The joint international scientific conference under the theme “Tatars of Lithuania", co-organized by the ADA University, Embassy of Lithuania in Azerbaijan and International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation (ITCHF), has been held at the ADA University in Baku.
The event was attended by representatives of academia, diplomatic corps, media representatives, as well as members of Tatar community in Azerbaijan and students.
Dean of School of Public and International Affairs (ADA University) Anar Valiyev, Ambassador of Lithuania to Azerbaijan Egidijus Navikas, President of the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation Gunay Afandiyeva and Ambassador of Poland to Azerbaijan Rafal Poborski delivered the opening remarks.
Addressing the conference, Ambassador Egidijus Navikas highlighted that multiculturalism is one of the important values shared by Azerbaijan and Lithuania, emphasizing the importance of raising awareness about the history and heritage of ethnic minorities.
"In Lithuania we have two unique Turkic minorities – Tatars and Karaims. 2021 has been declared by the Parliament of Lithuania as the Year of History and Culture of Lithuanian Tatars and the year 2022 - as the Year of History and Culture of Lithuanian Karaims,” the Lithuanian ambassador said.
Speaking at the event, President of the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation Gunay Afandiyeva stressed the importance of promoting the history and culture of the Turkic people, who managed to preserve their identity and have not lost their traditions formed over many centuries, and in this context noted the Tatars living in Lithuania, who, despite their small number, occupy a worthy place in Lithuanian society.
“In the direction of popularizing the material and cultural values of the Turkic people in the international arena, the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation successfully cooperates with the Embassy of Lithuania in Azerbaijan”, Gunay Afandiyeva mentioned.
The conference also featured a series of presentations by distinguished speakers. Historian Fuad Akhundov and Chairman of the Union of Lithuanian Tatar communities, Professor Adas Jakubauskas discussed the origin and entry of Tatar population into the territory of Lithuania. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Ambassador Vilayat Guliyev and Head of History Museum of the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan Rauf Rzayev highlighted the historic legacy of Tatar communities.
Following the conference, the music performance and photo exhibition by the Tatars of Azerbaijan were staged.