By Dr. Akkan Suver
President of the Marmara Group Foundation
We are in the tenth year of the grieving passing of former President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev. I would like to share with you the values that has revealed themselves in the line of our friendship that has started in 1998 when we met and lasted until his passing. Maybe with this we can payback a little of our debt to a leader that has said ''One nation, two states''.
MARMARA GROUP FOUNDATION
In 1998 we have convinced Heydar Aliyev to give a conference at the Marmara Group Foundation. That day more than 500 distinguished personality have been moved and impressed by Heydar Aliyev. Within the magic of that beautiful atmosphere, dear President ordained: ''Make me a member of this foundation''
Upon this meaningful request of the President of Azerbaijan, Marmara Group Foundation unanimously voted to give His Excellency the title of Honorary President of the Marmara Group Foundation.LATIN ALPHABET
Latin alphabet was a value that was incomprehensible and vague for the people of Middle East, Caucasus and Anatolia that have been shaped with the Arabic letters for hundreds of years. Likewise, Latin alphabet was beyond any meaning for the people of Central Asia, Caucasus and the Balkans that were living with the Cyrillic alphabet. Alphabet's role in the pursuit of modernity and civilization that was being experienced in the West was very important.
Great Atatürk, who comprehended the importance of this value, abolished Arabic alphabet on August 9, 1928 in our country. After 73 years, on another August 9, 2001, Heydar Aliyev transformed his country's alphabet to Latin letters.
The transformation to Latin alphabet did not just brought Azerbaijan closer to the West, but also enabled new coils of relations to be formed between Baku and Ankara and between Baku and the Turkic world.
After stating Aliyev's alphabet choice, I would like to add that especially in the regions of Caucasus and Eurasia he was the leader that assured the stability and a peaceful ending to the scenarios planned for the region.THREE SEAS
When Heydar Aliyev assumed office, there were Russian soldiers on Azerbaijan's borders. British and American companies were arbitraries upon the oil wells. Religion oriented Iran propagandas were being heard everywhere. Lands of the countries were being occupied by the Armenians. Independence was under jeopardy.
Heydar Aliyev with determined and accurate values and leadership, first secured the borders. Then he sustained stability for his country.
Furthermore, Heydar Aliyev by his extraordinary negotiation style and manner well responded to the invasive logic of Armenia's treachery and betrayal cycle with peace manifested in Lisbon 17 years ago and urging countries of the world to recognize unanimously that the lands of Karabagh under the Armenian occupation belong to Azerbaijan is an example of his high negotiation success in the international arena. This great man of ideal, also was the possessor of a personality that has reflected the humanity, fraternity and above all the stable horizons of sharing in Turkey - Azerbaijan relations through the realization of the Baku - Tbilisi - Ceyhan Pipeline Project.
The Baku - Tbilisi - Ceyhan Pipeline Project, that can be seen as the economically solidified strength of the social and cultural unity and cohesiveness between Turkey and Azerbaijan, is a union power shaped between Heydar Aliyev, Süleyman Demirel and Eduard Shevardnadze. This union of power was Aliyev's great dream. Not many has believed when Aliyev announced in 1998 that the valves will be opened in 2005. This great project, defining as the covenant of the century, has been gifted to us as a result of Aliyev's persistent attitude and confident activism. This great project that couldn't even be dreamed of will be remembered tomorrow as the greatest artifact that has left from Heydar Aliyev.
This maybe Heydar Aliyev's greatest creation that will transcend him to the tomorrows.
In a broader context, this vestige of Heydar Aliyev has been the guide of TANAP project today.
Today's Azerbaijan, shaping in the hands of Ilham Aliyev who is coming from the Heydar Aliyev ecole, is a country which is constantly getting richer, growing bigger and developing within a democracy that is in the standards of western norms.
In the tenth year of his passing to eternity, I bow in respect before the revered memory of Heydar Aliyev.