Azerbaijan Central Party
While the world, in the early years of the twentieth century, was going through enormous political changes, in parallel with that, the communities living in the geography of Iran (Mamalek-e Mahroose or Protected Nations) underwent fundamental transformations as well. A more advanced example of these changes led to the “Constitutional Revolution”, which was realized with the determinant participation of Azerbaijan. However, soon afterwards the goals of the Revolution, were being ignored and the pioneering Azerbaijani Turks of the Revolution were being outcast or killed by the Centralist elements.
The tense political and social atmosphere, which was caused due to the betrayal to the aspirations of the Constitutional Revolution, created a conducive ground for the Persian nationalist forces in order to realize their centralist and anti-Turkish ideals. Led by Sheikh Mohammad Khiabani, a movement was launched, and a government was created in Azerbaijan, centered in Tabriz that was opposing the Centralist groups’ governance and their disregard and disobedience of law. Confronted with the unfair resistance of the Centralists vis-à-vis the rule of law and democracy, Khiabani recognized the Secession from the so-called Center, as the sole solution for the prosperity of the people of Azerbaijan and by doing so, the government of Azadistan (land of freedom) emerged. This was the first experience of governance in modern Azerbaijan in the early twentieth century, which was cracked down ruthlessly.
In the aftermath of the sociopolitical chaos and anarchy, created during the Constitutional Revolution, Persian nationalists managed to attract the support of some of the great powers and established the fascist Pahlavi regime which was the beginning of the state-backed institutionalized chauvinism against non- Persian nations, especially Azerbaijani Turks, in contravention to all progressive ideals of the Constitutional Revolution.
Motivated by its Archaistic ideology (Bastangarayi), the Pahlavi regime confiscated Azerbaijan’s historic geography and the political-cultural identity of Turkish nation of Azerbaijan and looted its economic and human resources for 53 years (from 1925 till 1979).
The biggest blow that the Pahlavi regime inflicted to Azerbaijan was indeed the project to wipe out the historic, cultural and identity memory of the Turkish people. In this regard, the mother tongue of millions of Azerbaijani Turks and other nations living within the boundaries of this regime were banned. Also, with the fabrication of a fake history, the real history of other non-dominant nations, especially the Azerbaijani Turks where changed in favor of the Persian nation.
Geographic names that were named after the ruling dynasties, especially the Turkish ones (Safavid, Qajar) and were being called with terms such as the protected nations – were all changed to Iran. During those years and ages, Azerbaijan which was a powerful political entity, under Pahlavi regime’s administrative divisions, was gradually divided into weaker fractured divisions. Likewise, over the years, Azerbaijan’s economic and cultural resources was being plundered and a huge portion of its population was forced to emigrate from of Azerbaijan. Even though the Pahlavi Regime garnered all its political and economic capabilities to assimilate the Turkish nation, yet, the historic and national roots of Azerbaijanis was too deep and strong to be uprooted by the regime. Despite all the hardships, the Turkish nation of Azerbaijan used every opportunity to oppose the oppression of the authoritarian Pahlavi regime.
The “Azerbaijan Democratic Party” was emerged at the backdrop of these grievances and protests within Azerbaijan. The formation of “Azerbaijan National Government” led by Seyed Jafar Pishevari, was a clear example of the will of the Turkish nation of Azerbaijan for restitution of their national rights and materialization of the right of self-determination. Nevertheless, because the Pahlavi regime was not able to defeat the democratic leaders of Azerbaijan through political and democratic means, it embarked on the military occupation of Azerbaijan. During this event, tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis, majority of whom were the educated and intellectuals, were massacred by the occupying Pahlavi army. The Azerbaijan National Government was an exemplary and valuable experience of governance by Azerbaijani Turks during the twentieth century that managed to greatly advance Azerbaijan in terms of political, economic, cultural and social achievements.
The Azerbaijan National Government was formed based on the strong sympathetic feelings of the Azerbaijani Turks and left profound impacts on their national feelings that is still alive until today. The 1979 Revolution is another example of the decisive participation of Turkish nation of Azerbaijan in protests against the oppressive Pahlavi regime. Most historic accounts of this Revolution are indicative of Azerbaijan’s impact especially the 29 of Bahman 1356 (18 February 1978) uprising.
The enraged People of Azerbaijan used every opportunity to fight against the tyrannical Pahlavi regime within different groupings and political parties during which they have lost many lives. Before the 1979 Revolution and its goals are hijacked by Khomeini and the pro- Vilayat-e Faqih fundamentalists, the people of Azerbaijan were on the side of the Revolution. However, the day after the Revolution, when the idea of Vilayat-e Faqih was revealed, the people of Azerbaijan were the first to rise against as they couldn’t accept Khomeini’s Vilayat-e Faqih dictatorship and considered it illegitimate. This time again, the Turkish nation of Azerbaijan was massacred by the heavily-armed reactionary revolutionary forces.
The Islamic Republic of Iran regime just like the Pahlavi regime, deprived its citizens from the basic human, individual and collective rights. Azerbaijan rejected the Islamic regime since the early days of its inception and was subject to disregard and discrimination by the centralist regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Azerbaijani Turks were deprived of their linguistic, cultural and identity rights and up to date the regime has never allowed the Azerbaijani children to study in their mother tongue, despite the existence and stipulation of articles such as Article 15 of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Constitution.
Even today, we are witnessing that Azerbaijan’s economic and human resources are increasingly being looted by the backward and reactionary regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The emigration from Azerbaijan to areas in central Iran is on the rise. The Nationalism and Archaism that was institutionalized during Pahlavi era, did not vanish with the 1979 Revolution, it rather was reintroduced with different taste and color within the Islamic Republic regime. The Persianification and identity assimilation project this time is combined with a religious ideology (Shiism) and intends to root out the entire identity that has to do with the Azerbaijani Turks.
The last hundred-year history of Azerbaijan indicates the fact that Azerbaijan has never attained prosperity within the framework of a centralist government in Iran. During the Islamic Republic reign as well, the Turkish people of Azerbaijan have repeatedly risen up against this tyrannical and oppressive regime. However, the experience shows that not only the government but also the opposition forces inside and outside the country always intend to boycott and put increased pressure on Azerbaijani Turks. Therefore, the first thing Azerbaijani community needs is its liberation from the yoke of theocratic tyranny and chauvinistic nationalism.
Azerbaijani Turks continue to face racism and their right of self-determination is denied and the Turkish people of Azerbaijan have been deprived of their basic rights such as writing and reading in their own mother tongue. This is the main reason why the South Azerbaijan is left behind in the modern world.
The South Azerbaijan National Movement is the axis of national democratic movement in Iran and removing barriers in South Azerbaijan’s struggle to achieving all its national rights especially the Right to Self-Determination and the Right of National Sovereignty have been our ultimate goals.
Consistent with the need to create political institutions for South Azerbaijani Turks in this struggle, we established Azerbaijan Central Party and express our willingness to cooperate with all national forces active in the national movement as we believe the emancipation of Azerbaijani nation depends on the adherence to the rights to self-determination and national sovereignty.
Article 1 - Name of the Party
The ACP is a national political party that strives to promote human rights and self-determination right and national sovereignty right in South Azerbaijan. The ACP goals are national unity, national identity, progress, development and prosperity of South Azerbaijani Turks as it conducts its activities in accordance with the principles of human rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the right to self-determination.
In general, the ACP consists of two parts.
- Internal Section: This section operates within the historical geography of South Azerbaijan, which consists of villages, towns and cities.
- External section: This section operates outside the borders of South Azerbaijan throughout the world.
These two sections consist of two categories, i.e. the Central Council and the regular members. However, until the formation of the Central Council of the Party, the ratification of the Party Statute, and the ACP’s management shall be upon the Party’s founding board.
The Central Council consists of seven active members and shall be elected by the Party members by means of voting at the General Congress, and one person shall be elected by the Central Council as the Party leader, and one person shall be elected by the Party leadership as the Party spokesperson and the other members shall each be responsible for the committees envisaged in the Party’s Rules of Procedure, in accordance with their expertise and talents. Other members of the Party, together with the Central Council, shall be considered members of General Assembly.
All duties and responsibilities of the leadership, Central Council and committees affiliated with the Party shall be written by the Party’s Central Council and shall be approved with the relative majority of Party members at the first general assembly session and communicated to the respective members.
The ultimate and long- term objectives of Azerbaijan Central Party are as follows:
- Achieving the right to national sovereignty and the right to national self-determination in a pluralist, secular and liberal structure that protects the human dignity of the Turkish nation of Azerbaijan;
- Realization of the will of the Turkish nation of Azerbaijan on the basis of a constitution approved by the nation;
- The rule of law without any conditions and exceptions;
- The establishment of a political system that respects the rights of other nations and governments;
- The establishment of the human rights and the prevention of any kind of discrimination;
- Cooperation, solidarity and unity with oppressed nations in Iran for their emancipation from the yoke of Islamic Republic of Iran tyranny;
- Establishment of a Liberal democratic system which is based on political pluralism, secularism, social welfare, elimination of national, cultural, religious, sexual and racial discrimination;
- Designation of Azerbaijani Turkish as the official and communication language of the nation;
- Ensuring freedom of expression, press, thought and freedom of political, social, cultural and trade unions and sticking to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- Abolition of Death Penalty;
- Establishment of peaceful relations based on mutual respect between neighboring nations and other nations based on United Nations charters and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- Respect for private ownership and the establishment of a free economy;
The ACP considers Democracy as an ideal tool for regulating the relationship between the individuals and the society, in accordance with the principle of equality of all citizens with every religious, ethnic, and political orientation;
The ACP has a firm conviction on the principle of people’s free participation in the decision-making and legislation processes as a guaranteeing factor in their fundamental, economic and social rights, and believes that this aspiration stems from the principle that only the nation is the source of legitimacy for any authority and governance;
The ACP believes that in the process of recognizing and adapting democracy, following other societies, blind fully, cannot be beneficial, so it emphasizes the need to develop precise plans and viable strategies that can open an independent way to a kind of democracy that reconciles and balances fundamental principles such as individual rights, religious and social values, and a society’s moral criteria and at the same time, is compatible with the specific historic structures of Azerbaijan Turkish nation;
The ACP believes in the necessity of separating state institutions from religious institutions in order to preserve the sanctity of religion and at the same time, to preserve its spiritual role in a society and to respect the will of the people;
The ACP strongly believes in equality between women and men and in the countering discrimination that prevents or marginalizes women from participating in various fields;
The ACP condemns the various forms of terrorism, while stressing the need to differentiate between terrorism and the resistance of the occupied nations or non-dominant nations seeking to rid themselves of oppression;
The ACP believes in the need to stand in solidarity with the international community, to avoid violence, or to threaten its use in the process of resolving international disputes, and in the pursuit of dialogue and understanding, as the foundation of international relations;
The ACP will utilize its utmost efforts in the field of political consciousness and party recalls within the homeland to organize the people, raise awareness, create political and social dynamism, maintain a contact and a frequent interaction between citizens and the ACP. The ACP provide them with the ability to understand circumstances properly, act consciously, and respond to the challenges of the struggle and leadership of the movement, and ultimately mobilize all Azerbaijan National Movement activists and restore their internal capabilities – that have been vanished as a result of cruelty, hostility and feeling of frustration;
The ACP strives to foster a spirit of collective commitment and consolidation of national patriotism, and thereby strengthening a sense of unity among the people, in order to erase the effects of the chauvinistic policies of successive governments in Iran that have deliberately tried to destroy the cultural and historic heritage of the Azerbaijanis over the past nine decades;
The ACP strives to reinforce democratic values
The ACP strives to consolidate and coordinate active Azerbaijani parties and organizations in order to create an inclusive and comprehensive front that has the potential to broadly represent various political and social forces in Azerbaijan;
In the end, the ACP believes that people’s choice and popular elections is the sole referee in any struggle or political effort so much so that, on one hand, each and every political party or organization obtains its legitimacy to the extent that people embrace its stated aims and principles and, on the other hand, to the extent that this party has the capability to practically adapt its political programs and goals. On the basis of such a principle, the ACP commits, before the Turkish nation of Azerbaijan and history, to make every effort to fulfill and stick to its obligations and responsibilities in carrying out all its slogans and plans and participate in realization of our nation’s demands and aspirations for freedom, justice, and justice and an honorable life.
The ACP has been formed aiming to restore the political, social, economic and cultural rights of Turkish Nation of Azerbaijan. Believing in the right of self-determination of nations and the right to national sovereignty, The ACP considers the apartheid system in Iran illegitimate and believes that nations living under oppressive Islamic Republic regime in Iran, like other nations in the civilized world, should be able to choose their destiny with the will and vote of their own people. Believing that the self-determination is not possible without institutional and organizational activity, the ACP strives to unite and organize the rightful struggle of the Turkish nation of Azerbaijan. The ACP has emerged from the rightful children of the Turkish nation of Azerbaijan who follow civil and democratic methods, aiming to organize this struggle. Under the guidelines of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, the ACP will continue its efforts to strengthen Azerbaijani people’s activities in their fight against Iranian regime’s state-backed fascism and chauvinism as well as the colonialist system in Iran.
- Striving to raise the level of awareness and knowledge of the Turkish nation of Azerbaijan as well as other nations, in the restitution of their national rights and the struggle to eliminate the remnants of the chauvinistic system and ideology.
- Communicating with international humanist parties and organizations and expose the chauvinistic policies of Iran’s ruling system regarding the atrocities inflicted on the Turkish nation of Azerbaijan.
- Staging demonstrations and protest actions against the regime’s undemocratic and discriminatory policies in Azerbaijan at appropriate times and circumstances.
- Striving to cooperate with Azerbaijan National Movement activists and parties.
- The struggle for fulfilment of national and social rights is a difficult and tough struggle. Restitution of these rights is possible only when all national activists come together to form a broad alliance to advance this struggle. To this end, paying attention to a broad alliance of National Movement activists in achieving the right to national sovereignty of Azerbaijan, is one of the ACP’s strategic goals.
Milli və sosial hüquqlar uğrunda mübarizə çətin və ağır bir işdir. Bu hüquqları əldə etmək yalnız bütün milli fəalların geniş bir ittifaq yaratdıqları zaman mümkün olacaqdır. Beləcə partiyanın stratejik hədəflərindən biri, Azərbaycanın milli hakimiyətə nail olması üçün milli hərəkat fəallarının geniş birliyini sağlamaqdır.
All Azerbaijanis may become ACP members if they:
- Believe in its plans and statute and promote it;
- Believe in national sovereignty;
- Believe in democracy and non-discrimination;
- Has reached the age of 18;
- Are not a member to another organization or party;
- Get approved by the majority of the members of the party organization;
- They shall respect and comply with the ACP decisions and ratifications.
- They shall strive to maintain the ACP’s political and organizational unity.
- They shall protect the ACP secrets.
- They shall follow ACP disciplines in accordance with the statute.
- They shall strive to enhance their political and social knowledge.
- They shall be active in one of ACP committees.
- They shall be the liaison between ACP and the people and promote the ACP’s programs among them.
- They shall actively participate in regular party meetings.
- They shall pay the membership fee.
- ACP members have the right to be elected to any of the party committees.
- ACP members have the right to criticize any member or body at the Party meetings.
- ACP members have the right to complain about any committee before a higher council.
- ACP members have the right to publicize their views.
- ACP members have the right to make comments or suggestions to and ask questions from all Party Committees.
- Failure to fulfil their responsibilities;
- Failure to comply with the Statute;
- Revealing Party secrets;
- Obstructing Party goals;
- Abusing Party Responsibility and authority;
- Refusing to attend Party meetings or affiliated committees.
- Verbal reprimand;
- Written reprimand;
- Suspension of membership;
- Expulsion from the Party;
Note: The party punishment of each member shall be determined by a majority vote. An expelled or suspended member shall file an appeal to a higher body. They may also submit their petition to the Party Congress. The longest suspension term is one year.
Article 12 - Congress of the Party
The General Congress is ACP’s highest decision-making body, which will meet every four years. The Congress is convened by members of the Central Council and the Party General Council.
Extraordinary Congress: If the Central Council fails to resolve Party issues, it will demand that the Extraordinary Congress be held. The extraordinary congress is not required to carry out the duties of the ordinary congress and shall solely be convened to address the proposed subjects.
- Membership fees;
- Revenues from Party foundations and institutions;
- Donations from Party members, supporters and symphonizes;
- Investments in various projects in order to improve ACP’s financial status.
Of the ACP statute has been ratified in two chapters and 14 articles in June 2019.