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Head of Diaspora: "Azerbaijanis living in Finland are preparing to be represented in local government bodies" - INTERVIEW

Azerbaijanis of Finland to be represented in local government bodies

Report interviews Coordinator of the Coordination Council of Scandinavian Azerbaijanis and Head of the Azerbaijani-Turkish Youth Organization of Finland Ulviya Jabbarova.

- What is the current activity and organizational work of the Azerbaijanis living in Scandinavia, especially in Finland?

- There is a dynamism in the activity of Azerbaijanis in Scandinavian countries, as well as Finland in the past few years. It shows itself in conducting various public events of different national purposes, as well as establishing contacts and joint works with local officials. For example, along with Turkish diaspora and representatives that I have represented over the past years, we have had several important contacts with local Finnish officials. In addition, along with local representatives, we are holding a series of events on music, other spheres of culture and sports. This work continues on dynamics. As for organizational work, we are accelerating our organizational activities with the fraternal Turkish diaspora. Especially, the Coordination Council of Scandinavian Azerbaijanis recently gives a great boost to this work. I would like to mention that the support of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora is undeniable in this regard.

- What innovations can be expected from the Azerbaijanis in the socio-political life of your country? In general, are there any innovations in promoting the truth about Azerbaijan in Finland?

- As you know, Azerbaijanis won in the recent elections to the local legislative organizations in the Scandinavian country - Sweden. It tends to become a tradition. Thus, our social base, mostly involving active young people, is formed in Finland and will give us opportunity to try our luck both in legislative bodies and official areas in the future. The truth of Azerbaijan is always a priority for us in this regard. We managed to prevent the next Armenian provocation in Finland in January, this year. Thus, when the International Travel Fair was organized in Finland, the Armenian company participating in the tourism exhibition in Matkamessut in Helsinki wanted to present Nagorno-Karabakh of Azerbaijan as the so-called "Artsakh". Me and Leyli Huseynova, a member of the Azerbaijani-Turkish Youth Organization, prevented this and said that Karabakh is an Azerbaijani territory and it is provocative step to attract tourists to Karabakh under the name "Artsakh". Local officials immediately took measure on this issue. In February, we held a commemorative ceremony on the 27th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide in Helsinki. Along with the Azerbaijanis living in Finland, the local community, the Azerbaijani embassy, the diplomatic corps in Finland and other guests took an active part in the event. We, along with the diasporas of other Turkish-speaking peoples, plan to raise issue on the occupied Azerbaijani territories and legal recognition of the Khojaly genocide in the Finnish parliament.

- Azerbaijan's Coordination Councils have been operating in several European countries, including Scandinavian countries, for about a year. How did this innovation affect the diaspora?

- As you know, before I was elected the coordinator of the Coordination Council, I was the chairman of the Azerbaijani-Turkish Youth Organization in Finland. This organization was established in Espoo, Finland in 2012. The main purpose of our events is to write Azerbaijani-Turkish national traditions, history, music and cultural heritage in the memory of Azerbaijani-Turkish youth, to achieve formation of the national spirit, national thinking, as well as to familiarize the local community with the history and culture of our homeland, especially to expose the Armenian lies by raising awareness about the occupation of Karabakh and Khojaly genocide. In October last year, the Coordination Council of Scandinavian Azerbaijanis was established in Stockholm, Sweden, and I was elected as the Coordinator on Finland. From the day when I was elected to this position, we started serious activities on organization of all Azerbaijanis living in Finland and involving them more actively in diaspora and lobbying activities. In general, the steps taken by the new leadership of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora in Europe over the past year have given a new breath and enthusiasm to the Azerbaijanis living here. It is clearly observed in Scandinavian countries. The implementation of the above-mentioned projects is stimulated from this factor. The activity of Azerbaijan, especially the head of state, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, as the President of all the Azerbaijanis in the world, is a great support for us. We, Azerbaijanis, always feel this support and try to justify their trust. By the way, we congratulate Mr. President on the occasion of the first anniversary of victory in the last elections and say that we will always support him because such a significant development of our homeland Azerbaijan is a great source of power for Azerbaijanis living abroad.

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