Declaration of Independence (Azerbaijan)

Declaration of Independence of Azerbaijan
Declaration of Independence of Azerbaijan.png
Original text of the Declaration in Azerbaijani
Created28 May 1918
LocationNational Museum of History of Azerbaijan
SignatoriesHasan bey Aghayev, Fatali Khan Khoyski, Nasib Yusifbeyli, Jamo bey Hajinski, Shafi bey Rustambeyli, Nariman bey Narimanbeyov, Javad Malik-Yeganov and Mustafa Mahmudov
PurposeTo announce the independence of Azerbaijan

The Declaration of Independence of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycanın İstiqlal Bəyannaməsi) is the declaration of independence of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic from the Russian Empire. Azerbaijan was proclaimed independent in Tiflis on 28 May 1918.[1]

The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was founded by the Azerbaijani National Council in Tiflis on May 28, 1918 after the collapse of the Russian Empire that began with the Russian Revolution of 1917. The Muslim representation in the defunct Transcaucasian Seim had constituted itself into the Azerbaijani National Council, and on May 28, 1918 proclaimed that a new nation was born. So far only a geographical reference, Azerbaijan now became the name of a state, and some 2 million people, called variously Tatars, Transcaucasian Muslims and Caucasian Turks, officially became Azerbaijanis.[2]


At the beginning of 1918, the political situation in the Caucasus remained critical. After the failure of the Russian-Germany peace talks in Brest-Litovsk, the German-Turkish troops began to attack on 6 December 1917 in the Caucasus. At the beginning of January 1918 Turkish troops were able to capture the Kars and Batumi provinces.[3]

Deputies from the Transcaucasus elected to the Russian Entrepreneurial Council decided to establish a Transcaucasian Sejm- the Transcaucasian Parliament as the government body in the country on February 14, 1918.[4]

30 members of Musavat Party and the Democratic Party of Neutral people, 7 members from the Muslim Socialists, 3 members from the İttihad Party, 4 members from the Democratic Socialist-Democratic Menshevik Party, included to Transcaucasian Sejm.(Parliament) As a result, 44 Azerbaijanis took place the Transcaucasian Seim and established the Muslim fraction of the Sejm. These were:[4]

From "Musavat" Party and a group of Democratic neutralities: Mammad Yusif Jafarov, AliMardan Topchubashov, Mammad Amin Rasulzadeh, Nasib Yusifbayli, Hasan bey Aghayev, Khosrov bay Sultanov, Mammadhasan Hajinski, Mir Hidayat bay Seyidov, Fatali Khan Khoyski, Khalil bey Khasmammadov, Ahmed Bey Mahammadbeyov, Aslan bey Gardashov, Shafi bay Rustambeyli, Javad Malik-Yeganov, Mustafa Mahmudov, Mehdi bey Hajibababeyov, Haji Selim Akhundzadeh, Mehdi bey Hacinski, Khudadat bey Malik-Aslanov, Museyib bey Eqikanova, Lutfali bey Behbudov, Firudin bey Kocharli, Ibrahim aga Vakilov, Hamid bey Shakhtakhtinski, Rahim bay Vakilov, Alasgar bey Mahmudbeyov, Yusif Efendizade, Mirza Jamal Yusifzade, Mammadrza aga Vakilov, Islam bey Gabulzadeh.[4]


On 28 May 1918 in the palace of the former governor of the Russian emperor in the Caucasus in Tiflis, in the blue saloon for Muslim group of Transcaucasian Seim members of Azerbaijan National Council gathered at the meeting chaired by Dr. Hasan bey Aghayev.[1] Dr. Hasan bey Aghayev informed the participants about the collapse of the Transcaucasian Sejm, as well as prevailing in the region internal and external situation.[1] Aghayev put the consideration of the free and independent Azerbaijan. After a long and thorough discussion, the Secretary Mustafa Mahmudov read the names of voters; 24 votes, with 2 abstentions, adopted a Declaration of Independence of Azerbaijan.[1] The Declaration was signed by Hasan bey Aghayev, Fatali Khan Khoyski, Nasib Yusifbeyli, Jamo bey Hajinski, Shafi bey Rustambeyli, Nariman bey Narimanbeyov, Javad Malik-Yeganov and Mustafa Mahmudov. Only Jafar Ahundov and one of the leaders of the party "Ittihad" Majid Sultan Ghani Zadeh didn't vote for the adoption of the Declaration.[5][6]


Monument of the Independence Declaration erected on the Istiglaliyyat Street in honor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was opened on May 25, 2007. Independence Declaration (adopted in Tbilisi, 1918) in both version written with former Azerbaijani letters and the Latin alphabet were carved on the monument. President Ilham Aliyev attended in the opening ceremony. The monument was erected between the building of the Institute of Manuscripts of the Azerbaijan and the building of the Azerbaijan State University of Economic .[7]

State holiday

On the day of adoption of the Declaration of Independence - the Republic day of Azerbaijan is celebrated as a state holiday since May 28, 1990.[8][9]

Annotated text of the Declaration

1. Azerbaijan is a fully sovereign state; it consists of the southern and eastern parts of Transcaucasia under the authority of the Azerbaijani people.

2. It is resolved that the form of government of the independent Azerbaijani state is a democratic republic.

3. The Azerbaijani Democratic Republic is determined to establish friendly relations with all, especially with the neighboring nations and states.

4. The Azerbaijani Democratic Republic guarantees to all its citizens within its borders full civil and political rights, regardless of ethnic origin, religion, class, profession, or sex.

5. The Azerbaijani Democratic Republic encourages the free development of all nationalities inhabiting its territory.

6. Until the Azerbaijani Constituent Assembly is convened, the supreme authority over Azerbaijan is vested in a universally elected National Council and the provisional government responsible to this Council.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Азербайджанская Демократическая Республика (1918 - 1920). Элм. 1998. p. 316. ISBN 5-8066-0897-2.
  2. ^ a b Tadeusz Swietochowski. Russia and Azerbaijan: A Borderland in Transition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.ISBN 0231070683, p. 129
  3. ^ "History of the war".
  4. ^ a b c "Azerbaijan Democratic Republic".
  5. ^ Oğuztoğrul Tahirli. Zaqafqaziya Seyminin üzvü Cəfər Axundov. (Azerbaijani) // 525-ci qəzet. — 17 December 2011. — P. 28.
  6. ^ "History of Independent State and Parlament". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  7. ^ "President Ilham Aliyev visited the monument to the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in Istiglaliyyat Street on the occasion of May 28 - the Republic Day". Archived from the original on 2018-01-13. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  8. ^ "National Public Holidays of Azerbaijan".
  9. ^ "Holidays".

Media files used on this page

Flag of Azerbaijan 1918.svg
1918 version of Flag of Azerbaijan - variant
Declaration of Independence of Azerbaijan.png
Declaration of Independence of Azerbaijan. Scan of the document from State archive of Azerbaijan Republic.