Day of Azerbaijani Language and Alphabet Date in the current year: August 1, 2016

Day of Azerbaijani Language and Alphabet President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliev established a new cultural observance, known as Day of Azerbaijani Language and Alphabet in 2001. This holiday is celebrated annually on August 1.

On June 18, 2001 Heydar Aliyev signed a decree On Improvement of the State Language. The decree exercised a general transition to the Azerbaijani alphabet, based on the Latin alphabet, on August 1, 2001.

Initially Azerbaijani alphabet was based on the Arabic alphabet. However, at the end of the 19th century, Mirza Fatali Akhundov compiled a new Azerbaijani alphabet on the basis Russian and Latin, that was adapted to the sound characteristics of the Azerbaijani language.

The process of Romanization of the Arabic alphabet started after the establishment of the Soviet power. However, in 1939 another process of Cyrillization of Turkic languages of the USSR also began. This process much affected the Azerbaijani language.

The Azerbaijani alphabet was again translated into Latin basis, when Azerbaijan gained independence in 1991. However, many printed matters were published in Latin and Cyrillic. This situation led to publication of Presidential Decree in 2001, that legalized the Latin alphabet.

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