KUWAIT: The Embassy of Azerbaijan held an event on Wednesday to celebrate the declaration of Azerbaijan’s Shusha city as the “Cultural Capital of the Turkic World” for 2023. During his opening remarks, Azeri Ambassador Emil Karimor said Shusha city of Azerbaijan was declared as the "Cultural Capital of the Turkic World” for 2023 at the extraordinary meeting of the permanent council of ministers of culture of the member countries of TURKSOY. In addition, Shusha has been declared the cultural capital of the Islamic world for 2024 by ISESCO.
“In the second half of the 18th century, Shusha, which is considered a city of historical, cultural and strategic importance in Azerbaijan, reached the world markets with its carpets, silks, fabrics and porcelain dishes, and thus gained great fame. In the 19th century, a large number of poets, musicians, singers, artists, architects, doctors and teachers lived in Shusha, which had a population of 25,000. This great class of intellectuals played a great role in developing science and culture there,” Karimov said.
In a pivotal moment in history, the ambassador highlighted that Shusha was liberated from occupation on Nov 8. Recognizing the significance of this victory, President Ilham Aliyev decreed Nov 8 as Victory Day in Azerbaijan. The year 2022 was declared the "Year of Shusha", marking the city's resurgence with vibrant cultural events. Shusha quickly reclaimed its rich cultural life, hosting the "Kharibulbul" music festival and Vagif Poetry Days, along with various local and international events.
Karimov noted Azerbaijan's commitment to the reconstruction of Karabakh and the East Zangezur Economic Region is evident in the allocation of significant resources from the state budget. The "Great Return" program underscores the goal of ensuring the safe return of people displaced from their homes 30 years ago. The unwavering support of Turkic states during Azerbaijan's Patriotic War and the restoration of Karabakh serve as a testament to the strengthening ties between these countries.