Chapter 7. Armenian origin of non-conformists
The authorities of Azerbaijan are hypersensitive to criticism or to any negative manifestation
or assessment from both the international community and the domestic audience. The
entire state machinery is geared up to create an image of successful, tolerant, decent,
transparent and creative system.
According to the reports of international monitoring organizations or relatively independent
local researchers and the media, the portrayal offered by the Azerbaijani authorities is quite
far from the reality.
While the authorities of Azerbaijan accuse the international organizations of their "biased
judgment" and application of "double standards", the local, mostly opposition-oriented
news outlets expose on a regular basis "disgraceful" facts that are at odds with the country's
image advertised by the authorities. The authors of such publications draw fire from
state-controlled media, members of the parliament, researchers and non-governmental
organizations which wage a war against dissidents using their familiar arsenal of techniques;
they search and detect traces of Armenian involvement (lobby) or dig up Armenian roots in
those who circulate these "disgraceful" facts or commit deeds blackwashing the country's
It is no secret that Azerbaijanis at grass roots level live a hard life "in the richest country of
the region". The ubiquitous corruption, violations of human rights and freedom of speech,
tyranny and persecution, the unresolved issue of "reclaiming Karabakh", incessant and
never materializing promises of war lead to some legitimate questions. Who is to blame?
The answer is always ready at hand; it is all about external enemies who are jealous of
Azerbaijan's prosperity and seek to discredit it. This "campaign against Azerbaijan" is
invariably ascribed to ethnic Armenians who are the instigators, masterminds and guiding
hands behind it. This holds true for inside and outside Azerbaijan.
Overall, the efforts of the authorities to play down their own guilt and to duck any
responsibility can be conventionally divided into several categories:
- omnipotent Armenian lobby;
- the domestic population of overt or covert Armenians (the same "30,000
Armenians" who still live in Azerbaijan);
- Armenian lineage, spouses or business partners, etc.
According to the reports of the Azerbaijani press, persons attributable under the above
categories can be classified by a number of characteristics.
- persons who plague the ruling regime through their criticism, exposures or excessive zeal
in their fight for human rights and freedom of speech.
The newspaper Yeni Azerbaijan accused the independent Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova
of Armenian origin solely on the ground that she refused to speak about her kins. "Ismayilova never
speaks about her kins and made no reaction to the allegations of the Xalq Cebhesi newspaper
claiming that her grandmother is Armenian.194 Sources close to the newspaper have extensive data
on this subject, and Khadija fears exposure. This is only a part of the shocking details about her, which
we do not make public for ethical reasons. It is of note that certain persons who consider themselves
Azerbaijanis still call Khadija "the epitome of journalism", "the champion of moral values" and "the
mouthpiece of justice and rights" speaking in her defense," states the newspaper.
As early as in 2009, the Baybak.com website reported that Khadija Ismayilova had refuted the
allegations of Xalq Cebhesi newspaper about her Armenian grandmother, however, only the
information agencies Turan and Yeni Musavat agreed to publish her rebuttal.
Seymur Bayjan, Azerbaijani writer: Starting from 2003, I began realizing that our mindset fouls up
our lives. What people call the mentality is a downright torment. I started writing about it, but many
did not understand me and still don't. They call me Armenian, Jewish, Freemason, gay and spy.
Ali Hasanov, a department head at the Presidential Administration:
Don't you think that those,
who receive grants from the Armenian lobby and from the pro-Armenian circles
and sling mud at our state from international platforms by depicting Armenians as
oppressed and Azerbaijanis as savage brutes and telling foreigners who come to our
country all kinds of falsehoods, justly deserve the scorn of the people?
– persons implicated in corruption scandals or failing to comply with their professional
duties thereby inflicting damage to the area of their responsibility.
Fazail Agamali, Member of Parliament: "The mother of Ilgar Rahimov, the Deputy Minister of Labor
and Social Protection of Population, was a representative of a different nation, and even her funeral
was organized in Christian rather than Muslim traditions and was accompanied by the playing of
clarinet. I support Tagi Ahmedov. Strategical posts must be held by pure-blooded Azerbaijanis", said
Hafiz Hajiyev, leader of the political party Modern Musavat: Did you know that there are some
people in power who have Armenian wives and mothers? It's them who constitute the main threat to
our country. Not so long ago, I saw one of such officials in a restaurant accompanied by a female singer.
Their conduct was so outrageous that I was ashamed that Azerbaijan had such public officials.
The former member of the parliament from the ruling party, Gular Ahmadova, who was caught
dealing in parliamentary seats as the main protagonist of a scandal dubbed in the Azerbaijani
press as Gulargate, is accused, among other things, of having an Armenian grandmother. Specifically,
the Azerbaijani information agency Olaylar reported: "Another fact was revealed on the former
Member of the Parliament Gular Ahmadova. Sources well-informed of Ahmadova's pedigree report that her grandmother was Armenian. Although the ex-parliamentarian had changed all data in her
grandmother's paperwork, the fact was well known to her inner circle. The same source affirms that
the incredulous may want to find the address of Ahmadova's grandmother in the media dating back
to 2002, which describes their relationships..."
Interestingly, before Ahmadova fell from favor, she appeared in the list of "those with pure
blood" and no one had the slightest idea of her Armenian roots, and what is more, she was
a staunch advocate of the anti-Armenian campaign.
Baby vipers grow:
I recall from the remote days of my childhood, as we played in the courtyard with
Armenian children, my mother constantly warned me: baby vipers grow. And with age, I realized that
indeed, baby vipers grow..
– Persons who must be compromised to meet the needs of the day or out of personal
"It is most likely that at this advanced age, he betrayed Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani people to serve a
nation to which he belongs at genetic level", said the deputy chairman of the Yeni Azerbaijan political
party hinting at the Armenian origin of the writer Akram Aylisli.
"His niece in Kazakhstan married
an Armenian. According to well-informed sources within power circles, a group of high-ranking
Azerbaijani public officials attended the wedding, including Eyyubov himself. Azerbaijanis drank
toasts to the relatives of the newlyweds and gave speeches on the "brotherhood between the peoples
of Azerbaijan and Armenia". <…> Note must be taken of the fact that Eyyubov is not a plain citizen;
he holds a key position in the government of the country. In a time when the discussion over Ramil
Safarov's case still goes on, such close ties of a high-ranking official with Armenians give rise to
serious moral and ethical problems for the authorities in the public mind. If we factor in the statement
of the president at the meeting with Azerbaijani ambassadors to the effect that the Armenian lobby is
Azerbaijan's number one enemy, it can be safely affirmed that the situation looks highly unfavorable
for Eyyubov", says the website.
– Citizens, predominantly comprised of the young people or rural residents who are fed up
with the lawlessness and demand enjoyment of their rights
The young activists who initiated protest actions in Baku in March 2011 had their Armenian origin
"unearthed". Groups tagged March 11 were opened in social networks containing appeals
for public rallies and boycott of the authorities.
Abel Maharramov, Rector of the Baku State University: : "Many of those who exhort people to a
protest action over Facebook social network are of Armenian origin". <…> The Rector added that
an investigation was in progress to find out if there were any students of the Baku State University
among them. We have checked; many of them have Armenian origin, and they intend to sow unrest
in the country. This gives rise to a question: is it not enough that you have occupied our lands, so you
are now sparking unrest to top it off? Why are they doing this? This happens because today Armenia
is in a very tough situation. The teaching staff and the students of the university spurned these calls
and have no intention to take part in any action whatsoever. There are isolated cases of students, mostly with poor academic record who have failed their exams. They think of other, negative things.
You can find such people everywhere, especially in Armenia. We have conferred with these students,
and they have realized that they ought not to walk this path", said the rector. 
Representative of the ruling party: I want to clearly state that the young people of Azerbaijan do
not support these ideas. There are many Armenians among those who come up with such appeals.
Undoubtedly, these appeals by Armenians who have grabbed Azerbaijani lands are aimed against
our country, because Armenians never support ideas that benefit Azerbaijan. I suggest that these
young people make appeals for the liberation of Azerbaijani lands. I address all young people: you
cannot stand together with those who circulate appeals supported by Armenians.
- Criminal and marginalized elements whose presence seems to be viewed as a disgrace to
The Azerbaijani singer Mehrim accused a certain Samir Aliyev, who had hijacked her Mitsubishi
brand vehicle, of having Armenian origin. "I met this person at the presentation of the music video
by Javanshir Babelioglu. He told me that he could help me release a solo album. Then, it turned out
that he was just a fraud who had earlier worked as a guard at a bank office. Recently, I've found out
that this person is of Armenian origin. People like him who do nothing but harm to the society must
be caged and held behind the bars", said the singer.
- Persons held responsible by the Azerbaijani side for action or inaction to the detriment of
In the run-up to the arrival of Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former 6th UN Secretary General from 1992
to 1996, in Baku, the Azerbaijani news agency Vesti.az scanned the former secretary general, who
advocated the acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide, for traces of any Armenian lineage.
Ahmed Shirinov, head of the Center for Strategic Planning of Azerbaijan, stated in an interview with
the agency that back in 1993, when Boutros-Ghali was UN Secretary General, four resolutions on
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan were passed by the UN Security
Council. "He did nothing for the enforcement of these resolutions. And do you know why? Because he
is Armenian", assured Shirinov with confidence.
Ali Hasanov, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Committee for Affairs of Refugees and
IDPs stated that Armenians could capture Shushi and Lachin with the help of Russia's former Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev. "It is no secret that P. Grachev's mother was Armenian", stated the Deputy
Prime Minister with confidence.
"Not only was Mr. Solovyov completely unaware of the subject of the discussion, but he lacked basic
journalistic ethics and misplaced his personal attitude to a nation stemming from his partial views
and marital status (it is known that Solovyov's wife is Armenian)".
Mubariz Ahmadoglu, Head of the Center for Political Innovations and Technologies: During his
recent airtime, Vladimir Solovyov could finally contrive a pretext to show his true attitude towards
our country. He is a virulent hater of Azerbaijan and even perceives its people as animals. In fact, he
serves Armenians by playing dirty tricks on our country. It is worthy of note that Solovyov's wife is
Armenian, and he has previously worked on a TV channel funded by Armenians. Therefore, in all of his programs, he seeks all possible ways to do Azerbaijan a bad turn.
– officials of international organizations who have "wronged" Azerbaijan in discharging their
professional duties, released scathing reports about Azerbaijan's political establishment or
gave a critical commentary in respect of the country's authorities.
Bakhtiyar Sadigov, editor-in-chief of the official newspaper Azerbaijan, in his commentary on the
critical Freedom House report tagging Azerbaijan as not free stated that the organization's criticism
of Azerbaijan should be disregarded as "this organization is funded by Armenians and operates under
Ogtay Asadov, the Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament, in his speech at parliamentary session in
May 2012, aired his dissatisfaction with the position of the European Parliament which had adopted
a critical resolution on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. According to him, the leadership of
Azerbaijan put in every effort to create a climate of festivity, in response to which "the hirelings of
the Armenian lobby" fabricated biased and fictitious publications in the western media. "Some forces
within the orbit of the Armenian lobby are envious of the welfare and prosperity of our state", said
the parliamentarians during the discussion.
In 2012, the website Qafqazinfo.az accused the international press publishing critical articles on
Azerbaijan during the Eurovision 2012 song contest. "Hundreds of Armenian journalists from
across the globe were accredited to cover the Eurovision song contest in Baku on behalf of various
news outlets for a biased coverage of the situation in Azerbaijan", writes the website and quotes
the example of Margarita Antidze, Reuters Agency correspondent in Southern Caucasus who was
diagnosed by the Azerbaijani media as having Armenian origin.
Ali Aliyev, Chairman of the Citizens and Development Party (CDP), stated in his turn that a group of
spies cloaked as journalists had come to Azerbaijan during the Eurovision song contest.
In order to reinforce its reasoning, justify its position and show the righteousness of its
cause, the Azerbaijani propaganda quotes examples of the destructive role of Armenians
or people with Armenian background from the experience of other countries (Abkhazia,, Turkey,, Georgia and Uzbekistan.). Not infrequently, the information is either false or
hypothetical ("must be of Armenian origin", "most likely is of Armenian descent", "quite
probably of Armenian lineage").
The examples referenced above clearly showcase the entire extent and scope of the
armenophobia instilled in the minds of the people.
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