Pluralism is one of the basic principles of democracy

On April 29, 2011 at the Landmark Ares Hall was held a conference on “Development and modern conditions of political pluralism in Azerbaijan and Turkey”, organized by the Center for National and International Studies. Chancellor of the Turkish Bakhchisheher University, representatives of the Azerbaijani political parties, experts of research centers, public figures took part at the said event. 

At her opening speech Leyla Aliyeva, President of CNIS emphasized that “pluralism is one of the basic principles of democracy. For a long time Azerbaijan had one-party system, and multi-party system that was applied in the times of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (in the years 1918-20) was restored only in 1991.  Turkey transferred to multi-party system in 1946. Nevertheless, both countries experience difficulties in provision of political pluralism.”

Yilmaz Asmer, chancellor of the Turkish University “Bakhchisheher” stated that pluralistic society consider peaceful coexistence of different quarters of society. However, there are some problems between alavits, kurds, non-muslims and ateists in provision of such coexistence in the modern Turkey. Despite of equality of all before the law, however, religious rights of 10 million Turkish alavits are not taken into account.

 On the other hand, political leaders prefer the religious and at the same time ignore atheists. “Almost there are no representatives of national minorities in high offices and parliament. In reality, pluralism means provision of the rights of majorities and at the same time following the interests of minorities”, said Asmer.

Irada Baghirova, local reporter of the conference, historian-scientist reported on the scientific-historical topic “Political and pluralism traditions in Azerbaijan”. While touching upon the pluralism traditions of Azerbaijan dated back to 100 years, Ms.Baghirova stated :“For instance, in the beginning of XX century, there was Difai Party headed by Ahmed bey Aghayev. The main requirements of “Difai” related to execution of religious requirements and shariat principles, as well as education. The basic topics of the first program of Musavat party established in 1911 related to religious matters. That program included religious matters, as well as unification of all Muslims.” Comprehensive and concrete facts on wide pluralism traditions of APF power were mentioned in the report.

At the discussion part of the conference, Hikmet Hajizade, political analyst spoke briefly on the topic “Development of political pluralism in the modern Azerbaijan”, and being a moderator and commentator of this part of the conference he ensured the discussions concerning some questions. The conference ended with these polemics.

May 2, 2011