Author: Nigar ALIYEVA, Baku-Antalya
December 31 is the Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis. We have demonstrated our solidarity in deeds during the 44-day Patriotic War for the integrity of Azerbaijan. Today we are proud of ourselves and will always remember those who died for our beautiful country for the peaceful future of our children. Today we are proud of the incredible resilience of civilians in those Azerbaijani cities that were under almost continuous enemy attack, although they were outside the front line. Today we are proud of those who worked in the rear, who showed their unity with our army collecting humanitarian aid for the soldiers, and did much more to make at least some contribution to the liberation of our occupied lands. Today we are proud of those fellow compatriots who conveyed the truth about the Garabagh conflict, joined actions to support the liberation war of Azerbaijan even at the cost of their lives. We do not forget that along with politicians, diplomats and athletes, our intelligentsia took a huge responsibility during the war as well. Not only were our army mobilized to fight the enemy, but also those who for many years have been promoting the rich heritage of the Azerbaijani culture regardless of their national and religious background, who consider themselves part of the Azerbaijani people... One of such fellow Azerbaijani is an associate professor of the Uzeyir Hajibeyov Baku Music Academy and the Antalya State Conservatoire at Akdeniz University, PhD. Yuri S. SAYUTKIN.
"More than a month has passed since the end of the war in Garabagh and the defeat of Armenia. All these days our people was patiently waiting only for good news from our military and diplomats. What was your experience these days when you were outside Azerbaijn?"
"I think my geographic location does not affect my feelings in such matters. I felt and continue to feel the same as any one of my fellow compatriots, whether they are in Azerbaijan or abroad: great empathy, anger at the tragic death of civilians and the death of young soldiers of our army. I understand this as a father, and I deeply empathize with the parents of martyrs, as well as the parents of children who died in the bombing of Ganja and other Azerbaijani cities. All 44 days I have been following the news from Azerbaijan on TV and online. I cannot tell you how proud I was when our army won the fight, restored the justice, which we all have been waiting for these long 30 years. After all, it is our generation, which has witnessed personally the monstrous occupation of our native lands throughout the entire period of conflict."
"You have joined a flash mob for Garabagh. Can you give us some details?"
"My friends came up with a plan to join hands with a group of Azerbaijani nationals of various nationalities and confessions to express our opinion on the unfair statements of Armenians and their supporters in various media outlets about the alleged "oppression" of Christians in Azerbaijan. We made a video collage, sort of a mosaic of opinions, and published it on YouTube. That’s how I was involved in the action. To be honest, I never track the number of views of my publications, be it scientific articles, press reports or even my concerts. I am always interested in the impressions of the audience, readers of my articles and viewers of my video recordings. But I was amazed at the number of respondents after airing the video! I responded to their comments and realized that what we did actually impressed quite a large group of people. I have mixed feelings about the comments. Some were full of warm support from my compatriots, while some included threats and insults from the opposite camp. But I try not to enter into discussions with aggressive people. My goal was to convey reality as it is to everyone. This is just a tiny part of what I would like to do for my country in such a difficult period."
"As a musician, can you share your reaction to the news of the liberation of Shusha, the cradle of Azerbaijani musical and poetic art?"
"Shusha is invaluable for every citizen of Azerbaijan. But I think its value increases even more for any Azerbaijani national involved in art. I remember the day when I heard about the liberation of Shusha. My friend, a famous pianist and a wonderful teacher Rauf Gasimov called me. We talked for a long time, and suddenly he said: “Yura, I did not believe that I would ever see this day! Shusha belongs to us again! I still can't believe it! " Indeed, all of us, citizens of Azerbaijan, are well aware of the extremely complex geographical location of Shusha, which makes the city almost inaccessible for the military. That’s why the liberation of Shusha once again demonstrates the valour, enormous professionalism, courage and heroism of the Azerbaijani army, the patriotism and dedication of our soldiers and officers. I'm really happy. Our army liberated a city, which is an unbeaten symbol of art. We will here music in Shusha again, and high art will return to this sacred land."
"What were the impressions of ordinary Turkish citizens of Azerbaijan’s military campaign in the occupied territories?”
"Once in one of the Russian programs I heard a version that Turkey's support for Azerbaijan was just a political move. I was amazed at the journalist's illiteracy, who did not even bother to come here and see everything personally. The flags of Azerbaijan decorate all significant parts of Turkish cities; they are on many high-rise buildings, in the neon illuminations of houses and communications. But the main thing is people. I can see their complete empathy for Azerbaijan and its people, expression of genuine joy on the occasion of our victory. These people are from completely different levels of the Turkish society: salesmen, doctors, college professors. All of them are absolutely united in their thoughts and emotions. Many of them regularly asked me about military events. And every time they listened with great and genuine interest."
“During the war, we saw that the belief in our victory united both the citizens of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijanis living abroad. There were many petitions, appeals to international organizations, fight against anti-Azerbaijani propaganda, videos clearly voicing the truth about the situation in Garabagh and in Azerbaijan in general. Do you think we should continue to tell the world community about the true events in Azerbaijan? What is the role of the intelligentsia in this process?”
"I see no difference between the missile attacks on Ganja and the enormous disinformation campaign against Azerbaijan. This is a full-scale information war. The enemy by all means can sacrifice the welfare of its children and the elderly, its own people, if necessary. They use everything, including family relationships. They even appealed to UNESCO complaining about the state of Christian churches in Azerbaijan to influence the opinion of prominent Russian artists. What kind of "protection of monuments" are they talking about? Not a single temple was destroyed throughout my life in Azerbaijan. We all know about the Gregorian Church in downtown Baku, which is well maintained up until now. But we also saw the footage of the central mosque in the liberated Aghdam. What a monstrous state it has been brought to after 30 years! We saw desecrated mosques in other liberated areas, which Armenians used as pigpens, let alone turning the Orthodox churches to Gregorian ones... I would like many of my friends abroad to read this interview. I have never seen such a blasphemy in my entire life. Abusing the faith of people, the temples of God is no less terrible than physical murder. For this is spiritual murder! My teacher, Professor Farhad Badalbeyli, who wrote an accurate and adequate public letter on this matter, is absolutely right. Professor Faraj Garayev was absolutely right, when he made incredibly sharp but correct remarks to Russian journalists about the bias against Azerbaijan. It's nice to listen to the adequate rebuff of the famous writer Chingiz Abdullayev on all kinds of talk shows. Many of my friends did the same in numerous social networks, columns and articles. Nowadays people are more savvy in geopolitics. That’s how I would describe the role of the intelligentsia in this information war. Many have expressed concerns about the dominance of Armenians on the Russian federal TV channels, but I am sure that Russian viewers are tired to see and hear so many typical faces on TV. A thinking viewer will always question the following words preceding the start of the program Своя правда: "Roman Babayan will always find the truth." I understand that he is doing this with the full support of the absurdly overwhelming majority of his fellows but I am not sure that the search for truth is possible through profanation.
“Yes, the information war continues and will last for a long time. But I am happy to join it. I want to declare openly that I join the large army of my compatriots, who competently, correctly and bitingly prove the rightness of our state in all areas. Historically, geopolitically, culturally and spiritually. Azerbaijan won this difficult war. But our victory cost lives and energy of our sons. We will unequivocally prove to the whole world that our country is right. And the prominent Russian political scientist Maxim Shevchenko was infinitely right when he called Azerbaijan “the undisputed leader in the entire South Caucasus”. It is always joyful to be proud of your country when it is right. I did this not only during our victories but also during the many years of unbearable defeats. I would like to end my interview with a couple of lines from a wonderful song: “Azerbaijan, you are the most beloved. I bow my head. You deserve all the best! "