8 November Essay Competition Winners

Here are the winners of the Essay Competition! Please note that we haven`t made any changes (punctuation, spelling).

1st place – Ulvi Hasanli

Victory is the desired outcome of any struggle for the cause. However, what makes it special is its being result of a motive filled with pure rightousness and fairness. Today, on November 8, Azerbaijan is celebrating Victory Day, which, nationwide, creates a wholeheartedly unified aura. And everyone who has been observing history behind this conflict since beginning can be easily assured that it is the celebrating day of the justice.

Although medium-scale issues were ongoing throughout the Soviet period, modern phase of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict started in February 1988. The Soviet Union were facing dissolution; as a consequence, this process was creating base for a further increase in tensions. Subsequently, between 1991 and 1994 armenian army violently occupied mentioned territory of Azerbaijan and self-claimed it. Since that day Karabakh had been de-facto owned by self-declared Republic of Artsakh, until November 10, 2020, which is the date of the Armenia’s capitulation agreement after the Second Karabakh war.

First of all, why did the Second Karabakh war started 3 decades after the vicious genocide and occupation? At the surface level, possible reason is provocative actions of Nikol Pashinyan, who is the prime minister of Armenia. Nevertheless, in the real sense, situation is totally different. Azerbaijan were gaining economic freedom, expanding international relations, strengthening its army, whereas Armenia was plummeting into the utter despair. Consequently, circumstances made the war unavoidable. As a matter of fact, this opposition should have been called counter-terrorism, as Azerbaijan was just trying to clear its area of armenian and paid foreign terrorist fighters and mercenaries.

As an exact date, November 8 is the day of the recapture of Shusha, which is considered as the heart of Karabakh. It was a decisive location for the victory. Military penetrated Shusha district through its forests and mountain passes. As a result, all of the captured lands became accessible with a less effort for the Azerbaijan forces and armenians saw the obvious total defeat with a clear vision; thereby, their prime minister signed the surrender act.

Unfortuanely, combats always demand sacrifices and it was the same case for last Karabakh war. Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence reported deaths of 2879 servicemen, and 64 missing. That creates great responsibility for Azerbaijan, including its people and its authorities, always to honor martyrs’ names, to remember them respectfully. In this regard, Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, established the decree that November 8 should be celebrated as a public holiday, in commemoration of Azerbaijan being victor of in 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war and it is at the same time commemoration of Azerbaijani martyrs.

2nd place – Sanan Mammadov

November 8, The Victory Day

To begin with the Victory Day is a public holiday in Azerbaijan that is celebrated on 8 November, in commemoration of Azerbaijan being the victor in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war of forty-four days.  On November 10th in 2020, with Armenia’s capitulation six weeks of fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region ended. The day of the signing of the ceasefire agreement ending the Patriotic War. The holiday’s celebration date was changed to 8 November as the previous date overlapped with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s Memorial Day in Turkey. The holiday is celebrated on the day of the liberation of Shusha. The liberation of Shusha, the crown of Karabakh, was one of the unique military operations in the world history.

In addition, 27th of September the day when also known as Second Karabakh War began is commemorated in Azerbaijan as the Memorial Day, for honoring and mourning around 3000 martyrs of the war including 100 civilians killed in violent terror attacks during the war by aggressive enemy.

Economic growth, successful petrol strategy, rising international fame, friendship neighboring relations, isolation policy in the region against Armenia, military strategic planning and a heroic unity of people and government during the war played an essential role for Azerbaijan to liberate its territories from Armenian years-long occupation. Furthermore signficant support performed by brother country-Turkey which standed by Azerbaijan like a fist and support by friend states as Pakistan, Isreal motivated Azerbaijan to be triumphant. Consequently Azerbaijan will also gain land access to its Nakhchivan exclave bordering Turkey and Iran.

In honor of the victory the new station in the Baku Metro was named “November 8”,“Victory fair” is held preparatory to the anniversary and Patriotic War Memorial Complex and Victory Museum will be established in Baku.

It is a non-working public holiday in the state so that whole Azerbaijan, Azerbaijanis and the people who love Azerbaijan are preparing to celebrate the anniversary of the historic day in a couple of days.

In conclusion peace will save our world at the same time good triumphs over evil as justice is the only real truth ever.

3rd place – Huseyn Huseynov

Victory Day

Victory is a state of bewilderment which simultaneously accompanies by strong feelings of elation and grief. The entire Azerbaijani people were in this state on the 8th November in 2020, solemnly celebrating the victory over the insidious invaders and mourning the brave martyrs who courageously battled nonstop for about 44 days for the liberation of the occupied lands.

Our Victory Day has a bloodstained background. Over three decades, 20% of our territories were under the occupation of Armenia. During this period, despite numerous summit meetings between Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders, the conflict was unable to resolve. Instead, the enemy destroyed multiple cities and villages in our internationally recognised territories. Furthermore, the state-registered immovable historical and cultural monument – the mosque in Zangilan was used to keep pigs which is a clear example of Armenian vandalism and religious humiliation. September 27 was a turning point from which our occupied lands gradually began to liberate. The liberation of Shusha was a triumph of the combat determination and played a decisive role in the fate of the war. Demolished and unable to withstand the might of our valiant army, the enemy agreed to sign the cease-fire in order to withdraw its army from Nagorno-Karabakh and be replaced by Russian peacekeepers.

Victory Day carries a vehement significance and will remain as a red-letter day in the history of our country. From my own perspective, the importance of this day comes from the fact that we should realise our martyrs’ sacrifices and the unity of our nation, despite everything.