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November 17, Azerbaijan celebrates the Day of National Revival. The day marks the beginning of a glorious page in the history of the national liberation movement in Azerbaijan.
After 70 years of living under the Soviet communist regime, Azerbaijanis took to the streets calling for independence. The major slogan of all demonstrators was "Freedom". People took to the streets to demand the restoration of their violated rights.
The protests gained momentum as Armenian separatist forces fuelled the unrest underway in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. All these came as there was no reaction by the then Soviet leadership.
Taking full advantage of ignorant approach of the former Head of USSR Michael Gorbachev towards the unrest, Armenia expelled 200,000 Azerbaijanis from their lands.
Azerbaijanis stood up to express their endless anger and distrust of leadership that remained indifferent to the fate of the nation.
From all over Azerbaijan, people began to arrive in Baku gathering at Azadlig Square, to conduct sitting protests.
The Communist Leader Gorbachev did not show any reaction to such a vandalism revealing the true nature of the Soviet dictatorship.
For the first time, the single and free voice of the Azerbaijani people managed to defend their interests. The fight for their independence and territorial integrity was also sounded at Azadlig Square. This day was a turning point on the way to independence.
Moscow announced a state of emergency for the first time mainly in Azerbaijan. Scaring of further consequences of the rallies, the USSR’s head sent the Soviet’s internal security forces to Baku to suppress the rebellion.
People fought hard so that the influential German weekly Spiegel called Azerbaijani people “The nation of the year”, for their resistance against the Soviet forces.
It was a popular and national liberation movement. In Azerbaijan, such moves are considered as a major elements enabling Azerbaijani nation to gain independence.
Since 1992, November 17 is celebrated regularly as the Day of National Revival in Azerbaijan.
2017.11.17 / 09:00