Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Culture, Youth, and Environment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Fikri Ataoğlu, attended the “Cultural Capital of the Turkic World” events in Shusha on May 13, 2023, by invitation of TURKSOY. The opening ceremony was attended by officials, including the Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan, Adil Kerimli; the Secretary-General of TÜRKSOY, Sultan Raev; and the Secretary-General of the Organization of Turkic States (TDT), Kubanicbek Ömuraliyev, among others.
Shusha, a city in Karabakh liberated on November 8, 2020, now serves as the cultural capital of the Turkic world for 2023. The cultural and historical aspects of the city are being restored, according to Adil Kerimli. The Turkish World Culture Forum is slated to be held in Shusha in October 2023.
The Secretary-General of TÜRKSOY, Sultan Raev, opined that Shusha is the golden bridge of the Turkish world, which symbolizes unity, solidarity, and brotherhood. He also stated that Azerbaijan’s victory in Karabakh was not solely Azerbaijan’s but also the Turkish world’s.
TDT Secretary-General Kubanicbek Ömuraliyev emphasized the importance of collaboration and integration among the Turkic world, especially considering global challenges. He also declared that TDT has planned several events in Shusha throughout the year.
The “Cultural Capital of the Turkic World” tradition started in 2012 with Astana, Kazakhstan, and cities such as Eskişehir, Kazan, Merv, Sheki, Turkistan, Kastamonu, Osh, Khiva, and Bursa have shared the title since. For 2023, the city of Shusha has been chosen as the “Cultural Capital of the Turkic World.”