BAKU: Aliyev Chides Compilers of “Azerbaijani Nat’l Encyclopaedia”

Azeri leader chides compilers for including “enemies” in national

Azerbaijani TV Channel One, Baku
8 Apr 04

[Presenter] Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev chaired the first
sitting of the editorial staff of the Azerbaijani National
Encyclopaedia at the Presidential Palace today.

[Correspondent, over video of sitting] Ilham Aliyev said that a
decision on the publication of the Azerbaijani National Encyclopaedia
had been made three months ago. He added that this was a significant
event in modern Azerbaijani history. Ilham Aliyev recalled that the
Azerbaijani Soviet Encyclopaedia had been prepared and published in
the 1970s at the initiative and with the help of the national leader
[and former president], Heydar Aliyev. He expressed confidence that
the Azerbaijani National Encyclopaedia would be a very important
publication to present Azerbaijan to the world as an independent

[Passage omitted: other speeches]

[Correspondent] Speaking about the printed abridged version and the
first volume, Ilham Aliyev expressed his regret and outrage with the
fact that instead of the names of the people who had played an
important role in Azerbaijani history, the names of enemies of the
Azerbaijani people were present in the books.

[Ilham Aliyev] There are many names of Armenians who did not play any
role in Azerbaijani history. You can see this while looking through
the pages. I was very surprised at why this happened? Arutyunyan,
Arutyunov, Gevorkyan, Yeremyan, [Armenian artist] Martiros Saryan,
Sasunlu David [Armenian epic hero David Sasunskiy]. What is this? Is
this the basis for preparing our national encyclopaedia? I was
horrified. To tell the truth, I imagined this sitting differently.
Then I opened the letter S. What did I see there? Stepanakert
[Xankandi]. There is no town of Stepanakert in Azerbaijan. Are you
aware of this? How could this name be included there?

[Passage omitted: executive secretary of the Azerbaijani National
Encyclopaedia Ismayil Valiyev replies, words indistinct]

[Ilham Aliyev, angrily] As I told you, I crosschecked it yesterday
evening [7 April]. There are no names of the individuals who played a
very important role in Azerbaijani history. If what you say is true,
these people must have been included as well. If your approach is only
technical, and I would say that this looks like a technical approach,
in this case you must not include your names as the compilers
here. But your approach was not technical. Why the names of the people
who played an important role in Azerbaijani history have not been
included? Why Saryan is here?

[Passage omitted: other speeches]

[Ilham Aliyev] I am very pleased with today’s discussion. I am already
confident that we will cope with this work. True, I was very upset
when I looked through these pages yesterday. But I am very inspired
with the sitting today. I wish every success to all of us in this very
noble and important work. I am confident that we will give a good
present to the Azerbaijani people and the Azerbaijani National
Encyclopaedia will be published in the near future. Good-bye and thank