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Presentation by historian Harun Yilmaz, held by CRRC Azerbaijan

July 22, 2016 Print Share on Facebook

On 19th July, CRRC Azerbaijan organised a seminar by Harun Yilmaz to present his work on the “Stalinist Period and National History of Azerbaijan”.

We were pleased to see a number of historians and political scientists, as  well as university students, attend the event and contribute to the ensuing discussions.


They included Firdovsiyya Ahmadova (Doctor of Historical Sciences and Department Chair of the State Administration Academy of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic), Dr. Altay Goyushov (from Baku State University, specialising in the history of Turkish and Caucasian nations) and independent policy analyst Rashad Shirin. They all shared their valuable thoughts with us on the topic.


The seminar presentation covered a historiographical dilemma - how to incorporate the Stalinist period into national history. Azerbaijani historians have been writing a modern national history since 1937. While constructing a continuous and consistent narrative, they faced numerous problems, and in many cases they successfully solved them. One of these problems is how to integrate the Stalinist period in Azerbaijan into the national narrative.


On the one hand, it is very difficult to remove this crucial period of modernisation from the national narrative. On the other hand, Stalinism was a dark historical moment, with state-terror, political and cultural repressions, and a one-party dictatorship. This was the period when Stalin and his multi-national followers in each Soviet republic consolidated their totalitarian regime. The presentation  discussed this dilemma within the broader context of national history construction. Our guests went on to discuss more broadly the formation of national history.





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