Southerners toward awakening and northerners toward sleeping

Yashar Bugun

The area of present-day republic of Azerbaijan was northern part of historical Azerbaijan in about until 150 year ago. According to Balaami, one of ministers of Samanids dynasty (9th and 10th centuries) that has translated and summarized the Book of History of Tabari, the borders of Azerbaijan were reported with these state lines: "Azerbaijan is bordered on the north by Derbent, land of khazars, on the south by Hamadan". Derbent city is located in southern borders of today's Russia and Hamadan is located in today's Iran.

Russian conquest of north Azerbaijan started with conquering of the Caspian coast in the early 18th century and Russia and Iran then engaged in war between 1804 and 1813 and again from 1826 to 1828. The second war with Russia in the 1820s ended disastrously for Azerbaijanis, which in 1828 Iran was forced to sign the Treaty of Turkmanchai acknowledging Russian sovereignty over the entire area north of the Aras River (territory comprising present-day Armenia and Azerbaijan). Turkmanchai treaty have caused that Azerbaijani nation was divided into two communities with deferent experiences of ideological governments in this 182 years. In today's Iran, there are millions of Azerbaijani Turks, 20- 25 million, which their beings are denied by officials and Iranian governments have deprived them of least of human rights. Main aim of this writing isn’t to discuss about discriminations and tyrannies that Iranian Azerbaijanis are suffering Iran and main part of this post is about today's situation and circumstances of north Azerbaijan.

After conquest of North Azerbaijan by Russian imperial, Azerbaijanis, with leadership of Mohammad Amin Rasulzadeh, declared Azerbaijan an independent republic in May 1918 but the Bolshevik Red Army invaded Azerbaijan and establishing Bolshevik control in 1920, until collapsing of soviet union that Azerbaijan’s status as an independent republic was formalized in October 1991. After Azerbaijan gained independence, the Nagorno-Karabakh’s autonomous status and debates between Armenian settlers of this region and new formed Azerbaijan government was caused to starting of war between Azerbaijan, having no army, and Armenia, with supporting of Russian military corps. Armenians with the help of Russians and Iranians could occupy 20% of Azerbaijan's territory and, in addition to losing of land; these pressures and interference of foreign countries have compelled political dictatorship to Azerbaijan. Despite of forming of national awakening in first years of independency, existence of former soviet members (communists and KGB agents), lack of experience in governing among nationalist and foreign interferences, especially Iran and Russia, were most important factors in domination of Heydar Aliyev in Azerbaijan politics. Heydar Aliyev, former communist official and famous member of KGB, was president of Azerbaijan from 1993 to 2003. As president, he controlled all parts of country with the help of oil and gas revenues and stifled political opposition. In 2003 he withdrew from the presidential race to ensure that his son, Ilham Aliyev, succeeded him as president. As an Azerbaijani I want to know about occurrences that happen in north of Araz river. It is being said by governors that Azerbaijan is developing and economic situation of Azerbaijani citizens are getting better. Azerbaijan is one of the world’s largest oil exporters, and an annual income of $30 billion from petrol and natural gas shows that Azerbaijan's economic circumstances should developed and usually people of country should feel this change in economy. Despite of this fact, excluding of increase in corruption, No change in the economic conditions of people is seen but an everyday story of Azerbaijanis life is occupied with foolish and funny programs of media that broadcasts about growth of country. The huge expenditure of money and human resources on converting of Heydar Aliyev to national hero of Azerbaijan is only work that Ilham Aliyev is doing with Azerbaijan's resources. Opening of a great number of Parks and museums with name of Heydar Aliyev and growing of corrupt managers and executive is result of Non-national government. Only question that any citizen of Azerbaijan should ask themselves is that why Aliyev dynasty and his corrupt system are governing in Azerbaijan. This political status of country are changing ethical features of Azerbaijani people for example, Flattery, Compliment, Obedience and Hypocrisy are negative traits that are substituting criticism, question, righteousness and honor. One of the famous examples was case of replacing International Women’s Day holiday on March 8 with a celebration of the April 28 birthday of President Ilham Aliyev’s late mother that has been proposed by Elmira Akhundova, a pro-government, non-party-aligned MP from the southern region of Masalli. Akhundova is also the author of a recently published biography of Heydar Aliyev. "Azerbaijan’s people respectfully remember Zarifa Aliyeva, the faithful spouse of national leader Heydar Aliyev. The celebration of her birthday as a Mother’s Day could demonstrate national love for Zarifa khanum," Akhundova said. Paying respect to the memory of Aliyev and his wife has become de rigueur for foreign delegations, which routinely lay a wreath on President Aliyev’s tomb, along with flowers on Zarifa Aliyeva’s grave. Parks and schools named after the presidential couple have also been opened in almost every district of the country. In 2008, a ferry named after Zarifa Aliyeva started sailing between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Persons like Akhundova, in order to reach top level of official post, are just licking the president’s boots with this proposal and flatteries. Another example of these sorrowful facts is presence of Aliyev family in unclear financial projects and lack of control over this ambitious family and its followers has caused that resources of country don’t reach to people. Buying of an expensive villa has been priced at 70 million dollars, by Aliyev shows the depth of illegality in country. lham Aliyev likes to keep things in the family. It's a trend started by his father, Heydar, who ruled the country for 30 years before effectively handing the reins to his son before dying of a heart condition in 2003. Aliyev's wife, Mehriban Aliyeva, is a parliament deputy and a prominent political figure in her own right. According to a report in "The Washington Post," the couple's preteen son, Heydar, last year became the legal owner of nine luxury mansions in Dubai purchased for some $44 million. Their daughters, Arzu and Leyla, also have Dubai property registered under the names. In total, the children's property holdings are estimated at $75 million. As president, Aliyev earns an official salary of close to $230,000 a year. But Aliyev, who prior to office served as vice president of SOCAR, Azerbaijan's state oil company, has kept a tight grip on the resources of his oil-rich country, and his holdings are believed to be in the tens of millions of dollars. Neither he nor his wife have declared their net worth, in defiance of Azerbaijani law.

Another sorrowful fact is Suppression and elimination of political oppositions, with help of easy moneys and growing of corruption among people, which has caused to form of dictatorial atmosphere in country. Sentencing to jail on hooliganism and drug-possession charges are dirty moves by the Azerbaijani power structures that has been used in the past against the political opponents of the regime and new sorrowful action of aliyev dynasty is a case that two weeks before parliamentary elections, the pro-government television channel Lider has aired a secretly filmed video of an opposition newspaper editor and a woman having sex.

As a southern Azerbaijani, I want ask from northern Azerbaijanis that: way is the first democratic republic in the Muslim World sleeping?
What are the Aliyev dynasty's plans to liberate karabakh?