Under the principle “one nation, two states,” Baku continues to cultivate close political and economic ties with Ankara. At the same time, the government has disregarded the increasing influence of Turkish culture on Azerbaijan, especially on the youth. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens are divided on this matter.
Despite the fact that television, movies, music and literature of Turkish production are highly demanded in our country, there are a certain number of people who openly express dissatisfaction with the degree of penetration of Turkish culture in Azerbaijan. It is generally known that the excessive commitment to the culture of another country means the loss of one’s own national identity.
Indeed, while representing one ethnic group, these two peoples are not identical due to different historical circumstances.
“In the 1990s and even later, the Turkish language played a very positive role in the education of Azerbaijani youth. But today I notice a certain abuse of it,” Senuber Heydarova, PhD in Social Sciences at Baku State University (BSU) said.
According to Heydarova’s observations, many Azerbaijani children watch cartoons in Turkish and eventually begin to speak this language better than their native one. They start to learn Turkish at an early age. “In the second or third grade, some children can’t even name the colors in Azerbaijani. They use Turkish words instead,” school teacher Ruhiya Movsumova said.
If the country’s government does not take any measures, then parents need to control the process of the Turkization of their children, otherwise we will soon face the same thing from which they tried to escape in the 1990’s: instead of Russian-speaking Azerbaijanis, Azerbaijanis will be speaking Turkish.
Turkish popularity is growing not only among children, but many of the country’s bookstores sell publications translated into Turkish instead of Azerbaijani. Additionally, if the books are translated into Azerbaijani, frequently the translation is carried out from Turkish, not from the original language. Many Turkish restaurants in Azerbaijan do not even consider it necessary to translate the menu into Azerbaijani.
“Turkish has already begun to suppress the national, indigenous dialects of Azerbaijan. If the government of Azerbaijan does not intervene in a decisive way, we will lose our language,” said public figure Agalar Mammadov.
Meanwhile, the state budget continues to receive funding for the Ataturk center. This center is engaged in the promotion of Turkish culture and language in Azerbaijan.