Akinchi – first national newspaper of Azerbaijan

By Vugar Khalilov

The 147th anniversary of the Azerbaijani national press was celebrated on July 22. Undoubtedly, the presence of a free and impartial press has a crucial impact on the development of a nation’s political, public, social and cultural institutions.

The growth of the national press in Azerbaijan was no exception in this regard. Intellectuals, authors and writers have invested enormous efforts in developing a necessary framework for the publication of national newspapers and periodicals, which in turn has helped to raise the level of public awareness across the country. .

The press has a special role in the development of a country and in the process of raising the level of national consciousness. Nowadays, the media is often considered as the fourth estate because of its considerable influence on the whole fabric of society and it is no coincidence that the press is considered as “the eyes, the ears and the mouth of the people” by the intelligentsia and the literary elite.

The national press plays an important and crucial role in the life of the Azerbaijani people as it defines and channels the development of society on the path of national revival, refines the conception of the state and triggers political reflection.

The Azerbaijani national press was established on July 22, 1875, when the famous naturalist and writer Hasan Bay Zardabi (1842-1907) published the article Akinchi (Plowman). Akinchi’s publication was a big step forward both for Azerbaijanis and for the Muslim world as a whole.

Many renowned authors and playwrights of the late 19th century Azerbaijani literary movement, including Mirza Fatali Akhundov and Najaf Vazirov, centered around Akinchi during this period. Together they developed the paper’s democratic and educational ideals, which had a lasting effect on posterity even after it was closed.

Akinchi, an integral part of the development and regeneration of the Azerbaijani people, was the product of tenacious efforts and commitments in the second half of the 19th century. He played an important role in the public, political and spiritual life of the Azerbaijani people.

The creation of a national newspaper is a requirement of growth and the most obvious sign of the national renewal of any people. Hasan Bay Zardabi is to be commended for taking the first significant step down this incredibly difficult road.

Hasan Bay was one of those prominent Azerbaijani intellectuals, a true patriot with deep education who fully understood the history and cultures of Azerbaijan and other nations.

He was a passionate scout who strove to make the general public aware of the depth of the spiritual richness of their country, as well as the values ​​of freedom and progress. He realized that launching a newspaper would be the most effective approach to informing and sensitizing the public since it would appeal to both intellectuals and laypersons.

Hasan Bay believed that the many problems facing the people of Azerbaijan were due to a lack of awareness and knowledge and limited educational opportunities. In an essay in Akinchi, he said that despite being the main source of many problems, universal illiteracy has not been properly considered.

Akinchi marked the beginning of Azerbaijani press vocabulary and writing style. One can’t help but be surprised by the language used by Hasan Bay and other like-minded people even now when reading old newspaper issues. They wrote simply, in a clear and pure native dialect, understandable by a large part of the population.

Until the very end of his life, Hasan Bay served his people with immense compassion and devotion without regard to their interests or gain. He has devoted his whole life to helping those most in need. He worked diligently, thoughtfully and with determination. Hasan Bay has earned the public’s trust through his humility, diligence, and tremendous sacrifice.

He spent his whole life trying to educate people. He is widely recognized as the father of Azerbaijani mother tongue education, women’s education, the press and theater.

Akinchi had a tremendous impact on the development of the national press in Azerbaijan and on the self-awareness of the public despite its closure two years after its establishment. After its closure, several new national newspapers and magazines emerged.

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