Saturday, August 27, 2016


In Azerbaijan, Anger At An Author, But Not Necessarily At His Argument

Akram Aylisli has been stripped of his pension.
Akram Aylisli has been stripped of his pension.

Related Articles

Azerbaijan's Orhan Pamuk

An accomplished author in Azerbaijan has raised a storm of criticism with a new novel that casts the country's traditional rival, Armenia, in a sympathetic light.
By Daisy Sindelar
A lifetime of achievements came tumbling down this week for Azerbaijani author Akram Aylisli, who was stripped of his honorary titles and pension after writing a novel, "Stone Dreams," casting regional rival Armenia in a sympathetic light.

But amid the furor over Aylisli's work, a quieter conversation has also emerged, with many Azerbaijanis calling for steps toward peace with Armenia.

The relationship between Baku and Yerevan is a deeply antagonistic one, plagued by festering anger over the six-year war over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-majority separatist region located within Azerbaijani territory.

"Stone Dreams," published recently in the Russian literary journal "Druzhba narodov" -- which, ironically, translates as "Friendship of the Peoples" -- stirred resentment by depicting only the conflict's Azerbaijani attacks against Armenians, notably pogroms in Baku and Sumgait. Incidents of Armenian aggression against Azerbaijanis, such as the February 1992 Khojaly massacre, are conspicuously absent.

But even some Azerbaijanis who suffered during the war have come forward to praise Aylisli's book -- including Gunel Movlud, a 31-year-old Azerbaijani poet and Karabakh refugee.

"This novel can work in Azerbaijan's favor. Of course, it's his own opinion. Maybe what he says isn't the truth, maybe it is. But this novel reflects something. It shows that we're a civilized nation that can accept responsibility for our part in things," Movlud said.

Book Burnings

Many of Aylisli's defenders appear to be motivated, in part, by the depths of the animosity now directed at one of the country's most respected writers.

After a week of protests, book burnings, and calls for Aylisli to give up his citizenship, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev upped the ante, issuing a formal decree stripping the 75-year-old writer of his honorary title as "People's Writer" and dropping a monthly $1,250 presidential pension he had received since 2002.

Aliyev argued the measures were a just punishment "for distorting facts in Azerbaijani history and insulting the feelings of the Azerbaijani people." But Aylisli -- whose dozens of novels and plays before "Stone Dreams" never touched on the Armenia issue -- accused the government of crossing a line in attacking his entire body of work.

"I didn't ask them to give me that title. And they didn't give it to me for this novel. They gave it to me for my other works. So what does it mean? They're canceling out my other books? I really didn't expect anything like this decree," Aylisli said.

Aylisli has been a staunch critic of the ruling regime.
Aylisli has been a staunch critic of the ruling regime.
The crackdown has extended further, with Aylisli's son, a powerful customs official, being asked to resign from his post and Baku's National Drama Theater canceling an anticipated production of Aylisli's play "Don't Love Me."

The severity of the censure may be tied to Aylisli's open criticism of Baku's ruling elite. In addition to its depictions of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict, "Stone Dreams" paints a thinly veiled portrait of Aliyev's father and predecessor as president, Heydar, as a corrupt official who buys the loyalty of Baku's intelligentsia with free apartments. And a more recent manuscript, "Big Traffic Jam," which has only appeared in samizdat form, is rumored to subject both Aliyevs to a scathing satirical critique.

But the groundswell of support for Aylisli has forced even the government to edge away from its normally pugilistic stance on Yerevan.

Many Azerbaijanis were astonished February 7 when the country's public television station broadcast a live debate on the Armenia question. The debate featured many contentious exchanges, like this one between Aylisli and ruling-party lawmaker Musa Guliyev:

Guliyev: You wrote something that can be used as Armenian propaganda. They're saying, "Look, Azeris are barbarians. We can't live with them."

Aylisli: You do that! Every single day you curse Armenians, but then you turn around and tell them that we should live together.

Armenian Reaction

The issue has been closely watched in Armenia, where Aylisli's privations have provided local media with a fresh opportunity to criticize the Azerbaijani regime.

"Agos," the Turkish-based newspaper formerly run by the slain Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, wrote a scathing account of the affair, noting that Aylisli's plays had been a feature of Armenia's Soviet-era theater scene and quoting the writer's own assertion that "Stone Dreams" was a message to Armenians that "it's not the end" and "we can live together." 

Levon Ananian, the chairman of Armenia's Union of Writers, on February 8 offered a formal response to the controversy, saying: "Kudos to our Azerbaijani colleague! He is that brave man who blazes the trail, the trail that leads to repentance through truth." Ananian added that "not only Armenians, but also Russians, all people that are concerned about the future of the country...should share this braveness."

It remains to be seen, however, whether any Armenian writer will rise to a challenge posed by Aylisli to his literary counterparts across the border. Speaking last week, Aylisli said he deliberately chose to focus on Azerbaijani violence and that it was the "job of Armenian writers" to follow suit.

"It's not possible for any people to commit such cruelties and not write about it," he added.

Related: Azeri Author Sends Unpopular Message To Armenians: 'We Can Live Together'

Back in Azerbaijan, there are those who wish Aylisli had chosen to portray both sides of the conflict. Rustam Behrudi, an Azerbaijani poet, says Baku has gone overboard in its attack on the novelist, particularly at a time when it is conducting a significant crackdown against antigovernment protesters and political opponents.

At the same time, Behrudi says Aylisli erred in representing only one side of the story. Any story of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, he says, should portray the actions and sufferings of both.

"Azerbaijan has so many big problems. But instead of solving those problems, they're attacking a writer for his novel. What is literature about? It's about freedom of expression, about liberty," Behrudi says.

"I don't think it's right to attack a writer like this. At the same time, I disagree with the author about some parts of the novel. If an Armenian was beaten and killed in Baku, and a writer writes about it, he should also talk about the events that caused the attack."

Written in Prague by Daisy Sindelar based on reporting in Prague and Baku by Azerbaijani Service correspondents Rovshan Gambirov, Shahnaz Beylergizi, Sevda Ismayilli, Kebiran Dilaverli, and Turkhan Kerimovand. Gayane Danielyan of RFE/RL's Armenian Service also contributed to this report from Yerevan.

You Might Also Like: Azerbaijan's Hot January
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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Kerim
February 08, 2013 20:29
Of course, Aylisli is free to write whatever he wants to write. As to whether he should get a pension from the Azeri public, that is the public' prerogative. He cannot count on being called a National Writer if his nation does not think he represents them, let along pay him. Perhaps he should now support himself with the money from his Armenian readership.

Also, what an illogical way of thinking underlies his entire project ... He calls upon Azeris to want to live with Armenians. He forgets that it is the Armenians who started wanting not to live with us. It is like a bullying victim being told that he needs to make peace with the bully and ask the bully that they can no live together in peace. I can only imagine the grin on the bully’s face upon hearing such a ridiculous nonsense.

I know that to Westerners a writer "challenging" his/her local paradigm of thought is a hot commodity. Fine, you guys like him ... at our expense. To Azeris, in the meantime, he is equivalent to a German writer who'd ever dare to deny the Jewish Genocide. I wonder how tolerant the West would be to such a "free thinker."

It is sad that Aylisly, an aged writer who has written great books in the past, has lost his livelihood. But I do not worry about him. I am sure Sweden or some other country like that will bring him over. He might even get an award or two (CNN heros nomination anyone?) Fine. To his nation however, he has completely disgraced himself. A further proof of that will be a total absence of an Armenian writer who does the same to his own nation. I doubt that one will ever come out. National traitors, and ingrates, like Aylisi are a rare breed. Perhaps they should adulate him at a museum in Netherlands or something. We have no room for him, and will even pay for shipping & handling.
In Response

by: Rana from: Lund
February 09, 2013 11:00
Dear Kerim,
Every word you wrote is true and the comment of armenian Lucy is just a proof to it – Armenians do not want to live peace with Azerbaijanis. They want our lands, they want our blood, they want to exterminate us as they did in Khojaly
and there never will be any Armenian who would condemn Armenia for genocide against Azerbaijanis in 1905-1907, 1948-1953, and 1987-1994. Thousands of Azerbaijanis were murdered – women, children, babies. Ethnic cleansing was done many times: example – Zangezur, Erevan and Karabakh – all Azerbaijani were deported by Armenians from the lands of their ancestors. 1987-1994 Armenia deported last 200 000 Azerbaijanis and had festivity “Armenia without Turks”.
Armenian presidents make statements like “Armenians and Azeris can not live together” , “we are talking about ethnic incompatibility between Armenians and Azerbaijanis”,

Armenian media is spreading hatred between Armenians and Azeris on daily basis. Armenians sell their children for prostitution to ha make income for family according to US ambassador Evans, but Armenians do not care about each other, hatred made them completely blind. Instead of working for peace to raise welfare and help those poor families they spend money on Armenian propaganda to justify ethnic cleansing and atrocities against Azeris, Armenians are making movies to fuel hatred between nations
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
February 09, 2013 19:43
Hahaha, it's so refreshing to see that Azeri believe their own lies... Comparing to Holocaust I see... Hey Azeri turks dont forget where you came from and on who's land you live, there is no such thing as ancestral azeri lands... not even in Central Asian, you are a fabricated nation... Just like Kuwait is...
In Response

by: Kerim from: USA
February 10, 2013 04:36
Alex, thank you very much for being Exhibit 1 on why Azeris are upset at Aylisli. He tells us it is us that we do not want to live in peace with Armenians. And look at your post ... You deny the very existence of our nation and our rights to the lands on which we live. And you are not alone. You represent the vast majority of Armenians. So, who is the side that does not want peace? How can you want to be at peace with someone whose very existence you deem a dirty thing? It is precisely this that has angered Azeris in response to Aylisi: he thinks you are the wronged side. What a silly old man he is. Thank you for proving him wrong.
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
February 10, 2013 15:32
I'm not denying your existence, I simply stating there is no ancestral Azeri land, you speak Turkish yet call yourself Azeri, it's a made up country that's all folks. And you deny the true history of the region and the Armenian Genocide, but yet 100 your deaths is a genocide, a holocaust... Your government instill hate in your population, our people know your people and have a general feeling towards Turks and any off shoot of them, never trust them. Also, once Turks admit the Armenian Genocide then we will take them to ICC.
In Response

by: Gauhar from: Almaty
February 11, 2013 04:35
Hope that the day when both nations will find strength to forgive each other and move on will come soon. You are neighbors and always will be.
Alex from LA, aren't we all what you call fabricated nations?
In Response

by: Anonymous
February 09, 2013 23:47
Alex, it was "ok" in the past for Armenians to claim that the ancestors of modern Azeris were never in Caucasus (and this was used by Armenian fascism as a "justification" to kill and evict Azeris from their homes). But guess what? The science is out now. Now actually people's DNAs can tells their ancestral story. It is now a common scientific knowledge that Azeris are local Caucasian people who adopted the Turkic language through elite domination. Just do a simple google search for Azeri and DNA, and you will find tons of scientific papers on this. So please stop your BS.

Yes, Turkic language is not a Caucasian language. But guess what neither is Armenian. It is Indo-European, unlike the Georgian, and all the other languages like Lezghi. Your language too is an import. Does that make you nomads too? Please educate yourself first before your open your mouth in public.
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
February 10, 2013 16:07
On Armenian being import, and Georgian being native lol... Armenian and Colchis are most old nation in Caucuses and you gonna tell us that our language is from somewhere else, hahaha. Yours is not even yours. The distortion of history by your leadership and people what is pissing me off... You make your own lies and believe in it. And I don't deny your nations existence, just that our lands where give to you, Turkey and Georgia by Stalin and Lenin that's a fact. Also, clinging on me being the whole nation of Armenia is another way of fitting for your own purpose.
In Response

by: Kerim from: USA
February 10, 2013 22:14
Alex, "LoL" is not a rebuttal. Yes, go and educate yourself please. Armenian is not a local Caucasian language. Check out wikipedia on Caucasian languages:

The indigenous languages are Georgian, Ingush, etc. Armenian is an Indo-European language, which is different from Caucasian language. I am sure this is news to you, drunk as you are with the tales of Armenian ancient omnipresence in every place where they live. Soon, Glendale too will be included in Armenian schoolbooks as an Ancient Armenian land.

You ae a Middle-Eastern nation, not Caucasian. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot claim as your heartland Western Turkey and yet claim to also be from Caucasus primarily.
In Response

by: Landau 1908 from: Caiman Islands
February 11, 2013 07:26
Wait a minute. Ancestors of majority of USA people came to North America 3-4 centuries ago. If youre citizen of LA, on whos lands living you?

Who told you that azerbaijanis are not inhabitants of Caucasus? According to arabic historic of VII century Abid ibn Shar-yah,s 'al Futuh' (Conquers): "Azerbaijan is homeland of turks. Here they ruled, mixed and got stronger from ancient times". Well, if we accept the phalse theory about that turks came to Azerbaijan in XI-XIII centuries and changed the languages of abotigens of this land, the same with armenians (hays). The language of Urartu was not Indo-European, but Semitic, but armenians speak language of IE family. Well how can it be that turks (oghuz turks) came in Azerbaijan in XI century, but at that time existed a strong literature school in Azerbaijani language.

Here I will post the creation of Iseddin Hasanoglu who lived in XII century. Original

Apardı könlümü bir xoş qəmərüz canfəza dilbər,
Nə dilbər? Dilbəri-şahid. Nə şahid? Şahidi-sərvər.

Mən ölsəm sən, büti-şəngül, sürahi eyləmə qülqül,
Nə qülqül? Qülqüli-badə. Nə badə? Badeyi-əhmər.

Başımdan getmədi hərgiz səninlə içdigim badə,
Nə badə? Badeyi-məsti. Nə məsti? Məstiyi-sağər.

Əzəldə canım içində yazıldı surəti-məni,
Nə məni? Məniyi-surət. Nə surət? Surəti-dəftər.

Şaha şirin sözün qılır Misirdə bir zaman kasid,
Nə kasid? Kasidi-qiymət. Nə qiymət? Qiyməti-şəkkər.

Tutuşmayınca dər atəş bəlirməz xisləti-ənbər,
Nə ənbər? Ənbəri-suziş. Nə suziş? Suzişi-məcmər.

Həsənoğlu sənə gərgçi duaçıdır, vəli sadiq,
Nə sadiq? Sadiqi-bəndə. Nə bəndə? Bəndeyi-çakər.


Necəsən gəl, ey yüzü ağım bənim?
Sən əritdin odlara yağım bənim.

And içirəm səndən artıq sevməyim,
Sənin ilə xoş keçər canım bənim.

Hüsn içində sana manənd olmaya,
Əsli yuca, könlü alçağım bənim.

Al əlimi irəyim məqsədimə,
Qoyma yürəkdə yana dağım bənim.

Sən rəqibə sirrini faş eylədin,
Anun ilə oldu şımtağım bənim.

Qışladım qapında itlərin ilə,
Oldu kuyin üştə yaylağım bənim.

Bən ölücək yoluna gömün bəni,
Bağa dursun yarə toprağım bənim.

Toprağımda bitə həsrətlə ağac,
Qıla zari cümlə yaprağım bənim.

Bu Həsənoğlu sənin bəndəndürür,
Anı rədd etmə yüzü ağım bənim.


Rəhmsiz xəlq olunubdur o nigarım, nə edim?
Aparıb fikri bütün səbrü qərarım, nə edim?

El mənə tənə vurur: söylə, tükənməzmi yasın?
Axı, mən bağrıyanıq aşiqi-zarəm, nə edim?

Ayqabaqlım görüşə gəlmədi, tənha gəzərək,
Saymayım nəcmi-münəvvər, şəbi-tarəm, nə edim?

Yar apardı canımı, olmadı dildar mənə,
Özü asudə gəzir, mən güli-xarəm, nə edim?

Saldı əldən qəmi-məşuqə məni, yoxmu dəva,
Eşqdən oldu pərişan səri-karım, nə edim?

Hər iki dünyada allah gözəli düst tutar,
Mən ki, puri Həsənəm, yoxdu nigarım, nə edim?

In Response

by: Alex from: LA
February 11, 2013 18:04
There is just no way of dicussing anything withyou Azeri's, as you push some fake history into your conversation. Armenian lands cover many territories besides the southern Caucuses. It's one the oldest civilization on earth and you trying to educate us about who we are and where we lived has no bases. Go read ancient text that other cultures wrote about us, then Georgians, Albanian, Persians, Greeks that lived in the general area of silk routes. All I want from you Turks and Azeri's is to at least acknowledge the generally accepted history and not the politicized one that your Sultan and his minions are writing about. Kurd's moved in the territories with Arab/Islamic Invasions, and settled down in and around 10th century and on. I am very educated about history, because its my hobby and passion.

PS Go get the Aylisli ear it's worth 10k manats. That's the barbarian way that we are talking about Azeri's. And yes every peoples have bad apple, but some more than others. Also, I respected educated non-biased people of any faith or culture, I'm a human first, and Armenian-American second.

@Karim, Life takes us many places on this precious earth, where we end up in life sometimes are not decision made by us, but our parents, genocides, pogroms (my Bakuvian Armenian friends), Break-up of USSR, war (civil war like the one in Georgia, the reason why I'm in LA, and how your people blew a bomb in Armenian Church in Tbilisi, when Karabakh War is going on, with the Abkhazian War, and Gamsaxurdia's incident).

Either way, peace is not built on hate, but love. How can on build peace, when the neighbor threatens to do harm, and does? Put yourself in Armenian's shoes for once, starting with 1885, if you have an ability to think outside of your national being.

Lol, is not a rebuttal but a laugh at the lies you believe in.
In Response

by: Mathew from: Toronto
February 10, 2013 02:50
So Kerim, let me get this straight, you punish an artist, a writer, for telling the truth, but you make a national hero out of an ax murderer who killed and Armenian in Europe in his sleep. What kind of twisted joint are you guys running in that plot of yours ?
In Response

by: Landau1908 from: Caiman Islands
February 13, 2013 16:09
Alex, there is no any problem for me, that youre armenian. Im not insulting you, just dont want to do such. That is not the wayout.

Thats not lies. Are you talking about 1915? Is there any court that prooved tha Ottoman Empire made a genocide? Are you know what means prsumtion of innosence? Why dont you say that armeians called "miilyeti-sadika" (most trusted nation) in Ottoman Empire, majority of Ottoman ministers were armenains. And what did armenains? They stabbed in the back of Ottoman Empire when it was at war. And according to the laws of Empire non-muslims didnt taken to war. Armenains with the permission of Antante par cour (GB, Franse Russian Empire) begun to "create" Armenia on territories of Ottoman Empire. They massacred the muslim people of this territories, and you have to know, that a waste majority of massacred muslims were elders, children and women, because men were at war. They betrayed, and you know what happens to traitors. But Ottoman Empire just deported part of armenains from this territories to other. There was court in Ottoman Empire. And people, who And the same armenains did to azerbaijanis in 1918-19, killed muslims in Zanghezur, Baku, Shemakha, Quba and other regions of Azerbaijan. The third time it was 1987-1994. What did armenians in Khojaly, Qaradaqli, Baqanis-Ayrum? They severely massacred people. And it was in the end of XX century. There one parallel in all this massacrescommittted by armenians, they msotly massacred women, children and eldres, I mean lefensless people.

by: Ordinary Azeri from: Szeged
February 08, 2013 22:45
Deliberate dissemination of a false information by RFERL! Akram Aylisli publicly condemned and despised NOT for his "love" for Armenians (he can love whomever he wants, and no one has ever been punished for "love") but rather for his hatred towards his own nation.
RFERL knows this huge difference but it has deliberately chosen to twist the interpretation in order to portray Azeri public as intolerant.

by: Lucy Smith from: London, UK
February 09, 2013 07:08
Armenians living together with Turks and Azerbaijanis? No way! Armenians won't fall for this Azerbaijani plot. It will turn out in the end this 'author' is an Aliyev crony doing his master's bidding. The so called February 1992 Khojaly massacre never took place. Azerbaijanis are the aggressors, incidents of 'Armenian aggression against Azerbaijanis' never happened. Nagorno Karabakh is surrounded by Armenian territories, it's not 'located within Azerbaijani territory'.
In Response

by: Elmira from: Odessa
February 09, 2013 11:04
The state of Armenian nation is in devastating state because all of hatred propaganda which is poured on them every day. Recently they even made a petition on the white house web side “Recognize that Aftafa is national instrument of Azerbaijan”.
: To those who does not know , Aftafa is jar which is a common toilet item in Azerbaijan. Probably Armenians do not wash themselves after visiting the WC – but there is no need to be jealous about Azeris hygienic traditions and bother White house – get your own hygienic traditions!
And to Akram Aylisli and all other Azeris who is betraying their country by one sided propaganda and distortion of facts and history - I can only forward the message from Armenians to people like you:
In Response

by: Bahhir
February 09, 2013 11:29
Lucy, very funny fairytale :))).
In Response

by: Luciko Smithyan from: Irevan Khannate
February 09, 2013 12:38
Lusiko, jana, you definitely need to consult a psychologist. And not only you. Unfortunately, this is a pandemic in one part of the world.
In Response

by: Landau1908 from: Caiman Islands
February 09, 2013 16:04
So called Lucy Smith. Karabakh is Azerbaijani territory recognized by international communitee.

Different international organisations, such as UN, adopted resolutions which reaffirms territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and demands complete withdrawal of all Armenian forces from occupied lands of Azerbaijan. According to Memorial Human Rights Center, Human Rights Watch and other international observers (look they are international ), the massacre was committed by the ethnic Armenian armed forces, reportedly with help of the Russian 366th Motor Rifle Regimen.

Most people think that problem begun in 1988. But the first azerbaijani refugees from Armenia came to Azerbaijan in 1987. To 1990 all Azerbaijanis were expelled from nowaday Armenia, when armenians in Azerbaijan lived till 1991.

What a blasphemy. Armenia has territorial claims to almost all its neighbors:Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, and even to Iran and Russia. But due to current situation, when Armenia wont survive without Russia and Iran. Stop leading people astray!

by: Arthur from: Yerevan
February 09, 2013 14:55
I wish I had a copy of the book, so i could have read before I make any comment. However, when I read some of the comments, I wonder if the others such as Mr. Karim or Mr/Mrs Elmira, have read it!?
Why is it, that we have to respect the writer, who writes what we want to read?
In Response

by: parvenu from: US
February 10, 2013 00:02
the text is available on

by: Lucy Smith from: London, UK
February 09, 2013 17:18
Hello and thank you for replying to my comment. Apart from being rude and impolite, you aren't knowledgeable about history. I strongly recommend you improve your education and manners. I understand you have an inferiority complex that makes you feel less worthy and less important than the Armenians and causes you to be very aggressive and to talk nonsense but blame yourselves for that instead of insulting someone else.

by: Dr.Azerturk from: USA
February 10, 2013 02:29
This is very interesting that in Azerbaijan we have Akram Aylisli and in Turkey Orhan Pamuk. My question is "How long we have to wait for Armenian "Orhan Pamuk and Akram Aylisli???" Can Armenian writer also accepted wrong doings on their side? For instance, in Gugkark, Armenia (1988) and Hocali, Karabakh (1992)???Word are still waiting for you.With all my best regards. Dr.Azerturk
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
February 10, 2013 16:19
Non aggressors (meaning the victims, or defenders) don't need to justify for their plight for survival.The Khojaly fabrication that was designed for internal politics in Axeristan, is now somehow true. How Axeri units used terrorist tactic to shoot at Artsak units from fleeing civilians, and most likely killed their own to have this opportunity to press their lie, and the toilet paper resolution of UN and other organization can be used to wipe a special place, since there is no recognition of Armenian Genocide. UN and NATO is a selective justice organization with main agenda "you got oil and gas" we will make a resolution for you. Just like Axerieshitsan's non-perm. UN Security Council role. The fact that Turkey is not a free country but there is no section here on RFE/RL, why not? I'll tell you NATO, and a staunch US ally position, so Armenian Genocide doesn't get recognition with help of aligning against Russia.
In Response

by: Minas from: US
February 10, 2013 16:39
Armenians don't live in mass denial that is why they don't need Aylislis or Pamuks. The analogies you Turks and Azeris make are just ridiculous. Are you suggesting that Armenians committed a genocide against Turks which led to the annihilation of roughly two-third of the entire Turkish people?!! What happened in Khojaly, is by no means comparable to what Armenians have suffered at the hands of Turks and Their Azeri brothers through centuries. the Adana massacres,the Armenian Genocide with complete eradication of any Armenian trace in the Armenian highland, the massacres in Shushi which turned a city with majority Armenian population into an Azerbaijani city... The list is so long that I am afraid it will need a book to enumerate all the calamities and catastrophes that befell Armenians due to the sick Turkic chauvinism. And now you are expecting Armenians to repent for what? For a tragic event that the Azerbaijani government is trying to sell it to the world as its own genocide by bribing mayors in Budapest and Mexico-city! The Azerbaijani government was directly responsible for the loss of civilian life in Khojaly, they could have evacuated the civilian population before the attack instead they used their own citizens as human shield. Let me tell you something, if the Armenian side had any genocidal intention against Azeris in Karabakh the Azeri civilian toll at the end of the war would have been in hundreds of thousands not a few hundreds in a few separate incidents. My dear Turkic friend the world is waiting for YOU to stop the denial and start building monuments honoring the lives of millions of Armenians who died as a result of sick Turkic fascism.
In Response

by: Kerim from:
February 10, 2013 22:09
Minas and Alex, of couse a denier would say exactly the same thing. What us? We did not do anything wrong! Of course, you didn't. Thanks again for proving once again why Aylisli is to be censured by Azeris ... he plays into the hands of our enemies who, on their part, deny having done anything wrong to us. I guess taking over Lachin, Gubadli, Kelbecer, Zengilan, Fizuli, Shusha, Eskeran, etc, evicting 1000,000 people from their homes does not count as a wrong, right?
In Response

by: Rana from: Lund
February 11, 2013 21:27
1. It is clear from all interviews that people are angered by Aylisli because he described events one sided and it makes his writing a propaganda and distortion of facts. He misused the freedom of opinion to spread hatred to his own nation, but he is so coward that he is afraid to tell how Armenians were burning and raping Azeris. As a writer Aylisli has responsibility to be unbiased and depict both sides (e.g. Khojaly was wiped out by Armenian 1992 and all civilians were murdered, atrocities were performed – and NOT A SINGLE Armenian took a responsibility for it. They prefer to hide behind lies and denial. Moreover those Armenians who murdered most of Azeris and showed most barbaric behavior were titled to National Hero of Armenia. E.g. Melkonian –one of butchers of Khojaly and Karadagly massacres).

2. 2. Why RFeRL is writing all the time about Aliev, president of Azerbaijan, but never about S. Sargsyan, president of Armenia? The man has vocabulary of criminal, he is a murderer and sooner or later will be punished for his role in Khojaly genocide and other atrocities.
He even recognized it in his interview to T. de Waal: "Before Khojali, the Azerbaijanis thought that they were joking with us, they thought that the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We were able to break that [stereotype]." "Sarkisian's account throws a different light on the worst massacre of the Karabakh war, suggesting that the killings may, at least in part, have been a deliberate act of mass killing as intimidation." (Thomas de Waal, "Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through peace and war", New York & London: New York University Press, 2003, pp. 169-172)
S. Sargsyan has transformed Armenia in lawless state – just read;
S.Sargsyan brother, taxi driver, came to US to open a casino – he had with him 200 mln US $.What do you think, how did he earn those money?
S. Sargsyans nephew is criminal
SO, RFERL, may be it is time for you to become unbiased and write about military junta of S. Sargsyan, Armenias president?
In Response

by: Minas
February 12, 2013 04:19
Now, an Azeri calling an Armenian "denier" is that the latest joke made by Mehriban and pals! Maybe, you first need to read my comment before repeating the same nonsense. I have never claimed that Armenians are clear of any wrongdoing, no one is infallible after all. I even used the word "tragic" referring to the Khojaly event simply out of the respect I have for those lost their lives during that specific incident and during the whole war. what I said is simple, first, what happened to Azeris was nothing in comparison with what Armenians have been through during the last century as a result of Turkish and Azeri aggression and violence. Secondly, Khojaly was only one of the tragic events of a war which claimed thousands of lives on both sides. Thirdly, as long as the Azerbaijani government is using its cheap tactics(distorting facts, fabricating stories, faking pictures, bribing politicians, exaggerating numbers and finally glorifying axe-murderers) you cannot expect any kind of recognition or remorse from ordinary Armenians. As for the Armenian intelligentsia, I think they have always been open to the idea of reconciliation with Azerbaijan.
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
February 12, 2013 16:02
Rana nice copy and paste job. on your 1 and 2. Same old outcries of genocide in Khojaly, where there is no proof of wrong doing on Armenian units that were firing back at Azeri units that were using civilians as shields. Like I said you rather be a sheep that follow then a goat that leads, metaphorically speaking, if u ever seen a herd of sheep and goats walk. Since your Shepard is a sultan in sheep's clothing.

by: Zareh from: Canada
February 10, 2013 04:11
I suspect more than a few Azeris actually realize that author Akram Aylisli, by standing up for truth, is actually saving Azerbaijan's honour. He is bravely showing that no matter what a corrupt-to-core society the Azeri dictator Aliyev has aspired to create there are honourable individuals who value human dignity more than made-up lies and anti-Armenian racist xenophobia Azerbaijan society is being build upon today.

At least I hope there are those who value what Akram Aylisli is doing, after all, Aliyev is very comfortable with the ax-murdering turned national hero "Safarov society" in his little sultanate.
In Response

by: Marjam from: Baku
February 11, 2013 20:23
Azerbaijani has people like Akram because Azerbaijan is more democratic than Armenia. Armenia has developed to military junta , just read G. Vanyan. Akram spitted on his own nation by not telling about atrocities of Azeri women and children by Armenian occupants (e.g. Khojaly, Karadagly,Benovscheli etc.) – still, nobody threatened him to death. When G. Vanyan, Armenian activist tried to show Azerbaijani movies he was beaten and got repeatedly death threats
I hope you understand now why Azerbaijan has “Akrams”, but not Armenia – Armenians are killing “Akrams” before “ Akrams” open their mouth.

by: Ben
February 11, 2013 15:02
In most historical events both fighting sides are guilty, but I see the racist attitude to blame Aseries for the Ottoman empire`s genocide of Armenians.Calling them-Turkes you remind me of Russian Pan-Slavism and German Aryan race.The times of the "races" have passed.
In Response

by: Minas from: US
February 12, 2013 02:53
Nope, that's not true. Azeris and Turks consider each other "brothers" and they call Azerbaijan and Turkey "one nation with two states." If they insist that they are the same then who are you to not accept it and even call Armenians "racist" for merely telling the truth.
By the way, in case you didn't know, the denial of the Armenian Genocide is officially among the top priorities of the Azerbaijani foreign policy and their agents spends millions of dollars around the world on publishing nonsense about the Armenian Genocide as part of their anti-Armenian propaganda.

by: Dan from: USA
February 12, 2013 06:35
The more I read through the comments to the article - the less optimistic I am about Armenians and Azeris living together in peace in the near future. Too much hatred, lies and propaganda. Having said that... I am not blaming "both parties" for this impasse in equal degree. Whoever is following the actions of both governments in the last 10+ years can clearly identify the one which is deliberately torpedoing any potential of peaceful coexistence, any even a smallest step in that direction.

Let me give you a hint:
- the president of which country publicly declares that the other country is located on their "historic lands"?
- the president of which country refuses mutual steps towards peace such as withdrawal of snipers from the front line?
- which country has a public policy of refusing entry to anybody with a last name (regardless of citizenship!) of nationality from the other country?
- the president of which country pardons and rewards an axe killer who cowardly waited for his victim to fall asleep in order to kill him?
- the president of which country openly declares that the enemy of his state are people of nationality (again, regardless of their citizenship) from the other country?

Well, I am sure you know the answer. Get out of your bubble guys - follow the few sober voices your society still manages to produce... or else your own poison will kill you one day.
In Response

by: greg from: virginia
February 12, 2013 22:34
very well thought out post Dan. unfortunately the society of which you speak now has one less sober voice. As u may already know, a certain pro-government political party has issued a national award of $12700 for anyone who assaults and disfigures the author in question by slicing off his ear and returning it to a party officer for verification. That has prompted the author to do what so many of the hated ethnic group has had to do in the face of the vicious nationalism of their parent country, flee that country with his family. He is making those preparations as we speak. the only saving grace in government sponsored episodes like this one, the exoneration and promotion of an axe wielding murderer, and the government sponsored violation of an international agreement to re-imprison that murderer upon his repatriation – these repeated episodes of government sponsored, race based barbarism may only reinforce the sense among the European, Asian, and N American powers, that the only solution in which the population of the subject secessionist territory can be guaranteed physical safety is one involving the unconditional recognition of that territory as a sovereign member of the community of nations. And that the territorial integrity claims made by the government in question may become internationally recognized as forfeit - null - and void.

by: peter from: ottawa
February 12, 2013 16:24
Old ways die hard. All of the above proves it
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