Politics 17:18 11/03/2020 Armenia

Opinion: Ilham Aliyev’s ‘cartographic’ fears

Author Anna Mkrtchyan

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s failure to find his “historical homeland” on the map at a local museum in the city of Tovuz a few days ago must have affected him deeply.

In his opening remarks at the first session of the Azerbaijani parliament’s (Milli Majlis) 6th convocation on March 10, Pres. Aliyev spoke, among other things, of Armenia’s "historical falsification" and maps.

“Just look at the maps published in the Russian Empire at the beginning of the 20th century to make sure that the overwhelming majority of the names of present-day territory of Armenia are of Azeri origin," Aliyev said, arguing that "historical justice" in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is on the Azerbaijani side, while Armenians have no serious arguments and are engaged in falsification and bribing some politicians.

Once again he referred to the Kurekchay Treaty signed by Ibrahim Khalil Khan and the Russian General Tsitsianov in 1805, stressing that it makes no mention of Armenians. There is no mention of Azerbaijan either in the document. Moreover, no historical document makes any reference to the present-day Azerbaijan until the beginning of the 20th century, in which Aliyev was personally convinced at the Tovuz Museum. That is also why he refers to the maps of the 20th century.

In general, Ilham Aliyev's obsession with manipulating the historical aspects of the Karabakh conflict would have been incomprehensible and absurd, if it had not been for the very pronounced tendency of "presenting the desired instead of the reality" in Azerbaijani propaganda and in Aliyev's public messages. It’s not clear at what extent Ilham Aliyev believes in his own words, but that mentality is striking in his March 10 speech.

He speaks of the establishment of democracy in Azerbaijan, successful and free parliamentary elections and the expression of people’s will, whereas the reality is quite different, as stated by all serious international structures and reports. Aliyev speaks of sweeping reforms and increased role of the newly elected parliament, but his speech largely contained direct instructions on the deputies' future work. He complains that local executive officials are still referred to as khans, but he forgets about the cult of personality surrounding himself and his father Aliyev. The vivid evidence of this is also the remarks of the chief of staff of the Milli Mejlis addressed to Ilham Aliyev at the opening of the same session: "We express our deep gratitude to you for the creative continuity of the development strategy set up by the founder of the independent Azerbaijani state, great leader Heydar Aliyev ....”

Aliyev talks about interfaith dialogue, taking pride in the fact that the Pope praises Azerbaijan's achievements in this area, but in another part of the same speech, he urges lawmakers to play the Muslim solidarity card in the fight against Armenians.

In a nutshell, lies and hypocrisy are everywhere in the Azerbaijani authorities' couloirs. In all spheres, Ilham Aliyev resorts to a distortion of facts and realities that is typical of totalitarian regimes. While the current developments in Azerbaijan pursue only one goal – to keep public unrest under control through limited reforms.

No matter how much Ilham Aliyev tries to portray himself as an "enlightened monarch" or a "popular tsar", he remains an ordinary tyrant who has serious problems with the old maps.

Source Panorama.am
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