Татевик Айрапетян: Азербайджанские отклики армянской революции. Возможные влияния

Татевик Айрапетян: Азербайджанские отклики армянской революции. Возможные влияния

Татевик Айрапетян: Азербайджанские отклики армянской революции. Возможные влияния

Выступление кандидата исторических наук Татевика Айрапетяна (на английском языке) на круглом столе «2018: Переломный год для Южного Кавказа?» (Ереван, 26-27 ноября 2018 г.), организованный Научным обществом кавказоведов и Организацией ДИАЛОГ.

The Azerbaijani reactions on Armenian developments and possible impacts

Dear colleges, thank you for your attention. Today I want to talk about the reaction which came from neighboring Azerbaijan after the developments in Armenia. To be more clear I will divide the reactions into 3 stages: 

1-before resignation of Serj Sargsyan on 23rd of April,   

2-After resignation and Pashinyan’s becoming Prime Minister on 8th of May and his first statements on Karabakh to be part of negotiation table 

3-After Dushanbe meetings and Pashinyan’s reaction that there is operative connection between Yerevan and Baku 

So, firstly on the level of the state Azerbaijani officials reacted “positively” using Armenian developments as a tool to “prove” they were right saying that “the main enemy of Armenian people is regime of Serj Sargsyan” and moreover they tried to present Pashinyan as a person with softer stance on Karabakh matter.
However, the reactions and statements coming from official Baku radically changed after Pashinyan’s statements in Stepanakert which he made right after his election highlighting that Karabakh needs to be back to negotiation table for the comprehensive settlement of the conflict. 

Baku even claimed that “Pasinyan seems to be more separatist than Serj Sargsyan”. And afterwords, Baku tries to present Pashinyan with negative lights. And this is connected not only with Pashinyan’s statements on NK but also with reactions which came from Azerbaijani opposition and particularly from certain reps of civil society. So, when Sargsyan resigned one of the most well know journalist Khadija Ismayilova put a facebook status: “Why victory in national democracy always belongs to them”. “Why we don’t have Pashinyans”, “they always win” and other posts like this were common on those days. So Baku was quite frightened and tried to prevent the possibility of raising admiration for Pashinyan in Azerbaijan. Apart from that certain circles on the level of analysts were expressing concern that for “democratic Armenia” is will be easier to negotiate and keep stance on diplomatic level than for authoritarian Azerbaijan. In the end of the day Karabakh will belong to more democratic side, one of the status says. 

Until recent Pashinyan-Aliyev talks in Dushanbe the war rhetoric was quite high. However in recent stages Baku mostly keeps silent. For instance, there was no official reaction to the creation of operative connection. There was almost no reaction on the peaceful calls from Anna Hakobyan-Pashinyan’s wife. However, the fact that Ilham Aliyev sent his son to the army proves that he was challenged by Pashinyan. 

Now, let’s discuss another-oppositional perspective of the impact on Azerbaijan. 

As you already know recently right after changes in Armenia and on the eve of Merkel’s visit to Azerbaijan the well known opposition leader of REAL movement Ilqar Mamedov was realised conditionally. And right after he was set free he became very active publically openly stating that he is going to continue his fight against Aliyev regime. In his interview to Eurasianet.org website he said that he kind of a got inspired from the changes happening in Armenia and in his roadmap he plans first of all to struggle for snap parliamentary elections, get few seats in the parliament and then fight against Aliyev. While another opposition leader head of Popular Front of Azerbaijan Ali Keremli said that going for snap parliamentary elections doesn’t make sense until Aliyev is in power. They can’t be any free, fair and democratic elections and they need to fight against Aliyev’s regime. So we obviously see the search of processes within oppositional groups and kind of a struggle who will be the leader. 

In the end I want to tackle the topic of recent protests in Azerbaijan. The protests which are already ongoing for couple of weeks and is related to social issues and in the contrary to its usual tactic Aliyev’s regime didn’t get rid of protesters, vise verse Aliyes sent some people, even MPs to talk to people and calm them down, which, let’s confess is not common for Baku. However, when on 17th of November Ali Keremli tried to use the date which is important for opposition because November 17th 1988 marked the famous Meydan movement. However, right after Keremli with his supporters walked towards Ally of Martrys he and his supporters were captured and put in the prison. The massage Aliyev sends to opposition camp is clear: he might allow a bit of social discourse but he is not going to allow opposition to turn it into political uprising against the regime.   

Tatevik Hayrapetyan

PhD in History

Publication source is Dialogorg.ru 

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