BAKU: TV chides Oscar-winning Azeri writer for Karabakh interview on

TV chides Oscar-winning Azeri writer for Karabakh interview on BBC web site

ANS TV, Baku
15 Jun 04

[Presenter in studio] It appears that our famous compatriot Rustam
Ibrahimbayov is missing the Armenians who have left Baku. The only
Oscar-winning Azerbaijani, in an interview published on the BBC
Karabakh page, said he recognizes the Armenians’ rights to Karabakh.

[Correspondent Mirsahin over video of the Karabakh page and archive
pictures of Ibrahimbayov] I hadn’t looked at the BBC’s Karabakh
page for some time. And then I thought that maybe this time I would
find something interesting there that would be in the interests
of Azerbaijan as well. My first impressions of the interview by a
famous Azerbaijani author and script-writer, Rustam Ibrahimbayov,
were quite reassuring. It was headlined “It is in the interests of
Karabakh to be Azerbaijan’s”. I thought this is our man and that he
is going to speak about our realities. Having read the interview,
I thought that I should share with you my sentiments as regards some
of the views held by the famous Azerbaijani.

Of course, Rustam Ibrahimbayov is no small man. In fact, the BBC
interviewed him exactly because he is a renowned author, playwright,
script-writer for a number of Soviet cinematography masterpieces
and winner of the Oscar award. And it goes without saying that
the international audience has no reason whatsoever to distrust
such a famous man and listen to a Mirsahin. From this standpoint,
it was a shrewd choice. Rustam muallim [form of address] believes
that the 10 years that have elapsed since the cease-fire accord are
a blessing. Because they serve peace. Even though the cease-fire is
not peace yet and the 10 years more than anything testify to the fact
that Azerbaijan has come to terms with the occupation of its land.

Rustam Ibrahimbayov is making no secret of the fact that he misses
the Armenians who have left Baku. He is sorry that so many intelligent
Armenians have left Azerbaijan. And that people from the countryside
have taken their place. The city is now in the hands of those who
have come from the village. By this utterance the esteemed writer is
taking no heed of the deprivation and grief of those Azerbaijanis who
had to leave their homes, head for an unknown destination and settle
down in Baku. These people are inferior to the Armenians only because
they have come from the countryside.

The playwright thinks it is possible to resolve the Karabakh problem
on the basis of mutual concessions. As a matter of fact, he supports
Karabakh’s independence. This is what he says. I am giving both
sides the right to consider Karabakh their land. I cannot deny the
Armenians this right, end of quote. However, Rustam Ibrahimbayov does
not elaborate whether he is giving the Armenians the right to set
houses on fire, kill the civilian population in the most barbarous way,
rape children and drive out people from their homes.

Baku has lost hundreds of thousands of Bakuvians who were professionals
and loved Baku and Azerbaijan. We know that the Armenians are one
of the most prominent nationalities in the world. They are skilful
professionals. And if they could be involved in the economic
development of the modern Azerbaijan, our country would greatly
benefit from this.

This is said by a resident of Baku and a citizen of Azerbaijan and,
most importantly, a citizen of the world, Rustam Ibrahimbayov. Citizen
of the world Rustam Ibrahimbayov is distancing himself from Azerbaijan
and the Azerbaijanis so much that he is nearing Armenia and the

I personally believe that the fact that well-known Azerbaijanis are
either not seen at all or seen in the wrong light in the world is quite
a serious issue. Let’s compare: Rustam Ibrahimbayov to the Azerbaijanis
is what [singer] Charles Aznavour is to the Armenians. Incidentally,
about a month ago the Armenian national hero award was conferred
on famous Armenian Charles Aznavour for his service to the Armenian
people. Now let’s try to imagine Rustam Ibrahimbayov as the national
hero of Azerbaijan. Doesn’t the idea seem a little funny? Because
Charles Aznavour donates a lot of money that he earns from concerts
in France, Great Britain, Denmark and the United States to Armenia
and the Armenian people. He makes statements in the countries he
visits that Karabakh belongs to the Armenians. And no-one can ever
doubt that an Armenian such as Charles Aznavour can tell a lie. And
naturally people believe him.

No-one will ever doubt what an Azerbaijani such as Rustam Ibrahimbayov
says either. People are destined to believe his statements I quoted
earlier. I may not be familiar with a world citizen’s way of thinking
but let me say quite sincerely that I would give such a citizen a
different passport. Because the ending of the Azerbaijani name of
Ibrahimbayov should be different. To cut the long story short, let
me say that the Azerbaijanis are simple-minded. When they want or
expect a lot and eventually receive a little, they do nothing less
than take offence. We were expecting everything in the world from
Rustam. Instead, he foisted a globe on us, and as the well-known joke
goes, a truly Armenian globe.

Mirsahin, ANS.