Turkey’s MHP briefs Azerbaijan’s Aliyev on school plan

By Ruslan Rehimov

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AA) – Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday received a delegation from a Turkish political party to discuss plans to build a school in the liberated Shusha city in Upper Karabakh.

According to a statement by the Azerbaijani presidency, the delegation included Mevlut Karakaya, deputy chair of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP); Yusuf Ziya Gunaydin, former mayor of Isparta; and Ahmet Yigit Yildirim, head of MHP-affiliated Grey Wolves.

Congratulating Aliyev over the victory in Nagorno-Karabakh, Karakaya informed Aliyev about the initiative to build a culture and art school in Shusha.

In late January, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said his plan to build a school in recently liberated Azerbaijani lands has been approved by the leadership of both Turkey and Azerbaijan.

On Jan. 16, Bahceli announced plans for the education and culture foundation of the MHP-affiliated Grey Wolves, officially known as Idealist Hearths, to build a school in Shusha, which was liberated last November from the nearly 30 years of occupation by Armenian forces.

He had said that the school will be named after Uzeyir Hajibeyli – a Shusha-born composer who composed the music of Azerbaijan’s national anthem.

Thanking the delegation for the initiative, Aliyev said the subject would be taken into account as part of the restoration and urbanization work on the liberated lands.

Emphasizing that master plans of cities in the liberated territories have been developed, the president said he would give relevant instructions to choose a suitable place for the school building.

Last September, clashes erupted between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan when the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

During the 44-day conflict, which ended in a truce on Nov. 10, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages in Karabakh from a nearly three-decade occupation.

In November, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Russian-brokered peace deal to end fighting.

Despite the cease-fire deal, the Armenian army several times violated the agreement and martyred several Azerbaijani soldiers and a civilian, according to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.

On Saturday, Turkish and Russian troops started to monitor the truce in Upper Karabakh. It came after the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding following the truce to set up a joint center on Azerbaijani territories liberated from Armenia’s occupation to monitor the cease-fire.

*Contributions and writing by Sena Guler