Thursday, August 25, 2016


Inside The Department Of AliyevScience

Busts and portraits of former leader Heydar Aliyev can be found across Azerbaijan.
Busts and portraits of former leader Heydar Aliyev can be found across Azerbaijan.
By Shahla Sultanova and Charles Recknagel
BAKU -- At what point does a president’s life become the basis for a new science?

Probably at the moment when a nation’s Academy of Sciences opens a department with a difficult-to-translate name like “Aliyevshunasliq.”

That word might best be rendered in English as AliyevScience. It refers to the study of the life and works of deceased Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev and, right now, 13 academics are hard at work developing it in Baku.

The 13 full- and part-time researchers, housed in the Department of AliyevScience in the History Institute of the Academy of Sciences, sit surrounded by paper archives from every period of Aliyev’s 80-year life. They are gradually distilling the material into a two-volume biography detailing all there is to know about a single subject.

Former President Aliyev already has a secure legacy in Azerbaijan after passing the presidency to his son Ilham in 2003, just two months before his death. But the goal of the AliyevScience department goes further.

"After all the work is done, it will be good to have [AliyevScience] as a subject in schools,” says Adalet Qasimov, the head of the Department of AliyevScience. "Special courses and special lectures could be established in universities to study the Heydar Aliyev phenomenon."

"There is nothing like this at the moment, though there are some schools and universities which have Heydar Aliyev centers," Qasimov adds. "But in the future, the Education Ministry might issue directives on how to study the subject and we, as a department, will be ready to help in a direct and effective way."

KGB Veteran

According to Qasimov, his team has already sent the first volume of the biography to the publishers: it covers the Aliyev years from 1993-2003, when he was the third permanent president of independent Azerbaijan.

The second volume, devoted to Aliyev's earlier life when he rose through the ranks of the KGB in Soviet Azerbaijan and headed the Soviet republic for 18 years, is still in the draft stage. Both volumes are to be published in time for the 90th anniversary of Aliyev's birth in May.

Heydar Aliyev handed power to his son in 2003.
Heydar Aliyev handed power to his son in 2003.
But what does AliyevScience consist of? RFE/RL asked Qasimov if it might also include criticism, as the name science -- with its emphasis on critical analysis -- might imply.

Now Read This: Criticism Of President Provokes E-Mail Avalanche From Azerbaijan

"One should be criticized if he or she really deserves it, " Qasimov says. "To me, Aliyev always served his nation. Compared to other leaders of Azerbaijan, there is nothing you could criticize him for. During our investigations we came across nothing of the sort." 

Just across town, one of the capital’s most prominent new buildings is the ultramodern Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center. Opened in 2012, it, too, lists its goals as including research and promotion of the ideology of Heydar Aliyev. An ideology which now has a name: AliyevScience.

Written by Charles Recknagel in Prague. Based on reporting by RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service correspondent Shahla Sultanova in Baku.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
February 24, 2013 11:23
ridiculous! (no criticism, the perfect human being (like al-insan al-kamil?))
“We live in a system that espouses merit, equality, and a level playing field, but exalts those with wealth, power, and celebrity, however gained.” (bell)
“Nothing is illegal if one hundred businessmen decide to do it." (Young) In Azerbaijan Aliyev is enough.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” (voltaire)

maybe also applicable some day in the future:
“Injustice in the end produces independence.” (voltaire)

“It’s not unpatriotic to denounce an injustice committed on our behalf, perhaps it’s the most patriotic thing we can do.” (bucchianeri)

in any case, there will be a time "post-aliyev".
ghaddhafi, mubarak, assad, hussein, enver pasha and many others probably did not believe, foresee or reflect on their ending.

curious about "aliyev-science" in post-aliyev-times.
some people have a tendency to transfigure history. verifiably, for societies this phenomenon is not always helpful.

by: Zoltan from: Hungary
February 24, 2013 13:21
Probably 'Aliyevology' would be a better translation.

However it's sure that this 'science' will disappear as soon as the Aliyev dynasty fails. It's fate will be the same as the Green book of the late Muammar Qaddafi or the Rukhnama of the Turkmenbashi Saparmurat Niyazov.

Both of the above mentioned books were part of the curriculum in Libya and Turkmenistan. In Turkmenistan to get even a driving licence one needed to pass an exam on the knowledge of the Rukhnama as well...

Everybody can remember that one of the first things the Libyans did in the first phase of their revolution was to burn their copies of the Green book and demolish the public statues representing the book.

The fact that Azerbaijan introduced such a 'scientific subject' clearly indicates that it is a 100% dictatorship.

by: John Harduny from: Reston, VA, USA
February 24, 2013 19:48
I would compare this to The Animal Farm of George Orwell, where revolutionary pigs are compelled to study the account of life, deeds, and ideas of the master boar Old Major - 'a complete system of thought', which they formally name Animalism.

The canonization of "Aliyevology" is a logical step that followed the state-sponsored command to burn in public the books of a leading Azerbaijani writer Akram Aylisli several weeks ago. Bravo Azerbaijan - the country is on the right track. The caviar-loving corrupt bureaucrats from the European Union who sing generously-financed eulogies to Azerbaijan as an emerging democracy can be truly proud of whom they are lackeying for.

by: Alex from: LA
February 24, 2013 20:51
Hahaha, this is music to ears, please continue with this type of step Axeri's who are slaves to Aliev's Third Turkey (Reich in it's own sense), HAI HITLALIEV!!!

by: Jo from: Sweden
February 24, 2013 22:54
Unlike Kim'ism in North Korea or even like Turkmenshism in Turkmenistan Heydar Aliyev is far from being a cult figure for majority of the population. People openly complain about him and what he and his son did to the country. I am sure for the great majority of Azerbaijanis this "science" is shamefully ridiculous.

by: Jamie from: UK
February 25, 2013 06:02
Azerbaijan should be renamed as Absurdbaijan. According to the head of the Department of Aliyev"Science", Adalet Qasimov, their "investigation" into the life of Aliyev Sr. found NOTHING to criticize him, nothing.

How absurd! Here's one glaring elephant of a mistake to get criticized for, a mistake that millions in Azerbaijan are paying for, a mistake that has put this country in a war footing: A huge chunk of Azerbaijan being lost to the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.

A conflict his son, Aliyev Jr. reminds the whole world about this mistake, a fiasco, and goes on to announce (on a daily basis) that he will correct it by winning back the land his father lost.

How about that for criticism Mr. Qasimov??

by: Parvin Kouliev from: USA
February 25, 2013 19:58
After reading this article written by Shahla Sultanova and Charles Recknagel, I actually have restored some respect for the Soviet regime and its ideology. Writers of this article did the great job and made me compare and pick as we call the lesser of evil.

Well, we thought that destruction of the Evil Empire will lead People to start pursuing Life, Liberty and Happiness. Unfortunately, we replaced the Evil Empire with the Devil in Human shape oppressing its own people.

I have read the Communist Manifesto hoping to find the spectre of communism one day. That was idea which did not get fulfilled in our dreams. I can understand that, but I can't acknowledge how Azerbaijan people will actually learn One Man's Manifesto with no ideology, except bribery and corruption. Maybe Aliyev's spectre really haunts people.

I studied the subject called Scientific Communism (Elmi Kommunizm) at the University looking for scientific justification, but it was never part of the Academy of Sciences. Now Aliyev Science will be taught in all schools not even as a social science, but as an Exact Science so nobody can doubt or criticize it.

This new science department is called Aliyevshunasliq, maybe in translation it means "Law by Aliyev", which is more realistic, there is no other one. I would actually call it Aliyevshina which rhymes with Dedovshina. Since this regime considers him as the founder of immoral and illegal state, the beginning of Dedovshina starts with Ded meaning Grandfather. Altogether Dedovshina means Bullying by Grandfather or Heidar style.

The article talks about Heydar Aliyev centers in schools, reminding me Red Corners set up in schools during Soviet times so we could go there and study Lenin's heritage. I have actually read some of Lenin's works.

Compared to Heidar Aliyev with 'perfect life', Lenin was not perfect at all. I specifically like Lenin's work "What Is To Be Done?" since he always liked asking questions. "What Is To Be Done?" is the question always asked by all revolutionaries specifically by another non-perfect founder of early Russian revolutionaries, Chernyshevsky. We can ask same question today over and over or just give up letting this regime brainwash another generation of Azeri kids with 'great directives about the great leader'.

Heidar Aliyev is called phenomenon of Azerbaijan's history by the regime. Maybe, but it is worrying that these days it may come back to life as a Phantom of Azerbaijan People's Tragedy or maybe as a Creature from Frankenstein spooking or haunting us in our Dreams of Fear.

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