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Second Annual Meeting of the FUEN Working Group of Turkic Minorities (TAG) in Baku concluded successfully

From 9 to 12 November 2015, the second annual meeting of the Working Group of Turkic Minorities (TAG) in the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) took place in Baku, Azerbaijan. The meeting was hosted by FUEN member organisation Association of Meskhetian Turks “VATAN” in Azerbaijan. The meeting brought together the representatives of the umbrella organisations of Turkic minorities from six different countries in Europe

On the first day of the meeting, a total of fifteen participants visited historical and cultural places in Baku. The delegation first visited the graveyard Fahri Hıyaban where former President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev and other important figures lie and placed a wreath. The delegation later on visited the monument Şehitler Hıyabanı in remembrance of Azerbaijani and Turkish soldiers killed during the battle of Baku in 1918. The delegation also met with the Counselor for Religious Services of the Embassy of Turkey in Baku Prof Dr Kamil Güneş and visited the Palace of the Shirvanshahs in the afternoon.

At the end of the first day of the meeting, the delegation met with Kamal Abdullayev, State Counselor on Multiculturalism, Interethnic and Religious Affairs to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. During the meeting, FUEN Vice-President Halit Habipoğlu presented FUEN and the Working Group of Turkic Minorities (TAG) to the State Counselor. Vice President Habipoğlu provided Abdullayev with information on the Turkic minorities that are TAG members and asked for the support of Azerbaijan for the repatriation of Meskhetian Turks to their homeland Georgia.

During the second roundtable meeting at the Annual Meeting of TAG on 11 November 2015, FUEN Vice-President Halit Habipoğlu presented the activities of the Working Group carried out in the last year. Then, the participants told about the latest developments related to their minorities.

Afterwards, the Chairman of the Kumyk Association Ramazan Alpaut, who participated for the first time in a FUEN Annual Meeting, made a presentation on the Kumyk Turks who today live in Dagestan mostly. Following a presentation by the Chairman of the host organisation Association of Meskhetian Turks “VATAN” in Azerbaijan İbrahim Ziya on the problem of repatriation of Meskhetian Turks to Georgia and their demands concerning the issue, Alpaut made a second presentation on the Turkic minorities and communities living in Russia in general.

During the second part of the roundtable meeting, ABTTF International Affairs Director Melek Kırmacı Arık presented the work carried out by FUEN for the Turkic minorities/communities at international platforms as well as potential activities before international organisations. After the expectations of TAG member organisations to FUEN and options for potential cooperation had been evaluated, a discussion took place on proposals for strengthening collaboration among the FUEN TAG members and accordingly, a common strategy for 2016 was adopted.

Photos by ABTTF