TEAS remembers the progressive Azerbaijan Democratic Republic

Press Release: On 28 May, The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) and Azerbaijanis around the world commemorate the achievements of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), which existed for 23 months from 1918–20. Established following the fall of the Russian Empire, the ADR is regarded as the first successful attempt to establish a democratic, secular republic in the East.

Under the ADR, the Parliament, based on western models, was formed on the basis of universal, free, and proportionate representation, to which the Cabinet of Ministers was held responsible. The Members of Parliament were elected from all groups found within Azerbaijani society, regardless of creed or ethnic origin, including Armenians, Russians, Poles, Jews and Germans.

Amongst the major accomplishments of the Republic was the extension of voting rights to all women, predating such developments in the UK and US. The ADR also supported the establishment of Baku State University, which was the first modern university to be founded in the East.

Throughout the ADR period, Azerbaijan developed diplomatic relations with numerous states, with 16 overseas embassies being opened.

Despite having been annexed by the Soviet Union for 70 years, the regaining of Azerbaijani independence in 1991 represented an opportunity to build upon the foundations of the ADR. For example, women continue to occupy high-ranking political positions, often exerting greater power than their western counterparts. The coexistence of synagogues, churches and mosques is indicative of the inherent religious tolerance of the country.

On 28 May, TEAS recalls the ADR, its achievements and the continuing successes of the Azerbaijani economy, as the country achieves further integration with the European family of nations.