Vahid Qazi.

Vahid Qazi.

- In Azerbaijan, official propaganda is trying to create an impression among the people that Azerbaijan is in the center of world attention, the world condemns Armenia, there are a bunch of villains in Azerbaijan that deceive international organizations about events within the country. However, inside the country, everything is ok. How is Azerbaijan seen from Europe?

- If you remember, there was such a news at the World Cup in the world media:  the North Korean team beat Brazil national team with a score of 10: 0. All of North Korea believed and celebrated the victory of their home team. It is very good that Azerbaijan is not yet at the level of North Korea. Our citizens have the opportunity to receive at least alternative news. Regardless of what our officials say, the name of Azerbaijan appears on the black lists, and every day rises to the top in this list. Corruption, repression against political opponents, authoritarianism. European observers see Azerbaijan in black - oil color.

- We are told that the Muslim and Asian origin of Azerbaijanis leaves a negative imprint on the perception of us from Europe. Therefore, Europe supports the Armenians; therefore, it makes no sense for Azerbaijan to become democratic, since we remain "backward Asians." Is there such an impression about Azerbaijan in Sweden (Europe)?

“It is like seeking an excuse for improperness.” Have we once presented to Europeans our historical documents, documentaries, our books in a language that it understands? Have we convinced the Europeans of anything? Like our “truths”, Armenians also have their own “truths”. Armenians can submit their version to the court of Europe. There are objective reasons for this, such as the diaspora.

When Ataturk began secular, democratic reforms, Europe and the United States understood and supported him. The West did not value Ataturk in terms of his religion and eastern origin. The West embraced Ataturk, seeing his European values. That is why Stalin, who after the Second World War wanted to take the world by the throat, faced the democratic West. If this were not the case, Stalin who had occupied Tehran would have reached Istanbul.

We, the people who created the first republic in the Muslim East, will be able to build the most secular, modern country in the entire Muslim world. Over the past 27 years, current politics has thrown the country back, perhaps half a century ago. If you ask the reason, I will say:

1. Oil

2. The elite remaining from Soviet times

3. The clan, formed in Soviet times

4. The mistake made by the leaders of the popular movement at that time and later, deliberately or involuntarily.

5. The main thing is popular indifference.

To the last part of your question, I would answer this way: Are we democratizing so that someone like it? A free society means horizons for the future. A closed society puts us in quarantine. The choice is in our hands. In the imagination of the Swedes with whom I communicate, Azerbaijan is a mysterious, unexplored place that must be visited. My concern about the traveling Swedes is that they will be disappointed by visiting Azerbaijan.

- It is known that in Azerbaijan citizens cannot politically unite. Even within the democratic opposition, there are dozens of disagreements, as is now the case with the REAL party. What about the political picture of Azerbaijanis in Europe? Are the Azerbaijanis there smarter, politically educated?

-  The same as here. As in an anecdote: three Poles meet and create an organization. The Azerbaijanis gather in one place, but later divide into 4 groups. If there is no national idea, this will continue. You ask about the REAL party. We were glad and hoped that five years ago many intellectuals in the country came together. I talked about them in my article, the title of which was the thought of travelers who remained on the road. I then foresaw what happened now. Then many friends took offence of me, and Altai Geyushov left the list of my friends on Facebook.

In Europe, there are Azerbaijanis who could benefit in Azerbaijan. My heart hurts because the number of such people is growing. It is convenient to write, talk, so many write and open their YouTube channels. I do not look at it badly, but for a society that lacks real information, it is necessary to take advantage of such opportunities. However, Azerbaijan should not create the idea that the minds in Europe are better, politically perfect. The most mature and struggling people are in Azerbaijan.

- In your opinion, where is Azerbaijan going - back to the monarchy, very slowly into democracy, or it stands still? Can power be reformed without elections? Does the world   need Azerbaijan as it is now?

-Azerbaijan looks like a faulty car, which is moving uphill, has broken down and can roll down at any moment. The people have to make a choice: if it agrees with the “monarchy,” I am not talking about the distant future, and then let it look at the monarchical regimes that devastated their peoples and threw them into the dustbin of history. Alternatively, the people should force the authorities to begin real reforms. Protest is another name for virtue!

We are moving towards democracy slower than a turtle. Those who say that we are on the road to democracy are first deceiving ourselves. The remaining democratic institutions are destroyed.  The biggest tragedy is that public morality has undergone serious deformation.

The main basis of all political successes is elections. Decisions going through discussions. Genghis Khan resolved popular issues at the congress. At the end of one-man rule, disaster comes.

The progressive forces of the world need a free, democratic Azerbaijan. They would like to see a democratic country among despotic countries such as Russia and Iran. Unfortunately, in the current world order, the ruling forces are not faithful to human values, but possess odious power and pursue mercantile interests. Look at the leaders of the leading countries of the world and compare with the leadership of Azerbaijan.

Let the oil fall and then our hopes come true - this is a short answer to your last question.

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