Azerbaijan , Baku, May 23 /Trend/
California-based Sonoma newspaper has published a letter of
Pax Turcica member Bonnie Kaslan, who congratulated Azerbaijan on 28 May - Republic Day, General Director of the Azerbaijani-American Council ( AAC) Javid Huseynov told Trend.
The letter, published under the title "Celebrating Azerbaijan", says "On May 28, Azerbaijanis in America and around the world celebrate the 93rd anniversary of the establishment of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), the world`s first predominantly Muslim secular democracy. In 23 months of its existence prior to the Bolshevik occupation in April 1920, ADR established secular democratic institutions, including the parliament and elected multi-party representative government, and secured the country`s international recognition by the League of Nations".
Kaslan said in her letter that among other key achievements of Azerbaijani democracy were the 1919 universal suffrage law, granting women the right to vote (notably, ahead of the United States), and the development of a uniform civic identity regardless of ethnic, racial or religious differences.
"In 1957, descendants of the exiled founding fathers of ADR established Azerbaijan Society of America (ASA), a first Azeri-American grassroots organization. ASA preserved the heritage of the first Azerbaijani Republic in America, even when the country was part of the Soviet Union.
I join the members of ASA and all Azeri-Americans in celebration of the 93rd anniversary of ADR. I call upon President Obama and our elected representatives to celebrate May 28 as Azerbaijani National Day and to recognize Azerbaijan`s historic success as the world`s first predominantly Muslim secular democracy", said in the letter.
Pax Turcica (Latin for "Turkic peace") is a grassroots initiative started in 2009 by a group of Turkic-American organizations including AAC. Its primary aim is to raise awareness about the common Turkic identity and to promote understanding of the Turkic-speaking world via academic programs, grassroots networking and cross-cultural dialog. The First Pax Turcica conference, held in May 2009 at Columbia University, opened the way for series of activities to study the Turkic heritage and to understand the importance of the contemporary Turkic world.