History of Islamic Civilisation in Caucasia
IRCICA’s relations with the cultural authorities, universities and research institutions of the Muslim nations and communities in Caucasia, especially those that have an interest in Islamic studies, started in the 1980s. During those years, Director General of IRCICA visited Azerbaijan on various occasions, which at the time was part of the Soviet Union. After Azerbaijan’s independence and membership in the OIC, the Director General visited this country once again in November 1992, as a member of the OIC delegation headed by Secretary General Dr. Hamid Algabid. From then on cultural relations between Azerbaijan and IRCICA were developed. In May 1990, two scholars from Azerbaijan, the late Professors Ziyaeddin Bunyatov and Cihangir Kahramanov were invited to give lectures at IRCICA, dealing with Islamic studies and references of Islamic culture existing in their country. Archivists and librarians from Caucasia and Central Asia participated in the training courses for the preservation of manuscripts that were organised by IRCICA. Furthermore, the Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan, H. E. Mr. Polat Bulbuloglu visited IRCICA in June 1996. Exchange of ideas and information between the institutions of the region and IRCICA increased steadily and were translated into joint activities, especially following the visit of H. E. Heydar Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to IRCICA on 9 May 1997. During this visit, the idea of organising an international symposium that would focus on the aspects of Islamic culture and civilisation in Caucasia was submitted to President Aliyev by the Director General. The idea met with the President’s approval and his patronage was granted. Immediately after the President’s visit, preparations for the international symposium were started.
Kafkasya’da İslam Medenıyeti Milletlerarası Sempozyumu Tebliğleri, Islamic Civilisation in Caucasia proceedings of the international symposium, Baku-Azerbaijan, 9-11 December 1998
The international symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Caucasia was held in Baku, on 9-11 December 1998, under the patronage of President Heydar Aliyev, who honoured the symposium by his presence. The symposium was organised jointly by IRCICA and a national Organising Committee from Azarbaijan which was chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Elcin Efendiyev and comprised of: state advisors, counsellors and high officials at the Presidency of the Republic, Ministers of Culture, Finance, Transport, Publishing and Information, Mayor of Baku, university presidents, deans of faculties, President of the Academy of Sciences, President of the State Radio and Television, and other dignitaries.