Center for Economic and Political Research Monitoring Group

Azerbaijan: In Search Of A National Idea

FAR Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan



Concepts of National Idea and Their Coverage in Print Media:..............4

-Unified Azerbaijan.......................................................................................6
-Consolidation around the leader..................................................................14
-Liberalism or Nationalism..........................................................................21

1996: The Search Intensifies...................................................................38
-Figures and Diagrams..................................................................................38

List of Newspapers Referred To in the Monitoring..................................43



On October 18, 1991 Azerbaijan proclaimed restoration of its independence. It is natural that this set off the intellectual process of self-identification, self-determination and choosing the path for future development.

Seceding from a superpower with a population of 250 million, and becoming a nation of their own with a population of 7-million, Azerbaijanis found themselves surrounded by neighbors whose attitudes were often far from being friendly. Moreover, the nation eaten from within by ethnic and clan antagonism, faced a crossroads with two alternatives: totalitarianism or democracy, a Stalin-type socialism or wild capitalism.

The nation started looking for answers to basic questions: Who are we? What new values should we acquire? What shall we do afterwards? The searches which often took a form of ardent discussions, were reflected in print media. Those publications are
the object of our monitoring "AZERBAIJAN IN SEARCH FOR NATIONAL IDEA.."

The monitoring of Azerbaijan's newspapers on this subject covers the period of the year 1995 and January - February of 1996. The main NATIONAL IDEAs covered, propagated and criticized in the print media are the following: AUTHORITARIANISM, AZERBAIJANISM, UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN, PATRIOTISM, ISLAMISM, COMMUNISM, CONSERVATISM, STRONG PERSONALITY, LIBERALISM, CONSOLIDATION AROUND THE LEADER, NATIONALISM, MUSAVATISM, SOCIALISM, TURANISM, and TURKISM. There is also a number of other concepts FOR NATIONAL IDEA, but as they occupied a small space in the newspapers, we did not include them in our survey. Despite their diversity, NATIONAL IDEAs have some common or related features. On that basis we divided NATIONAL IDEAs into seven groups:


The analysts admit the certain conditional character and relativeness of the proposed grouping of the NATIONAL IDEAs.

The monitoring focuses on the articles directly related to the SEARCH FOR the national idea. There are also hundreds of publications where the subject of national idea was mentioned only briefly. We come across that in interviews with politicians and in various political articles. Such publications are not included in our monitoring.

21 newspapers were selected for monitoring. Different subjective and objective factors were taken into account (circulation, periodicity, publishers, political orientation, party affiliation, connections, language, degree to which the subject is covered, percentage of sale, etc.). When the list of newspapers was prepared, their political orientations were taken into account in order to maintain the principle of a balanced approach. The list of newspapers is enclosed. Conditionally, newspapers were divided into three groups: independent and conditionally independent (for simplicity, we will use further the term "independent"), government, and opposition. The main criterion was the publisher of the newspaper and its political orientation.

The work on the theme "AZERBAIJAN: IN SEARCH FOR NATIONAL IDEA" was carried out by the Monitoring Group of FAR CENTRE on the order of FREEDOM HOUSE.

Monitoring Group: Nacaf Nacafov, Coordinator; Samad Mirzayev, Senior Analyst; Mustafa Hacili, Azer Qasimov, Asif Nasibov - Analysts
Adress: Khagani 33, Baku 370 000, Azerbaijan, tel 930964.
E-mail: far@monitor.baku.az



As a national idea, AZERBAIJANISM has formed in the history of Azerbaijan's social thinking over the past five years.

Unlike other national idea concepts, the idea of AZERBAIJANISM does not have an extensively worked out theoretical or philosophical basis. Each separate individual interprets it in his of her own way. The inter-ethnic tensions that arose in Azerbaijan after the collapse of the Soviet Union called for certain changes in the ideas of NATIONALISM AND TURKISM, and, in conformity with the challenges of the time, to their certain "internationalization" and extension.

The principle: "AZERBAIJAN IS THE HOMELAND FOR ALL NATIONS LIVING HERE (including small ethnic groups)" lays the groundwork for the idea of AZERBAIJANISM. S. Aliyev writes in his article entitled "Is There a National Idea in Azerbaijan ?": "This principle was already perceived by various nations and ethnic groups, and that destroyed, both ideologically and practically, the initiators of the 'Talis Mugan Republic,' and the 'Lacin Kurdish Republic,' and the instigators of conflicts in Qusar.

"At the present stage, the problem of our occupied lands and the fact that thousands of our compatriots are still held hostages must be propagated as an issue which is of similar significance to all nations of Azerbaijan. Be it Turk, or Talis, or Lezgi, or Kurd, or Lak, or Avar, or a representative of any of our nationality, everybody must know that enemy is everybody's enemy.

From that viewpoint, unanimity of all ethnic groups and peoples of Azerbaijan in defending the statehood of the unified Azerbaijan must be held as a primary principle" ("Millat," N47(395), September 9, 1995, p. 7).

Faiq Mustafa writes in the article "From the Psychology of Masses to a Civil Society:" "...laying down the basis for abolishment of negative phenomena like a group, clan psychology, the proposed ideology of AZERBAIJANISM paves the way for national interests" ("Millat," N73(421), November 23, 1995, p. 8).

One should note that, at a broader approach, the idea of AZERBAIJANISM can be viewed as a version of the idea of a "UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN," which is characteristic, for the time being, only to North Azerbaijan.

This idea is now espoused by political parties (Azerbaijan National Independence Party, Unified Azerbaijan and others), various societies (Society of Struggle for Azerbaijan's Integrity) and various individuals.

Among independent newspapers, "Avrasiya" frequently addresses that issue. For example, in January - February 1996 five articles on AZERBAIJANISM were published in the independent press, and all of them were in "Avrasiya".

One should note that "Avrasiya" views AZERBAIJANISM as part and parcel of the ideas of NATIONALISM and TURKISM.

In 1995, among official newspapers, AZERBAIJANISM was covered mainly by "Xalq Qazeti" (five articles). In January - February 1996, government devoted only two articles to the idea of AZERBAIJANISM ("Xalq Qazeti" and "Yeni Azarbaycan"). In these article
s AZERBAIJANISM was propagated as an integral part of the doctrine of CONSOLIDATION AROUND THE LEADER (President Heydar Aliyev).

In 1995, opposition press published about 25 articles and in January - February 1996, three articles, both small and big. Such articles are mostly to be found in "Millat." In 1995 the newspaper published 16 articles related to the issue. "Millat" continued this topic in January - February 1996 and published three big purely ideological articles.

"Millat," too, approaches the idea of AZERBAIJANISM within the context of NATIONALISM and TURKISM. Azer Rasidoglu writes in the article entitled "Happy Is Someone Who Calls Himself a Turk" (a saying by Kamal Ataturk): "The reawakening of the idea of Turkism in Azerbaijan will give an impetus to the process of self-identity of other nationalities s living in Azerbaijan and ... the idea of AZERBAIJANISM will develop. At certain moments, AZERBAIJANISM unites all strata, all ethnic groups and political forces in the name of the development of our unified fatherland, and NATIONALISM (AZERBAIJAN TURKISH NATIONALISM), turning into a leading ideology, causes reinforcement of moral values and economic rebirth of the nation" ("Millat," N12(443), February 1,1996, p.4).

With regard to this issue, "Millat" and "Avrasiya" stand on similar positions. At the same time, some writers claim that this idea is of an artificial character. Such stance is reflected in the article "The State of the Nation: Where Are We Heading On?" by Nazif Alakbarli. He argues: "Searches for national ideology focus primarily on a notion termed AZERBAIJANISM and cling to it as if it were a life-buoy.

"Put forth in 1990's, AZERBAIJANISM was initially meant as an alternative to TURKISM. Later that notion was reflected in the programs of centrists as well as many other parties in general. Now this idea again acquires a special meaning and significance and is interpreted differently by government and opposition. Taking into account the historical and contemporary aspects of AZERBAIJANISM, its being 'a won battle' is undoubted from the viewpoint of statehood and ethnic unity. But it does not make sen
se to accept it as a slogan or invent new ideological principles for it" ("Millat," N38(396), December 16,1995, p.4).


In the early 19th century the wars between Iran and czarist Russia ended up with "Gulistan" (October 12, 1813) and "Turkmenchay" (February 10, 1828) treaties. The victorious Russia gained new territories in the Caucasus. According to these treaties, Azerbaijan's lands to the North of Araz river (North Azerbaijan) became part of Russia. South Azerbaijan ( to the South of Araz) remained under the Iranian state. Thus, the groundwork was laid in the new history for division of inherently Azerbaijani land. Unfortunately, that process continued in the later periods and, as a result, Azerbaijan's lands became controlled by neighboring countries (Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Iran). The fate of our compatriots living there, the nostalgia for lost lands shaped the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN.

Until 1925 the borders between North and South Azerbaijan were open. But the closure of the border and dramatic reduction of political, economic, cultural and humanitarian relations with Iran spurred the development of the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN and creation of "nostalgic" literature. During this period national liberation movements evolved both in South and North Azerbaijan. The unification of Azerbaijani lands and creation of the Unified Azerbaijan state was proclaimed as the supreme goal.

In North Azerbaijan this idea is espoused by political parties (Azerbaijan Popular Front, Unified Azerbaijan, Musavat, Xalq Azadliq, Cagdas Turan etc.), societies (Society for Struggle for Azerbaijan's Integrity, Qurtulus), unions (Yurd and others), and separate individuals.

In North Azerbaijan, wide propaganda in the press of the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN began in late 1980's.

The government newspapers cover the problem from the historical perspective and in the light of arising human problems. In 1995 "Xalq Qazeti" devoted two articles to that problem.

In January - February 1996 the government newspapers did not publish any articles on the issue.
The independent newspapers frequently addressed the issue. They focused, mainly, on the history and present state of the idea. In 1995, these newspapers published more than 20 articles, and in January - February 1996 three articles on that issue. Most of them (12) were published in 1995 in "Ayna-Zerkalo."

In 1995 the opposition newspapers published more than 100 articles of various sizes. Among them there were both purely ideological articles and brief news reports.

One of the major propagators of the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN was "Muxalifat." In 1995 the newspaper published series of articles, and in January - February 1996 three articles. As an example one can show the article "Has the National Liberation Movement Come to an End in Azerbaijan?" by Elcin Arifoglu. He argues: "The national liberation movement which has gained momentum in North Azerbaijan since 1988, aimed at four major goals. One of them... was reunification of historically Azerbaijani lands with Azerbaijan and realization of the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN, which the nation has cherished for centuries. This remains a dream yet. The historically Azerbaijani lands that were joined to neighboring states in various periods of history, are still yearning. The majority of Azeri Turks are still under Iranian regime.

Under the circumstances, can we consider the national liberation movement as finished?... There is no doubt that the movement will resume" (Muxalifat, N39(397), December 20, 1995, p.4.)

Yasaman Maharramova has a more basic approach to the problem. In her article "The Time Calls On Us To Unite" she writes: "We have never relinquished the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN... Thank god, with the romantic period coming to an end, the national deal is turning into political reality. Now this reality, this political ideology should make up the basis of our propaganda."

In the writer's opinion, there are two attitudes to the South Azerbaijan problem among politicians and intellectuals. The proponents of the first, pointing on Karabakh problem, and reckon that "we should not spoil the relations with Iran. That can create problems for our young state. Like before, participants of resistance movement in the South would again suffer heavy losses."

The second group argues that, "in order to reunite... time has come to solve a number of problems from a scientific and practical point of view. ...A number of tasks must be performed to be able to successfully realize in the future the idea of reunification" ("Muxalifat," N 36(394), December 9, 1995, p.7).

"Azadliq" newspaper has been propagating the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN from the very first issue. In 1995 Qanimad Zahidov addressed the issue more often (five articles). As an example, one can show an article entitled "The Everlasting Wealth of Azerbaijan Is Its Integrity" ("Azadliq," N30(516), April 25, 1995, p.1,4).

"Yeni Musavat" also covers UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN issue on a regular basis. In 1995 it published 20, and in January - February 1996 two articles on the subject. As an example, one can point to the article by Nasib Nasibzadeh entitled "The Ideal of a Unified Azerbaijan and the New Reality" ("Yeni Musavat," N46(186), December 15,1995, p.3. )

The role of "Cumhuriyyat" newspaper in the propagation of the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN is noteworthy as well. In early 1995 the publication of the newspaper was stopped. In February 1995 this newspaper published in three issues an interview with Abulfaz Elcibay. ("Cumhuriyyat," NN5-7; 2, 10, 16 February, 1995. "Abulfaz Elcibay: 'We Are Struggling for Our Rights"). The whole publication is devoted to the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN, its political and historic roots, the present significance, the prospects for the future, etc. This interview can be considered as a theoretical basis for the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN.

In general, one should note that interviews with Abulfaz Elcibay occupy a significant place in propaganda of the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN.

In 1995 these interviews were published in "Azadliq," "Muxalifat," "Yeni Musavat," and "Hurriyyat" newspapers. Among the opposition newspapers rarely addressing the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN were "Istiqlal" and "Millat." In January - February 1996 "Istiqlal" published one article on the issue, while "Millat" did not write anything at all.

At the same time some articles in the press point (though rarely) to a vanity and even danger of propagating the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN under the existing historic circumstances. As an example, we can show Hikmet Hadjizadeh's article in "Muxalifat,"
entitled "Azerbaijan, Too, Could Make This Step..." He writes:"...Real neutrality... requires refusal from any kind of ideological expansion. ...Regrettable as it is, we have to hush for a long time the issue of unification of North and South Azerbaijan..." ("Muxalifat," N9(469), January 27, 1996, pp. 1, 4).

At the present time, the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN is considered in North Azerbaijan by both the society and the press as a leading NATIONAL IDEA. Because, as Misir Boyukxanli put it: "..In Azerbaijan, the ideology of a UNIFIED, INDIVISIBLE, INTEGRATED AZERBAIJAN must be the only unchangeable idea imprinted in the hearts and minds of the people, must be the ideology of a UNIFIED, INDIVISIBLE Azerbaijan... That IDEOLOGY was developed so accurately, that it provides basis for consolidation of social and ethnic groups in Azerbaijan around the idea of UNITY and TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY. That IDEOLOGY is sacred, invincible and everlasting" ("Muxalifat," N13(413), February 10, 1996, p.6; Misir Boyukxanli: "An Ideology Without Alternative").


Until 1920 it was the leading NATIONAL IDEA. Its religious links turned it into a universal NATIONAL IDEA. That is why all states and philosophical trends which had existed in Azerbaijan before 1920, resorted to ISLAMISM. Only Marxism-Leninism waged a relentless struggle against ISLAMISM, trying to eradicate it from the public consciousness. One should note that, within a short historic period, Marxism-Leninism succeeded with this task, although only partially. That is why the idea of ISLAMISM does
not play a significant role in the public consciousness. However, it has a great potential in our society.

Among the proponents of this idea are parties (Azerbaijan Islamic Party, the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, Azerbaijan National Independence Party, Musavat, People's Liberation Party, Cagdas Turan, the Party of Unified Azerbaijan, etc.), various societies (Society for Struggle for Azerbaijan's Integrity) and separate individuals.

On the whole, the independent newspapers actively propagate ISLAMISM. The most active in this regard are "Avrasiya," "Zaman," "Islamin Sasi (Islam Dunyasi)."

For example, in January - February 1996 newspapers published 21 articles on ISLAMISM, of those 15 (or 71.4%) in independent newspapers, but the bulk of them (13 articles) appeared in the three newspapers mentioned above.

Most of the articles on NATIONAL IDEA published in 1995 in "Islamin Sasi (Islam Dunyasi)" and "Zaman" advocate ISLAMISM.

"Islamin Sasi" and "Islam Dunyasi" are the organs of the Azerbaijan Islamic Party. They are issued in a certain sequence, replacing each other. Since the orientation, spirit, style, editing boards, etc. of these newspapers are the same we regard them as one newspaper. Islam and its propaganda, articles on religious holidays and congratulations on the occasion of those holidays make up the bulk of the newspaper. Several articles were devoted to explanation of Koran. There are also materials dedicated to the history of Islam and its present state.

Only three articles actually focused on propagating ISLAMISM as an idea. These articles speak about the necessity of its acceptance by everybody. The general rationale of the latter argument is related to moral purity needs, not to the perspectives of economic and political development or formation of a strong state. The newspaper propagates ISLAMISM quite cautiously and delicately.

In 1995 "Zaman" published more than 30 articles on Islam, occupying in that respect the first place among Azerbaijan's newspapers. At the same time it presents it in interrelation with NATIONALISM and TURKISM.

Three articles on ISLAMISM were published in "Cag" newspaper in 1995. Basically, independent newspapers write on the issue in connection with holy days or religious traditions. The government newspapers give very small space to that issue.

In 1995 they published various articles on religious holidays and traditions and the President's congratulations to religious people etc. This line was continued in early 1996. But the idea of ISLAMISM was not propagated.

About 30 articles were published in the opposition newspapers in 1995 and five big and small articles were printed in January - February 1996.

The propaganda of that idea is most often to be found in "Millat" (10 articles in 1995 and two big purely ideological ones in January - February 1996). But the focus in "Millat" is made, first of all, on the history of Islam and its role in the moral aspect of life of society. As an example we can show a series of articles by Tofiq Turkel.

He writes in his article "Our Religion, Our Morality": "Today, thanks to the fact that national and moral values have found their place in society, religious societies and charity traditions get revived. Creation of religious schools in the country, increase of number of Madrases and mosques is the expression of respect to Islam" ("Millat," N55(403), October 5, 1995, p.3).

The interesting point is that "Millat" addresses the idea of ISLAMISM in the context of NATIONALISM and TURKISM. Azer Rasidoglu writes in his article "Turkic Character Stems from the Turkization of Mind:" "Most of the Turks profess Islam. Accepting TURKIC NATIONALISM, means accepting Islamic values... Today our slogan must be Motherland, Nation, Islam" ("Millat," N16(447), February 10, 1996, p.5). I n that respect, the position of "Millat" coincides with the position of "Islamin Sasi," "Zaman" and "Avrasiya."

There are also newspapers issued by other religious societies and organizations ("Sahriyar," "Tak Sabir," etc.), but they are issued occasionally, that's why we did not include them in our monitoring.

Quite rarely, some authors oppose the propagation of that idea and politicization of religion. Asif Ata writes in his philosophical article "Disbelief in Belief in Absurdity:" "Those trying to inculcate religion in the people are looking for political benefit. They don't care about the people, they care about their own interest, about their power. Dragging the country to the darkness of absurdity, they call that a return to morality and national values... Basic moral standards are presented as the religion's discovery, although these standards were developed with the formation of the mankind.

"In their effort to benefit from religion, they forget deliberately about the past of Turkey and the horror of Iranian mullah regime. The political benefits of the return to the religion have not exceeded the political damage brought by it. And that keeps going on.

"Three major tragedies we face today: a drive to money, a drive to religion, a drive to politics. The fight for independent culture requires turning NATIONALISM and TURKISM into the very foundation of the society, comprehension of anti-Turk, anti-national character of Islamization " ("Muxalifat," N40(398), December 23, 1995, p.3).


Naturally striving for to freedom and successes of the Western society, where liberal values prevail, had their impact on the search for a national idea in Azerbaijan in the last 3-4 years. Though the idea was not too much popular in the public opinion, those interested in it could find enough materials on the issue in the newspapers.

The main proponent of LIBERALISM in Azerbaijan is a wing of the Popular Front Party and Musavat. We can also point on not yet so popular Azerbaijan Liberal Party, Azerbaijan Independent Democratic Party, "Ahrar" Party, and different individuals.

In the first half of 1995, in the time of dispute among the advocates of LIBERALISM and NATIONALISM, the former concept became one of the most popular subjects in the press.

Along with Hikmet Hadjizadeh (the head of Musavat's Analytical Center) and Nasib Nasibzadeh (Secretary at Musavat), a number of well-known intellectuals and journalist participated in that polemic.

After the polemic was over, the number of articles on LIBERALISM decreased. But already in the articles on NATIONALISM, the latter was often juxtaposed with LIBERALISM.

In 1996 Musavat's Congress is to discuss the Party's program documents, and, most probably, on the eve of the Congress, the press will make greater emphasis on LIBERALISM.

There are several guidelines of propagation of LIBERALISM in the press: propagation of CLASSIC LIBERALISM; propagation of LIBERAL DEMOCRACY based on the model of developed countries of the West; juxtaposition and comparative analysis of individualism and the "collectivism"; LIBERAL DEMOCRACY as an optimal form of government, etc.

While some articles advocating LIBERALISM entirely reject NATIONALISM, the others present NATIONALISM as completing and supplementing LIBERAL-DEMOCRATIC system.

As mentioned above, the dispute with nationalists occupies a special place in the propagation of LIBERALISM. The critics of LIBERALISM point on the crisis and war, in the condition of which the country found itself. LIBERALS, in their turn, argue, that in the critical circumstances the authority of the government can be enhanced with the consent of the citizens. Thus, the liberals demonstrate the real mechanism of protection the national interests in the liberal state, where the freedom of the individual is a basic norm.

The independent newspapers cover the issue rarely. Short articles are published in "Avrasiya" and "Ayna-Zerkalo." It is difficult to find LIBERALISM-related articles in the governmental press of 1995. "Xalq Qazeti" in a number of articles on different issues, pointed out that LIBERALISM did not conform to the present historical conditions of Azerbaijan.

In 1995 the idea of LIBERALISM was more frequently discussed in opposition newspapers. Among these articles were both polemic and theoretical writings and interviews with prominent politicians.

The opposition newspapers published more than 40 articles on LIBERALISM. Most of them were published in "Azadliq." Articles criticizing LIBERALISM were featured mainly in "Yeni Musavat," "Millat" and "Muxalifat."

In general, the debate between "liberals" and "nationalists" demonstrates the trend to tolerance in the public opinion. Many viewed the disputes among the "liberals" and the "nationalists" waged in the Popular Front in 1991, as a treachery directed on splitting the organization. In 1995, the leading participants of the discussions were the leaders of Musavat - a party which had been developed from the APF. But public opinion and parties viewed that as a normal thing. The harshness and bias of the authors of some articles was criticized.


The trend to AUTHORITARIANISM, CONSOLIDATION AROUND THE LEADER, LEADER-SAVIOR, STRONG PERSONALITY, etc. has always been strong in the Azerbaijani society. In the Soviet time it was expressed in Stalin's cult. In 1960-1962 the authoritarianism weakened
somewhat, but later, especially in 1975-1985, the ideological attributes of the totalitarian state were preserved.

In the years of "perestroyka" (1985-1988) the impact of democratic principles on the ruling ideology increased. The ideas of FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE turned the understanding of "democracy" into the leading concept in the society. Obviously, under the circumstances, the influence of the idea of a STRONG LEADER lost its significance to a certain degree. In 1991 presidential form of government was established in Azerbaijan.

From that time on, the idea of CONSOLIDATION AROUND THE LEADER gradually turned into the main ideology of the government. This idea was fully realized when Heydar Aliyev returned to power. Then, the concept of the "leader-savior," "consolidation around the leader" turned into the dominant idea in Azerbaijan's official mass media.

This idea is advocated by various political parties (Yeni Azerbaijan, Ana Vatan, Azerbaijan Democratic Independence, Azerbaijan National Independence, Azerbaijan National Statehood, Alliance In the Name of Azerbaijan etc.), movements, organizations, individuals. The newspapers of those political forces are engaged in propagating that idea.

There is a certain stratum, that either sincerely sees the solution to Azerbaijan's problems in consolidation around President Heydar Aliyev or propagates this idea to endorse certain personal interests. Their views were widely featured in pro-government press in 1995. In these articles, President Aliyev is presented as the only guarantor of Azerbaijan's statehood, independence, political stability and development, the only personality able to resist domestic and foreign enemies ."Xalq Qazeti" (N2(22145), January 4, 1996, p.1) writes in a letter to the editor headlined "People Say the Truth:" "Dear President, Honorable Heydar Alirza oglu! Millions of Azerbaijanis give full support to your consistent domestic and foreign policy... In you, Azerbaijan has found its only hope. The Azerbaijani nation is happy that it has as a leader a great personality, irreplaceable statesman... We are no longer without leader. Now there is someone who cares about us."

The authors of articles on this subject present themselves as the advocates of STATEHOOD and emphasize the need for a STRONG PERSONALITY as the leader of the country and criticize the opposition representatives who protest that. For example, "Yeni Azarbaycan" in a series of articles ironically calls opposition "democrats" and distort the essence of the concept of DEMOCRACY equating it to ANARCHY. This line is characteristic of all government newspapers.

There is something else specific of the articles on the issue published in the government press. As a rule, they are written in the same style. First they point to an ideological vacuum in Azerbaijan and then they come out with serious accusations against opposition forces (in a state based on a rule of law, such accusations would have criminal implications) alleging that they are the reason for political crises and cataclysms, and opposition forces are accused in causing political crisis and cataclysms, and after that the outstanding image of Heydar Aliyev is propagated against that background.

In 1995 and January - February 1996 the governmental newspapers heavily focused on propagating that idea (CONSOLIDATION AROUND THE LEADER) to a greater ("Azarbaycan" in April, "Xalq Qazeti") or less extent ("Vyshka," "Bakinskiy Rabochiy").

The guideline of "Azarbaycan" (in Azeri) is propagation of the idea of CONSOLIDATION AROUND THE LEADER. Actually, in each issue there are articles about that. The article may not be purely ideological, but the finale will be propaganda of that idea.

"Xalq Qazeti" also publishes numerous articles on the issue. For example, in January - February 1996 it published seven such articles.

In the article "Our Politics and Its Chronic Diseases" Rustam Mammadov writes: "Finding enough force in itself to raise up and CONSOLIDATE AROUND THE elected LEADER, Heydar Aliyev, the people have given priority to professionalism... Even if late, every nation finds its LEADER and entrust him with its destiny. If the national interests require that, then the LEADER, naturally, takes and must take a firmer stand against those political forces which care only about their own interests. One of the most significant positive features of the sound societies is that the LEADER, elected by the people, stands beyond competition. All political forces in the country, whether they like him or not, must pay respect to him. In that case those forces support the opinion and position of their people" ("Xalq Qazeti," N24(22167), February 3, 1996, pp. 1, 2).

Many articles about that concept and discourse on it, its bearers and opponents and proponents of that idea appeared in independent newspapers.

"Ayna-Zerkalo," "Avrasiya," "Gunay," "Cag" published (each) in 1995 and January - February 1996 five to ten articles on the issue. Opposition newspapers, mostly in various political articles, criticize personality cults authoritarianism. In 1995 "Muxalifat," "Azadliq," "Yeni Musavat," and "Millat" published a number of articles analyzing AUTOCRACY, AUTHORITARIANISM, TOTALITARIANISM and the threat they pose to society.

Elcin Arifoglu writes in the article "Authoritarianism In Azerbaijan:" "The way to post-Soviet dictatorship goes through the myth of "AUTHORITY," "GREAT PERSONALITY," "GREAT LEADER" and AUTHORITARIANISM which appears as a result of the former. TOTALITARIANISM plays the role of a transparent border between AUTOCRACY and DICTATORSHIP in state governing, and Azerbaijan is on the verge of entering that stage. The legal and political grounds for concentration of power in the hands of one person already exist in Azerbaijan" ("Muxalifat," N36(394), December 9,1995, p.5).

Among opposition newspapers, "Millat" has a special stance in that respect. It published more than 20 articles in 1995 and five articles in January - February 1996 both criticizing that idea (STRONG PERSONALITY, STRONG HAND) and propagating it (STATEHOOD, RULE OF LAW, STRONG GOVERNMENT, RESPECT FOR THE PERSONALITY OF THE PRESIDENT). The main principle of "Millat" in regard to that idea is: "THE KING IS NOT THE LAW, THE LAW IS THE KING."


In Azerbaijan, that idea was developed in the early 20th century. Here, NATIONALISM has its own aspects - MUSAVATISM, TURANISM, TURKISM.

When the popular movement gained wide scope in 1988-1991, that idea was the most propagated one. After the proclamation of independence, TURKISM, NATIONALISM were in the highlight (compared to the other seven concepts) of the press.

Both in public opinion, and in the newspapers NATIONALISM has developed in two directions: a) as an ethnic concept; in that case, NATIONALISM is close to the idea of UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN, MUSAVATISM, TURANISM, TURKISM; b) as a concept encompassing all
citizens of the independent state; in that sense it is close to the concepts of AZERBAIJANISM, PATRIOTISM.

Among the advocates of NATIONALISM in Azerbaijan are political parties (Azerbaijan Democratic Party, National Statehood Party, National Independence Party, People's Democratic Party, the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, Unified Azerbaijan Party, Musavat, Turan Azerbaijan People's Democratic Party, People's Liberation Party, Cagdas Turan Party, Yurddas and others), different societies (Society for Struggle for Azerbaijan's Integrity), and various individuals.

Independent newspapers frequently feature NATIONALISM and TURKISM. In 1995 they published more than 30, and in January - February 1996, seven articles about that.

Among the independent newspapers, "Avrasiya" and "Zaman" most widely cover that issue: more that 70% of writings were published in these newspapers.

We should emphasize, that "Avrasiya" views NATIONALISM as part of the idea of AZERBAIJANISM, while "Zaman" views it as part of TURKISM. These newspapers give preference to interviews and political commentaries.

"Ayna-Zerkalo," too, frequently addresses that problem. In 1995 it published more than 10 articles about that. The newspaper displays two basic approaches: a) national-democrats - these are the proponents of NATIONALISM; b) Turkists, Turanists - these are the proponents of TURKISM.

The governmental newspapers cover NATIONALISM rarely and they feature it from the viewpoint of PATRIOTISM. In 1995 among the governmental newspapers "Xalq Qazeti" (five articles) addressed the issue more than others. In January - February only one article about NATIONALISM was published in the governmental newspapers (in "Xalq Qazeti").

The main propagators of NATIONALISM in Azerbaijan are opposition newspapers. In 1995 they published more than 60 articles on the issue and more than 20 in January - February 1996.

Most of the articles feature the idea of NATIONALISM either in its pure form, or as a part of other concepts (AZERBAIJANISM, UNIFIED AZERBAIJAN). "Millat" and "Muxalifat" address that issue most frequently. In January - February 1996 "Millat" published five and "Muxalifat" published eight articles.

The proponents of that idea reckon that, unlike antagonisms between classes, races and religions which split the society, NATIONALISM is a political movement which ensures unity and stability. It is based on the principle of supremacy of NATION and STATE.

NATIONALISTIC movement can bring the national conscience to such a level, when each representative of the nation feels himself or herself part of a great nation and comprehends clearly and acutely that his or her personal interests are linked with the interests of the nation. As a result that representative is ready for any self-sacrifice and courage in national struggle. When the interests of the nation and its very existence are threatened, a NATIONALIST movement becomes especially important.

Azer Rasidoglu writes in his article "Turkism Stems from Turkization of Mind:" "In order to develop Azerbaijan and make a good use of our high scientific, intellectual, moral and economic potential, AZERBAIJAN TURKISH NATIONALISM must become the priority" ("Millat," N16(447), February 10, 1996, p.5).

From that viewpoint "Millat," "Muxalifat," "Avrasiya" and "Zaman" are on the same positions. In the article "One Can Erase a Name from a Book, but Not from History!" Sirmammad Huseynov stresses the significance of Mammad Amin Rasulzadeh's philosophy of independence, his literary, political and theoretical heritage. Sirmammad Huseynov presents to the reader the article "The Way That We Will Choose" " by M. A. Rasulzadeh, published in the first issue of "Aciq Soz" newspaper. Rasulzadeh h writes in this article: "..if we want to develop into a nation with a sound, ripe thinking, we have to face the requirement of the time and embark on three basic principles: TURKIZATION, ISLAMIZATION, and MODERNIZATION" ("Azadliq," N40 (526), May 27, 1995, p.5).

In the first half of 1995, the dispute between LIBERALS and NATIONALISTS attracted the public attention. In this connection several newspapers, especially "Yeni Musavat," "Azadliq," and "Muxalifat" published series of articles on the issue. The section "DISPUTE BETWEEN LIBERALS AND NATIONALISTS" covers it in greater details.


Communism was the ruling official ideology in Azerbaijan in 1920-1991. At the same time COMMUNISM and vulgar SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC ideas did not take deep roots in Azerbaijan society. That is explained by Azerbaijan (Turkic) nation's mentality and many tragedies that this idea brought on Azerbaijan in a short time in history.

In 1988-1992 the COMMUNIST ideas were completely frustrated. The people's liberation movement brought new concepts to the society. Since the ideas of INDEPENDENCE-TURKISM--ISLAMISM run counter to COMMUNISM, the main political parties (even the Communists of the time) opposed that ideology. Only Azerbaijan Social-Democratic Party remains the advocate of the ideas of contemporary SOCIAL-DEMOCRACY.

But starting from 1993, deterioration of living standards, political, economic and moral crisis, the problem of refugees and other objective factors caused the re-vitalization of the interest to COMMUNISM. There are (although weak) two Communist parties in Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan Communist Party and United Azerbaijan Communist Party). The governmental newspapers address this subject only rarely. They cover it in a specific way. The period when Heydar Aliyev was the leader of Azerbaijan is emphasized along with achievements of the time. In this connection approximately 10 publications appeared in 1995.

"Xalq Qazeti" published four articles on that topic, criticizing MARXISM- LENINISM. The independent newspapers published up to 30 articles on the issue. As a rule, they are not focused on propagation of that ideology, but on the analysis of the present situation and future perspectives and criticism of MARXISM-LENINISM.

In 1995 "Ayna-Zerkalo" published 10 articles related to the issue.
One should point on special stand of "Avrasiya." That newspaper actively criticizes SOCIALISM and COMMUNISM and it published more than 15 articles in this connection. By that parameter, it ranks first among newspapers. As a rule, "Avrasiya" prefers short articles and interviews. The opposition newspapers, too, are active critics of the COMMUNIST ideology. In 1995 they published more than 50 articles on that subject, both big and small.

In 1995 "Azadliq," "Millat" and "Muxalifat" published series of articles of ANTI-COMMUNIST character. They tell about the tragedies that our people experienced during the Soviet rule, moral damage, etc. These articles also point on economic hardships of the present time and indicate that such situation creates nostalgia for the past among the people.. And that is a very dangerous factor.

A large part of articles present the communists as the enemies of Azerbaijan's independence. The authors call for opposing the idea of COMMUNISM and consolidation of democratic forces, and emphasize that the advocates of ANTI-COMMUNISM in Azerbaijan are
strong enough.

The opposition newspapers maintained their ANTI-COMMUNIST spirit in January - February 1996. On that topic, "Muxalifat" published three, "Millat" and "Azadliq" two-three articles each.

But not all articles are of critical character. There are publications about the essence of the COMMUNIST ideology and its present state. For, "Hurriyyat" published an interview with the leader of the Azerbaijan Communist Party Ramiz Ahmadov. He says: "Azerbaijan's Communists are not against the country's freedom and independence. They only support a wide scale integration with the former Soviet republics. From that viewpoint, the clamor raised by democratic forces is ungrounded" ("Hurriyyat," N8(109), May 25, 1995; "We Support a New Type of the Union of Independent States").

In general, propagation of COMMUNISM as a NATIONAL IDEA was given a very small space in the press. On the contrary, criticism of the idea of COMMUNISM prevails.



The dispute between liberals and nationalists over the past three years can conditionally be divided in three periods:

- end of 1989 till 1992;
- end of 1993 till early 1994;
- the first half of 1995.

The surveyed subject is product of the struggle of the people of Azerbaijan for their rights. In early 1988 "Qarabag (Karabakh) problem" forced on the Azerbaijani people threw hundreds of thousands of people, apolitical before, in the storm of political struggle.

A necessity arose in the society for an organization capable of protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Azerbaijan. Such organization was the Azerbaijani Popular Front (APF). Its founding conference was held on July 16, 1988. But there were discrepancies among APF leaders regarding the development of the national-democratic movement in Azerbaijan. Thus, the 4th Conference of the APF (June 1991) revealed different attitudes to the issue. The delegates of the conference split in two
groups - national-patriots and liberal-democrats (commonly known as radicals and liberals).

The stance of the national-patriots was disclosed by Etibar Mammadov (a member of the APF Board). He argued that, for the time being, they should unite around the idea of independence, putting temporarily aside human rights and basic principles of democracy. Etibar Mammadov went on to say that he would "prefer a dictator from my nation to an alien democrat."

The political stance of radicals was shaped by the principle: "NATIONAL INTERESTS ARE SUPERIOR TO HUMAN RIGHTS."

The position of liberal-democrats was expressed by Isa Qambar, Tofig Qasimov and Hikmet Hajizadeh (members of the Board): "The way to an independent state based on rule of law goes through the development of civil society. Our goal is not creation of a new dictatorship, but a democratic state, in which the human rights and human dignity are the priority. Human rights are superior to class rights and religious and national interests."

The main tenet of liberals was: "HUMAN RIGHTS ARE SUPERIOR TO THE STATE." That principal question constituted the routes of deepening ideological conflict between liberals and nationalists. On that stage the discussion was practically not covered by the press.

On December 28, 1993 Lala-Sovkat Haciyeva addressed the students of Baku State University on the subject of "Formation FOR NATIONAL Ideology." Then "Azarbaycan" newspaper (December 30, 1993, N253(764)) published an "Appeal by the State Secretary of Azerbaijan Republic L. S. Haciyeva." The author of the Appeal emphasize the idea that "in the first place we must create our national ideology." In her opinion, "the ideology of a national state is, first of all, an ideology of patriotism."

In response to that, "Azadliq" (January 13, 1994) published an interview with Camil Hasanli (a member of the APF Maclis) entitled "National Idea: Our Path Is the Path of Mammad Amin!"

The author notes that an artificially created ideology would bring no good to the nation. The idea we defend today is INDEPENDENCE and SOVEREIGNTY. The idea of "Islamism, Turkism, Modernism" is viable today, too. Islamism means ties with the Islamic world, propagation of the moral aspects of religion; Turkism means a Turkic self-identity, loyalty to its customs and traditions; Modernism means Europization", modernization. In the present conditions, the idea of NATIONALISM is the only way of salvation.

On January 15, 1994, "Azadliq" published an article by Huseynbala Salimov ( a member of APF Maclis) "Nationalism as a National Idea." The author argues that Azerbaijan needs nationalism as a "balancing" idea, but the focus should be made on LIBERALISM.

Beside that, on February 17, 1994 "Azadliq" published the following articles: by Hikmet Hajizadeh ("National Idea Today"): "As the national idea today we need the ideas of HUMAN RIGHTS and LIBERAL REFORMS AND SUVERENITY IN FRAMEWORK OF SECURITY"; by Sirmammad Huseynov and Nasir Ahmadli ("Who Is M. A. Rasulzadeh ?"): "The only ideology we defend is the IDEOLOGY OF M. A. RASULZADEH!"

This period of polemics was very short and only six-seven articles on it appeared in the newspapers. The polemic was mainly covered by "Azadliq" and "Azarbaycan" newspapers.

The most interesting and noteworthy period of the discussion between liberals and nationalists took place approximately in the first half of 1995. The discussion was sparked by interview with Hikmet Hajizadeh, the head of the Analytical Center of Musavat (and former Azerbaijan Ambassador to Russia) in "Azadliq." In response to that, "Yeni Musavat" published an interview with Nasib Nasibzadeh, a Secretary of Musavat (and former Azerbaijan Ambassador to Iran). Each prepared a new draft party program. Hikmet Hajizadeh's draft program emphasized modern liberal-democratic principles and respect for basic human rights. The cornerstone of the draft by Nasib Nasibzadeh was the idea of nationalism developed by M. A. Rasulzadeh, the founder of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (the first democratic state in the Moslem East).

The polemic was waged mainly in the "Azadliq" and "Yeni Musavat." Articles related to the polemics were also published in other newspapers ("Muxalifat," "Cumhuriyyat," "Hurriyyat").

Following is the digest of articles related to the polemics:

"Azadliq," January 28, 1995, N6(492), p.2, 468 sq. cm., Interview with the Head of the Analytical Center of Musavat Party Hikmet Hajizadeh: "Liberalism in Azerbaijan"

Hikmet Hajizadeh notes that he had prepared a new draft program of Musavat Party which accumulates the liberal values. Speaking about major principles of liberalism, Hikmet Hajizadeh says that liberalism in its classic form constitutes the basis of the contemporary democratic philosophy and means "a government of the majority, limited by human rights." The mottoes of the Great French Revolution - "Freedom, Property, Security, the Right to Resist Violence" - form the basis of democracy.

The words of M. A. Rasulzadeh "Freedom to people, Independence to nations" are also a liberal slogan. Touching on the main contradiction between nationalism and liberalism, Hikmet Hajizadeh argues that if by "nation" we mean an ethnic concept, then nationalism is to be considered undemocratic. In the liberal theory the term "nation" relates to all citizens of an independent state, regardless of ethnicity and other differences.
"Azadliq," January 31, 1995, N 7(493), p.4, 468 sq. cm., "Will Liberalism Transform into a 'National Ideology?'" by Huseynbala Salimov

The author argues that on the stage FOR NATIONAL liberation movement, i.e. the period of struggle for independence, accentuation of ethnic nationalism was, in certain sense, necessary. At the stage following proclamation of Azerbaijan's independence, it is necessary to substitute ethnic nationalism by state nationalism.

The writer goes on to say that at the present stage there is an urgent need for a wide-scale democratic movement. That's why it is of paramount significance to emphasize in the programs democratic values, human rights and freedoms.

Salimov writes that nationalists put forth the idea of "statehood." They believe that liberalism creates anti-state sentiments, and "that is very dangerous to the newly developing state." Liberalism accepts only a contract between the society and the state. In liberalism, the state must protect the individual's freedom, safety, etc. Instead of decrying liberalism, one should rather decry a state that separates itself from an individual and society and becomes absolute and imposing.

"Yeni Musavat," February 2, 1995, N4(145), p2, 1,177 sq. cm., article by M. A. Rasulzadeh: "National Solidarity" (written in 1952 and published in Ankara in March 12, 1952 issue of "Azarbeycan" journal)

The words with which article begins, in our opinion, proves to exacerbation of the polemics. "These days a famous liberal [i.e. Hikmet Hajizadeh. -Monitoring Group] tried to turn M. A. Rasulzadeh into a liberal. In order to prove that this is falsification, we advise that you read this article. As he said himself "to read, read, and read again ?" The article criticizes both liberal production system and revolutionary socialist ideology.

M. A. Rasulzadeh come to the conclusion that neither absolute liberalism, nor absolute collectivism should exist. The idea of solidarity, uniting them both is more expedient.

The author reckons that solidarity also comprises freedom, private initiative and property. But in that system both freedom and property are not absolute, but conditional. And the condition is the well-being of state and nation and the common good. In the framework of the concept of solidarity, the state is a representative of the nation and regulator of the relations in the society. The article goes on to say that "solidarism" is national as it is not linked just with the material interests of individuals and classes, but focuses on moral values that help classes and individuals to develop into a free society. Liberalism sees the spirit of culture in creative egoism of the individual. Communism substitutes that with class egoism. Solidarity is harmony between individual egoism and interests of the society.

Same issue of "Yeni Musavat" published Togrul Abbas's interview with the Secretary on Foreign Relations of Musavat Party Nasib Nasibzadeh, entitled "The Problem of Heritage in Musavat" (p.2, 768 sq. cm.).

Nasib Nasibzadeh notes that the idea of Azerbaijan's unconditional independence, its protection and strengthening, which has been advocated by Musavat, is still pressing. National statehood and national solidarity occupy an important place in Musavat heritage. Then come such components of Musavatism as Free Caucasus Home, link with the Turkic world. At the same time, we face the issues of relations with Islamic world and Western civilization - the centers of the modern civilization.

Speaking about liberal parties, Nasibzadeh says that in the West there are no parties renouncing human rights. But it is not serious business for a political party to concentrate all of its efforts on protection of human rights, and there is no liberal party at power in Europe. Nasibzadeh thinks that Musavatism should be compared with the European neo-conservatism. Unlike liberalism or neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism stresses the significance of family and society, not the individual, and emphasizes religion, tradition, morality, and considers nationalism in the context of patriotism a consolidating factor. Unlike liberalism, neoconservatism supports the government's regulatory and coordinating functions. The most famous politicians of the last years - Reagan, Bush, Thatcher, Strauss, Kohl - are neo-conservatives. In today's Turkey, the right democratic parties of "Dogru Yol" (The True Path) and "Ana Vatan" (Motherland) call themselves neo-conservatives. Under the circumstances, the efforts to liberalize Musavat, ripping it away from its heritage, is nothing but an inappropriate fuss (if not a premeditated intention).

"Azadliq," February 7, 1995, N9(495), p.4, 156 sq. cm., "Liberalism and... solidarity" by Huseynbala Salimov

The author writes that discussions about liberalism resulted in a new publication of M. A. Rasulzadeh's article "National Solidarity."

In his opinion, liberalism does not exclude interference by the state. In a liberal society the state interferes with all spheres of life, but such interference is directed toward protection of individual freedom and security, etc. Solidarity offers compromise between different forms of property and political views. But all these are to be found in liberalism. "Liberalism accepts only a government based on social contract. Could there be a greater 'solidarity'? Liberalism rejects a tyranny by either individual or 'majority.' Can there be a better 'balance'? One of the founders of liberalism J. Lock is known from history as a representative of the school of 'compromisers.' Compromise, consensus are the essence of the liberalism."

The author then argues that, taken separately, liberalism, as well as government, and democracy, are means, not goal. The goal is Development of the Individual and Nation. The essence itself of liberalism contains the basis for Development and Progress.

"Yeni Musavat," February 10, 1995, N5(145), p.3., 162 sq. cm. Interview with Nizami Cafarov (Professor, Doctor of Philology): "We Need Turkism Not Only As Ideology but a Myth, or Even a Metaphor"

The author writes that the emphasis on Turkism is linked with the current political and social state of Turkic nations when the ideological system becomes more significant today than yesterday, and tomorrow will be more significant than today.

The author views Turkism as an ideology which reflects both the diversity and integrity of Turkic nations, and is directed toward identification of their position in the world. , integrating Turks with their diversity and directed on determination of their place in the world. Turkism as an ideology, has three fields of activity: first, it contributes to the self-organization of this or that Turkic nation; second, it is on the basis of the ideology of Turkism that Turkic nations being on the different levels of development, unite, directly or indirectly, and solve the problems of the Turkic world.; third, Turkism is part and parcel of the world ideological arsenal. Turkism is intended for helping Turks to find their place in the world and bring politic
al and social harmony to the world, because Turks have always had close relations with different ethnic groups, nationalities and nations.

"Yeni Musavat," February 10, N5(145), p.1,2, 2,496 sq. cm. Nasib Nasibzadeh: "Nationalism and Democracy: Opposite Poles or ..."

The author writes that the communal ("ummat") philosophy, which had dominated Azerbaijan's social thinking before World War I turned upside-down the works of M. A. Rasulzadeh. As during the Soviet period nationalistic ideology was always inoculated in people's minds as reactionary, new generations still fear nationalism.

The author goes on to note that in contemporary understanding nationalism is based on logical thinking, common sense and justice. Unlike chauvinism, it respects the freedom and independence of other nations.

According to Nasibzadeh, nationalism does not reject democracy, as liberals claim, on the contrary, they supplement each other. If the majority of the population possesses national consciousness, it leads to cultural development. That also means development of ethic minorities. Defectiveness of the ethnic consciousness in 80 percent of the population, the weakness of patriotic feelings means the weakness of the whole country and poses danger for the future of nation as a whole.

"Azadliq," February 11, 1995, N10(496), p.4, 1,258 sq. cm., February 14, N11(497), p.4, 425 sq. cm. Hikmet Hajizadeh: "Musavat Is Also Product of Liberalism"

This is Hikmet Hajizadeh's answer to the last article by Nasib Nasibzadeh (see "Yeni Musavat," February 2).

The author writes that nowhere in the interview (N6 "Azadliq") did he call M. A. Rasulzadeh a liberal. He said that the motto by Rasulzadeh "Freedom to people, Independence to nations" is a slogan of classic liberalism.

Hajizadeh goes on to say that classic mottoes make up the basis of the theory of modern democracy and all those "who consider themselves democrats" must espouse the classic liberal principles: "INDIVIDUAL, POLITICAL FREEDOMS AND SUPREMACY OF LAW." All contemporary political trends - social-democrats, liberals, conservatives - view the classic liberalism as the basis of their political philosophy. In this classic sense, be it Reagan, or Thatcher, or Helmut Kohl, or Swedish Social-Democrats, or the part
y of M. A. Rasulzadeh, all are liberals.

Criticizing liberalism in his article about "national solidarity," M. A. Rasulzadeh did not intend to criticize the classic liberalism. His protest was aimed against "uncontrolled economic liberalism," the capitalist realities of late 19th-early 20th century. The capitalism of that time exists no longer anywhere in the world. Now in all capitalist countries the regulatory role of the state in control of the economy is considered necessary. The motto of the reforms by Margaret Thatcher: "Destatization-there is no alternative to it!" is more expedient for us.

All activities by the world's democratic political parties are directed on protection of human rights- individual, political and social. Hajizadeh protests against the nationalists' argument: "focusing entirely on human rights is not a serious business for a political party."

Nasib Nasibzadeh tries to oppose neo-liberalism to neoconservatism and to link the latter with Musavatism. But neither of them has ever doubted the values of the classic liberalism. Both sides accept them.

"Yeni Musavat," February 16, 1995, N6(146), p.3, 350 sq. cm. Niyazi Mehdi (Secretary of Musavat on Conceptual Issues): "The Zero Option of Internal Discussions at Musavat"

We believe that Nizami Mehdi tried to find a common denominator between the two trends.
He argues that the principles of the 20th century society outlined by liberal-democracy have went beyond the monopoly of the latter and have been accepted by all democratic parties. After stating the supremacy of human rights and individual freedoms, the major task of a democratic party is to propagate to individuals that, if individual freedom is not in filled with nationalism and patriotism, then a human existence loses its center of weight.

"Yeni Musavat," February 16, 1995, N6(146), p.3, 312 sq. cm. Kamal Ali: "The Liberalism Disease of Contemporary Musavatism"

The article is a reaction to interview with Hikmet Hajizadeh in the January 28 issue of "Azadliq.".
The author accepts "the liberal values," but prompts another subject for discussion: "in Azerbaijan time in not ripe for liberalism yet."

He writes that Azerbaijan is not ready yet for implementation of liberal principles. It would not be possible to charge "a liberal soldier" with desertion" if to such a soldier his security is primary, and the security of the nation is only secondary. With the economic and political anarchy and continued occupation of our territories, limiting the role of the state in ruling the society would not help Azerbaijan solve its problems.

The author adds that, in general, he is not against making liberalism the leading political force. But time is not ripe for that to happen.

"Yeni Musavat," February 16, 1995, N6(146), p.3, 648 sq. cm. Arif Rahimoglu (Head of the Ideological Department of APF): "The Only Way to Azerbaijan's Salvation Is the Victory of Nationalism, Musavatism"

The article emphasizes "the ethnic problem" and turns it into the subject of polemics.
The author writes that, although liberalism goes along with some aspects of our social system, it absolutely contradicts our ethnic system. And an ideology that does not match the ethnic system is nothing but a "gymnastics of a group of chosen and artists." A dreaming liberalism does not take into account that in the West, which it accepts as model, it took nearly 400 years to develop on based on a liberal ideology. The Turkism of M. A. Rasulzadeh is by no means purely ethnocentric.

"Yeni Musavat," February 16,1995, N6(146), p.2, 190 sq. cm. Republication of the article by M. A. Rasulzadeh: "Nationalism - Patriotism" printed in N6, 1952 issue of "Azarbeycan" journal issued in Turkey.

The author writes that a nationalist is first of all a patriot fighting for independence. What Europeans understand by the term "patriot," we express by the word "nationalist." That differs from the concept of nationalism(focusing on ethnicity) that the Europeans mean by the world "nationalist."

The author maintains that if those fighting for the restoration of the independence of their country definitely want to use only a European term, then they should be called not nationalists who emphasize ethnicity ["milliyatci" - Translator's Note], and their actions should be termed not nationalism [emphasizing ethnicity, "milliyatcilik" - Translator's Note], but [patriotic] nationalism.

"Yeni Musavat," February 16, 1995, N 6(146), p.2, 874 sq. cm. Boyukkisi Heydarli: "The Liberal Ideal and Contemporary Reality"

The author writes that, since the classic liberalism does not meet contemporary challenges, liberal parties are not mass parties in any of the European state. Liberalism supported by an individual's creative egoism which M. A. Rasulzadeh wrote about, is not able to fulfill the all-national tasks facing us. Because, if one is to refer to an individual, Azerbaijan will not overcome the national crisis. The only social and political ideology which must be defended is Musavatism.

"Cumhurriyyat, "February 16, 1995, N7(43), p2, 272 sq. cm. Huseynbala Salimov: "Liberalism, Westernism, and Turanism"

The author argues that "Liberalism, Humanism and Democracy" should not be called the Western values, because the struggle for Freedom has been the nucleus of historical developments both in the East and in the West. Pursuit of freedom is in the blood of the Turk. It is not by chance that Turkey left the ranks of the Moslem countries and chose the way of the democratic development. How logical is it to raise clam about our ethnic slogan on the threshold of the 20th century?

"Azadliq", February 18, 1995, N13(439), p.4, 680 sq. cm., Kamal Ali: "Psychological and Everyday Background of the Dispute between Liberals and Nationalists"

The author indicates that liberals, too, admit that territorial problem is the most important for our nation. Throughout history, only national values have led defeated people to the victories in the patriotic wars. A citizen who was not brought up in such spirit, and who places himself above national values and is guided by the Western values would turn into an common resident, who, having deserted, becomes a cosmopolitan without homeland who only protects his or her own personal freedom.

The author goes on to say: "Another problem upsetting the contemporary Azerbaijan is ethnic separatism. Those who give the ethnic regional sentiments a priority over the state law claim that it is necessary to create a new state. The concept 'we should make law a priority' stated in response to our protests is not bringing the results that we want. And first of all because the laws which are supposed to solve our problems are close to nationalism, rather than liberalism."

"Azadliq," February 21, 1995, N14(500), p.4, 442 sq. cm. Huseynbala Salimov: "Liberalism: Transition from a Closed System to an Open One"

The author writes that opponents of liberalism use as argument the state of war, which is an extreme situation. War means exhaustion of all peaceful means and civilized methods. What is primary during the war: the individual or the mass? Be it liberals, or nationalists, or Turkists, or Communists, or Islamists - all of them give the same answer: certainly, multitude. When allege incompatibility of liberalism with our ethnic system, they speculate on the issue of Western values. Liberalism is an open system. Here we have to remember the history of Turks and the studies by Lev Gumilyov - "an open system has been was the most appropriate ethno-social system for Turks. And the 21st century will be the century of the demise of all fully closed ethno-social systems!"

"Muxalifat," February 22, 1995, N6(365), p3, 425 sq. cm. Vagif Hacibayli (Chairman of "Ahrar" Party): "Is There a Need to Discover America Anew ?"

The nationalists advocate the state nationalism as the common national ideology and/or as an ideology balancing liberalism. There is a need for an ideology counterpoising liberalism, but nationalism is out of the question. The author points out, that the Qarabag (Karabakh) knot cannot be opened without the support of the international community. That's why in order to reach the purposes set forth by nationalists, we need to build a state that would recognize human rights as universal human values.

"Yeni Musavat," February 23, 1995, N7(147), p.2, 518 sq. cm. Niyazi Mehdi: "Points of Mutual Understanding in Our Debate"

In our opinion, the author tries to find the common ground between two philosophies.
He writes: "What is freedom for people? It is the rights listed in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Nationalists reckon that many people in Azerbaijan, being spoiled by freedom, may create such a situation, when it would be impossible to either create a strong army, or to involve them into activities that are important for the nation. But in order to prevent people from abandoning morality and national values, we need to develop a strong educational system. When free, the individual becomes a subject of ethics." The author notes: "Independence to the nations... but first we need to create the state. It means to free the state from excessive burdens in administration and economy, to increase in the society the number of self-regulated areas.

Freedom of people is one of the preconditions for national independence, and the latter is for a human freedom."

"Muxalifat," March 1, 1995, N7(366), p.4, 675 sq. cm. Tofiq Qasimov (former Minister of Foreign Affairs): "Liberal Democracy or Solidarity? Nationalism or Democracy?"

The author writes that modern liberalism differs from the liberalism criticized by M. A. Rasulzadeh in his article "National Solidarity." Rasulzadeh did not aim at criticizing classic liberalism.

Qasimov reckons, that democracy is a form of government that goes with any nation. As to nationalism, it is to be understood only as patriotism. In general, only in extreme circumstances is nationalism more important. Democracy and nationalism supplement each other.

Tofiq Qasimov categorically protests against the idea that "Azerbaijan is not ready for democracy" and says: "No political scientist, or a sociologist, etc., has ever diagnosed that Azerbaijan's society is unprepared for democracy." In his opinion, one should not just sit down and wait for democracy to establish, but try to make it a reality by every possible means.

"Yeni Musavat," March 2, 1995, N8(148), p.2, 476 sq. cm.; March 10, 9(149), p.1, 2, 1,120 sq. cm. Nasib Nasibzadeh: "Musavatism and L: Similarities and Differences"

This article is a response to Hikmet Hajizadeh's article in "Azadliq." In our opinion, in his article the author tried to adjust nationalism and liberalism to each other.

He notes, that M. A. Rasulzadeh has never been a liberal. He quotes the Musavat program adopted in 1936: "Musavatism is freedom linked with Turkic culture and comprising national, cultural and human values, love for Azerbaijani homeland, loyalty to the ideas of freedom and republic and independence." Nasibzadeh believes that it is not a matter of "Musavatism as part of liberalism," but rather "liberalism as part of Musavatism."

Nationalists reckon, that political, economic and legal basis for human rights as well as a legal mechanism for protection of those rights must be created. But liberal values - freedom and liberty, that are part of Musavatism - are one thing, and liberalism (classic or modern) is another. Azerbaijan in the present state should not be compared with Europe. It has its particularities and problems. That' is why it is not possible to realize the principles of liberalism.

"Yeni Musavat," March 2, 1995, N 8(158), p.3, 336 sq. cm. Xaladdin Ibrahimli (Chairman of the Musavat Party's Commission for National Solidarity): "Turkism Must Be the Center of Gravity"

He argues that, prior to accepting new liberal values, we need to build the state and form its main institutions. Under Azerbaijan's present conditions, when national unity is indispensable, we are obliged to repeat again and again that the only ideology for us is Musavatism (Turkism, Islamism, Modernism).

"Muxalifat," March 8, 1995, N8(367), p.3, 240 sq. cm. Ibrahim Quliyev: "Nationalism and Liberalism"

Although, from the theoretical point of view, nationalism serves the cause of building a strong state, eventually it has had to be satisfied with limited borders. Such states, too, were later listed by international organizations as violators of individual and political freedoms. In nationalism, violations of human rights for the sake of the state or national interests are possible. But liberalism leaves no possibility for dictatorship, authoritarianism or totalitarianism.

"Azadliq," March 11, 1995, N20 (506), p.4, 836 sq. cm., March 14, N21 (507), p.4, 847 sq. cm. Rasim Musabayov (Acting Chairman of Dogru Yol Party): "Azerbaijan: Nationalism or Liberalism"

The author indicates, that the liberal system has the right to exist, as it has proved that it agrees with the human nature and the guidelines of social progress. Liberalism has won this right as a result of the victory over other systems in the course competition throughout history. That is why claims about liberalism's incompatibility with Azerbaijan's conditions are unfounded. By espousing the ideology of nationalism, it is impossible to come to an accord with ethnic minorities within a state and succeed in carrying out political and economic reforms. In 0democratic countries, the nation encompasses not individual groups, but all people living in a given territory.

Nationalists have a vision of the state as an organized ruling force providing for ethnic mobilization. But history of many countries proves that national mobilizations practically never reaches its declared aims and the ruling regimes soon turn into nationalistic dictatorships. A state of war is a special case and under such circumstances liberal-democratic state must take extraordinary measures and, with the consent of the people, limit political, civil and economic rights. For example, the Israeli political system fully meets the liberal standards of the civilized world. But that does not stop that country from carrying out a successful struggle against the nationalistic authoritarian regimes of the neighboring Arab countries. The author points out that nationalists often try to compensate for the lack of rational arguments by the authority of M. A. Rasulzadeh and Ataturk. Nobody demands that liberalism be announced the official ideology in Azerbaijan. It would be enough to pass a democratic modern constitution.

"Hurriyyat," March 16, 1995, N6(107), p.4, 676 sq. cm. Nuraddin Mammadli: "Liberal Democracy or Nationalism?"

In our opinion, the author takes both sides astray from the main subject of the dispute.
He writes that the ideological debate that started within the Musavat Party is very important. Being engaged in the course of the dispute in terminological bickering, both sides ignore the present conditions. Liberalism is huge and important value. Its realization in Azerbaijan is indisputable. But at the present moment, the citizens must perceive the idea FOR NATIONAL independence and the government must propagate that by every possible means.

"Azadliq," March 16, 1995, N22(508), pp.3, 4, 5, 6, 15,392 sq. cm. "The Program of the Musavat Party" (Draft)

The main author of the draft is Hikmet Hajizadeh, and it is based on liberal democratic principles. The draft's philosophy is based on the following theses:

Used with exclusive permission from the author.
Copyright © 1996 by Hikmet Hadjy-zadeh.
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