive society for global security in their speeches at the opening ceremony of the forum. In the end of the forum Baku Declaration were adopted. 

Declaration of 2016 the Year of Multiculturalism in Azerbaijan is highly appreciated in the Baku Declaraion. The document will maintain realization of some significant projects by our country in the future. 
During his speech  at the opening ceremony of the Forum Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that holding the 7th UNAOC Forum in Baku is not accidential: " As, Azerbaijan a country of tolerance and multicultural values has an extensive experience on development of dialogue between cultures, protection of cultural diversity and hosting prestigious forums.” 
Moreover, within the VII Global Forum of the UN Baku Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan on Socio-political Affairs Ali Hasanov said  at  a panel meeting on the topic "Media professionalism: Media for organizing resistance against the propaganda of violent extremism" that multicultural, tolerant atmosphere reigns in Azerbaijan and we promote this : " It is already 3 days that here we are talking about multicultural traditions of Azerbaijan, historical and cultural  values, the environment of peace among religions, mutual understanding. However, Armenian media challenges not to accept Baku Declaration of the Global Forum. Why? Because Armenian journalism has clear interests about Azerbaijan. Regretfully, sometimes media principles are violated. The deterioration of civil, national, subjective and spiritual interests stand behind the violation. Therefore, it must be a unified code of ethics of journalists working in multinational and local media and a single issue of principle and code to be treated.” 

Within the Forum,  at a panel meting "The role of Azerbaijan in building a multicultural society” State Adviser on multinational, multicultural and religious affairs  Kamal Abdulla said that the guests attending the forum are people who are expanding  Azerbaijani Multiculturalism samples and values between youth and members of societies. Azerbaijani multiculturalists are not alone. They have loyal friends and this formation process encourages us.” 

Head of Department of European Studies at the Institute of Social and Political Sciences Alexandr Nesterov said that multiculturalism is a system of values perceived by the people and plays significant role in determination of cultural levels in the countries. He highly assessed Azerbaijani multicultural environment, role of family, education, tolerance in building of a society. As well as, Chairman of Italian branch of Baku International Multicultural Center Sandro Teti, the Executive Director of the Dresden branch  Birgit Weissgerber, Director of International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology the University of Lusophone Teresa Damasio and others specially stressed in their speeches significance of works done due to multicultural traditions in Azerbaijan and protection of it. 
 
 Niyaz Niftiyev