Spring 2000 (8.1)

20th Century Timeline
Alphabet Changes in Azerbaijan

The 20th Century has been disastrous for Azerbaijan in terms of alphabet changes. Azerbaijan changed their alphabet four times with minor changes on seven additional occasions. Latin was chosen twice; first, in 1923, and again in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed and the nation gained its independence. During the interim, Stalin imposed Cyrillic (1939-1991). The largest collection of works and books exists in Cyrillic. The problem now is how to make all important publications available in Latin so future generations can read them. This chart provides some of the historical context in which these alphabet changes were made.

Ingeborg Baldauf, Schriftreform und Schriftwechsel bei den Muslimischen Russland- und Sowjetturken, 1850-1937 (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1993)
Academy of Sciences of the USSR, The Institute of Linguistics, The Questions of Improvement of the Alphabets of the Turkic Languages of the USSR (Moscow: Nauka Publishing House, 1972).

1. Bakinskiy Rabochiy No. 246, October 31, 1923, Baku
2. Help for the Teacher No. 7-8, 1939, Baku; Communist, November 23, 1939, Baku

Azerbaijan International (8.1) Spring 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.

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