Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.17 / Trend /
On the first days of 1988 Armenia started its evident aggression against Azerbaijan. Seeing Moscow and particularly the head of the USSR M.Gorbachov's indifferent attitude towards these events, the Armenians started mass deportation of the Azerbaijanis from their native lands in Armenia under the instructions of the Armenian government. More than 200,000 Azerbaijanis were deported from their homes, killed and burned by the Armenians. M. Gorbachov and his surrounding had no reaction to the Armenian vandalism.
In early February 1988 the Armenians carried out revolts in the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and even raised a question to join those lands to Armenia.
Azerbaijani people expressed its protest to the government. Slogans, portraits and flags carried by the Azerbaijani citizens proved their belief to Moscow and local authorities at that time.
But getting no serious answer from Moscow and the that-time government, people from every corner of the republic moved to Baku and gathered on Azadlig Square (named Lenin Square at that time), they held meetings and evidently expressed their protest.
On Nov.17, 1988, the Azerbaijani society started meeting on Azadlig Square in the protest of the Soviet state's anti-Azerbaijan policy. People gathered in a single power and started movement for freedom. Soviet army destroyed national meeting in early December. These events are assessed as the national movement in Azerbaijan and considered to be important factor in achievement of independence.
November 17 is marked as the Day of National Revival since 1992.