Western Azerbaijan Republic – Iravan (Yerevan) - In Exile Endorses State Attributes

Fuad Muxtarlı Interview 7 July 2020
Western Azerbaijan Republic – Iravan (Yerevan) - In Exile Endorses State Attributes

Since May 2020, the declaration of the formation of the Republic of Western Azerbaijan (Iravan) in exile has remained high on the agenda and now the Council of Nations is forming the major institutions and creating state attributes.

Prof Qafar Caxmaqli of Turkey’s Erciyes University, chairman of the initiative group of the Republic of Western Azerbaijan (Iravan), in an interview with Teleqraf news agency shed light on a series of issues. 

[Question] Qafar muallim, it was reported that the Republic of Western Azerbaijan (Iravan) in exile convened an emergency meeting yesterday. What were the topics of discussions at the meeting?

[Qafar Caxmaqli] Since the proclamation of the Republic of Western Azerbaijan (Iravan), that is, from May 9, to the present day, we have a video conference twice a week. One of the conferences is chaired by the chairman, we have a 14-member apparatus of the chairman, where we make certain decisions, and then we hold an extended video conference. Anyone can join, every time 40-50 people come to this video conference, there are speakers and recommendations.

The conference yesterday was not emergency one. A few weeks ago, we set up a commission on the state attributes. This commission is engaged in the preparation of the flag, the coat of arms and the anthem of the Republic of Western Azerbaijan (Iravan), as well as other attributes. This commission reports directly to me as the chairman of the Council of the Nation of the initiative group. We have considered several options for the flag through a competition, listening to everyone's opinion. Yesterday we officially accepted the flag of the Republic of Western Azerbaijan (Iravan) and announced it to the public.

[Question] What are the initial reactions?

[Qafar Caxmaqli] We have received huge support from the public. This made us very happy. The proclamation of our flag and other attributes is a confirmation of how right and correct our steps are. This flag is also similar to the Azerbaijani flag; it has a lot of red color, which is a symbol of modernity. Because we live in a modern world, we will attach great importance to modernity. The flag has also a blue color, which is a symbol of our Turkishness, and the green line below is a symbol of our being Muslims. It reflects the colors of the flag of the Republic of Azerbaijan and we unanimously adopted it. There were different opinions, and we respected them. This is a flag adopted by the majority of the votes. From the onset, since the proclamation of the Republic of Western Azerbaijan (Iravan), we have taken a democratic path; we respect all opinions, and after listening and discussing, we make decisions.

[Question] There are those on social networks who see the flag as a split. How do you feel about it?

[Qafar Caxmaqli] Those who had different opinions also took part in our meeting yesterday, and they had no objections. We announced the flag, and those people also spoke and said they liked and respected the decision. Frankly, I have not come across such an idea on social networks. It seems to me that there is no disagreement.

Of course, there will be those who have different opinions, but that does not change anything. We have already adopted the flag. We respect those ideas as well. The Republic of Western Azerbaijan (Iravan) will go to the congress, elections will be held, and if this issue causes dissatisfaction, it will be raised again and discussed, and a new decision can be made. That is, we will continue this democratic path.

[Question] One of the questions is: why was the flag of the Iravan khanate not chosen?
[Qafar Caxmaqli] The flag with Shiri-Khurshid on it is a symbol of the Iravan khanate. We discussed this issue a lot, in the current sense; it is the battle flag of a military unit, which was adopted as a symbol of the flag of the city of Yerevan. However, we will use those attributes, the figures on the flag, in our coat of arms. Our artist Ali Aliyev is working on it. We discussed this issue in detail and came to the idea that our flag should be like the one we have accepted.

As the flag of the Iravan khanate is a battle flag, it can be accepted as the flag of the city of Iravan in the future. However, the republic is a broad concept; the flag we adopted is a symbol of the republic.

[Question] Who designed the flag?

[Qafar Caxmaqli] One of the active members of our republic, who lives in Moscow, as well as our friends in Azerbaijan, sent several options. As I said, it was worked out in the commission and the final decision was made, it is not right to say who the specific author is, because the flag used elements of the projects sent by everyone. The issue was discussed in the department of ideology and politics, then approved and adopted by the chairman. Everyone can claim that he/she contributed and everyone can be an author. That is, it should be approached as a decision made by the general chairman.

[Question] Who are in the government?

[Qafar Caxmaqli] We have not formed a government yet. We have a certain structure, you know, an initiative group was formed, after doing certain things; it continued its activities under the name of the Council of the Nation. In other words, it was an organizing committee. The Council of Nation elected a chairman from among its members. Then we found the department method appropriate, we created departments before the congress. Our republic has already 10 departments in various fields.

In addition, there are commissions and centers, and they are already expanding. We see an influx of people into our organization every day, so we are expanding it. At yesterday's meeting, it was agreed to establish think tanks and centers, and we will establish a commission on the population census. I must also say that the secretariat is functioning; it will have some bodies and committees. In short, we have built our structure, and in this way, I think, our future steps will be successful.