II. Annual Meeting of FUEN TAG took place in Baku
II. Annual meeting of the Working Group of Turkic Minorities (TAG) of Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) took place in Baku/Azerbaijan during 9-12 November 2015. The meeting was hosted by the Association of Meskhetian Turks in Azerbaijan VATAN. The first meeting of FUEN TAG, which was established in 2013, was organized in Ankara in 2014.
The following associations that are the members of FUEN TAG attended the meeting in Baku; ABTTF, Friendship, Equality, Peace (FEP) Party, Western Thrace Minority University Graduates Association, Rhodes, Kos and the Dodecanese Turks Culture and Solidarity Association, International Society of Meskhetian Turks "Vatan”, Association of Meskhetian Turks in Azerbaijan "Vatan”, Bars El: Social Organisation for Fostering and Development of the Karachay-Balkar Traditions, Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and Association of Crimean Karaites "Krymkarailar”. Besides, non-member Association of Kumuk Turks who represents the Kumuk Turks in Russian Federation also participated to the meeting.
The FUEN TAG delegation had the chance to visit several historical and cultural venues on the first day. After paying a visit to the grave of Azerbaijan’s Previous President Haydar Aliyev, the delegation met Prof. Dr. Kamil Güneş who is the Religious Affairs Director at the Turkish Embassy in Baku. The group then toured around Şirvanşahlar Palace and then came together with HE Kamal Abdullayev, the Azerbaijani State Counsellor of Multiculturalism, Inter-ethnic and Religious Affairs. FUEN Vice-President Halit Habip Oğlu shortly informed him about the works of FUEN and FUEN TAG.
During the roundtable meeting on 11 November 2015, FUEN Vice-President Halit Habip Oğlu performed a presentation on the works carried out by FUEN TAG during the previous year. Following his speech, all participating minorities/communities took the floor and gave information about the developments during last year regarding their communities. Having attended for the first time to the meeting, Mr Ramazan Alpaut who is the President of Association of Kumuk Turks introduced the history and culture of Kumuk Turks in general together with other Turkic communities in the Russian territory.
The President of the hosting organisation, Association of Meskhetian Turks in Azerbaijan "Vatan”, Mr İbrahim Ziyaoğlu raised the issue of the long-lasting problem of repatriation of Meskhetian Turks to Georgia in the second part of the meeting and emphasised that the works of FUEN TAG on international arena had been of great importance. In this session, all representatives expressed their expectations from FUEN and gave their opinions on collaboration possibilities. The issue of how to strengthen the solidarity amongst the members of FUEN TAG was discussed and accordingly, strategies have been formulated for 2016.