Political portrait

Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev, occupies a place in the history of the Azerbaijani state and memory of the people forever, he worked hard to see his nation happy and prosperous, and dedicated his life to it.

Heydar Aliyev was the first Azerbaijani who was appointed the chairman of the State Security Committee of Azerbaijan. He was the first Azerbaijani who was elected member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

July 14, 1969 is one of remarkable days in the life of the Azerbaijani people. On that day, Heydar Aliyev was elected the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan. As a leader leader, he was notable with his businesslike diligence, dedication, adherence to his principles. He faced the task of substantially reforming the economy of the country, changing it to an industrial country with the modern technology, making Baku more beautiful, reviving the Azerbaijani countryside and improving social, cultural conditions and education of people.

When Heydar Aliyev was the first secretary of the CC CP of Azerbaijan, these issues were successfully realized due to his administrative abilities in 1969-1982. Due to his purposeful activity, Azerbaijan became one of the developed countries of the former Soviet Union. New industrial enterprises, higher schools, museums, theatres, libraries opened in Baku, Sumgait, Nakhichevan and other places. Reconstruction of existing oil machinery plants and refineries, and also chemical enterprises started. Baku air conditioner plant, Baku champagne producing plant, refrigerator producing plant, electronic calculator plant, Sumgait compressor plant, Ganja "Bullur" (crystal) plant are the examples of that period.

Attaching great importance to the development of the industry, Heydar Aliyev paid special attention to the development of agriculture. As a result of purposeful agricultural policy of Heydar Aliyev, high economic indices and productivity were achieved in Azerbaijan in 1969-1982 in this sphere. Wine and cotton production reached the highest peak. In 1970-1982, annual average production of grain grew 1,9 times, vegetable 1,9 times fruits 2 times, 2,3 times in leaf of tea in comparaison with the past 13 years. It was an unprecedented development temp in the world.

One of the priorities in the development of Azerbaijan to which Heydar Aliyev attached great importance was to make the world get acquainted with the Azerbaijani literature, dramaturgy, art and culture as a whole. Important events as the jubilees of outstanding men of literature and of Azerbaijan art were held in and beyond the country, jubilees of the prominent Azerbaijani poets and thinkers Nizami Ganjavi and Nasimi, centenary of the Azerbaijani theatre. The Azerbaijani language received the status of the official language despite the resistance by many people. The remains of the repressed Azerbaijani poet Hussein Javid who died in the Siberian steppes were reburied in Azerbaijan. It was the remarkable period of the Azerbaijani culture. Generally, the Azerbaijani culture lived the period of its renaissance in 1969-1982.

One of the most important events of that period was the foundation of the military school named after G.Nakhichevanskiy. Hundreds of future officers received military education in this school. During the rule of Heydar Aliyev in the Soviet Azerbaijan thousands of Azerbaijani youth were sent to study in the best higher schools of the Soviet Union in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Kharkov and Minsk in professions necessary for the country. Heydar Aliyev fought against corruption, bribery and nepotism for the first time in the USSR. The 1970s-1980s are characterized as a period of renewal and dynamic development.

In the December of 1982 Heydar Aliyev was promoted to the post of the first Deputy Prime Minister of the USSR and actually became one of the leaders of the Soviet Union. Heydar Aliyev was controlling such important spheres as health, science, machinery, light industry, transport, communication, culture and education. The Soviet leadership entrusted him to lead the construction of the Baykal-Amur-Highway, one of the giant constructions of the past century. Due to his principled position, insistence and diligence, Heydar Aliyev could adequately manage this task. State programs were adopted on almost all the above mentioned spheres led by Heydar Aliyev.

Incapable policy of the Soviet leadership resulted in chaos in the country in a number of the spheres in the late 80s. Due to these reasons Heydar Aliyev resigned from his position in 1987 in protest against the policy of the Soviet leadership.

In January 1990, in the Azerbaijani mission in Moscow, he made a statement protesting against the brutality committed by the Soviet troops in Baku, Heydar Aliyev demanded the punishment of the organizers and executors of the crimes against the Azerbaijani people. Some analysts who considered it as an audacious step, evaluated it as his return to the great policy. In July 1991, Heydar Aliyev left the Communist Party protesting the hypocrite policy of the Soviet leadership connected with the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh. Arriving in Azerbaijan in July 1990, Heydar Aliyev was elected Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic and also Deputy-chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Incapability, unscrupulousness, indecisiveness and hasty steps of the administration of Azerbaijan in first years of independence were gradually leading Azerbaijan to collapse. The defeat in war with Armenia resulted in deep crisis in Azerbaijan. There was a real chaos in the country. In such a period, June 1993, the administration of that time invited Heydar Aliyev to the power, who was the chairman of the Supreme Assembly of Nakhichevan. In October 1993, elected as the President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev succeeded to introduce Azerbaijan to the world in a short time.

Heydar Aliyev chose the path of establishment of a legal and democratic state in Azerbaijan. In 1995 the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan was adopted. New progressive laws were adopted which caused radical changes in the judicial system of the country as a result of the realized reforms. Established on June 14, 1998, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan ensures the supremacy of the Constitution of Azerbaijan and personal freedom and rights of everybody. The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan builds its activity on the provisions of international documents. It allows to comply with the democratic norms and standards adopted by Europe and the whole world in its proceedings.

Construction activities in the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, structural changes, planning of combat operations under a single leadership, management of the military units according to the demands of military science gave new quality to the Azerbaijani army.

After the establishment of socio-political stability as a result of the systematic and appropriate policy decline in production and fall in economy were gradually overcome and a new stage in the economic development of Azerbaijan began. The achieved macroeconomic stability, increase in industry and other spheres, the initial results of economic reforms were incarnation of the steps of Azerbaijan in the path of market economy.

Beginning from 1996, development tendencies in the economy of the country, positive results achieved in different spheres created conditions for strengthening the social policy of the state. During Heydar Aliyev`s term a number of important steps were taken to increase the wages and pensions of citizens.

In 1999, municipality elections were held in Azerbaijan as an evidence of democracy. Municipality institution was established and their working mechanism, status and authorities were determined under leadership of Heydar Aliyev. Establishment and activity of municipalities was one of the bright evidences of Azerbaijan`s stride in the path of democracy.

Talking about the principal directions of his activity as President, Heydar Aliyev noted: "The economy of the country was almost destroyed and the welfare of the people fell. But the socio-economic situation of the country, its natural resources and existing funds allow to overcome the crisis. On the other hand, we must move towards market economy by conducting new reforms." When elected the President of Azerbaijani in 1993, there was 20-23 percent decline in the GDP of the country. As a result of the urgent steps taken under Heydar Aliyev`s leadership, the economy overcame the recession and a breakthrough began in 1994-1995. The recession was prevented and revival started since 1996. Economic reforms provided the improvement of financial situation in the country and there was an increase in the state budget each year.

Great attention was paid to privatization in the reform system of Heydar Aliyev. He led hard and efficient work connected with the development of the privatization program. At his initiative "Program of privatization of the national property in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 1995-1998" was developed.

One of the spheres to which Heydar Aliyev attached great importance was land and the system of relations connected with it. In 1996, the agrarian reforms and land reforms were realized. Lands were given to peasants free of charge and a real ground was founded to establish new agrarian relations. As a result of these reforms, lands were given to citizens forever, the most fertile of the lands were privatized, citizens residing in the republic were granted rights of use and rent the lands independently of.

Beginning from the second half of 1993, radical changes took place in the foreign policy of Azerbaijan. At first Azerbaijan determined its place in the system of international relations, its short-term priorities, directions and leading strategy contacts with the European countries, the United States, newly independent states, Turkic states and Turkey, the Muslim world, Iran, Asia, Africa and South America. One of the most important achievements of the foreign policy conducted by Heydar Aliyev was the affiliation of Azerbaijan with the Council of Europe and integration into the European family in the beginning of 2001.

Solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was one of the priorities of Heydar Aliyev`s foreign policy. After Heydar Aliyev`s historical return to power in 1993, his activity for the settlement of the conflict, bilateral and multilateral meetings with the heads of states and delegations, discussions with the Minsk Group co-chairmen at the OSCE summits, as well as tête-à-tête meetings with the Armenian presidents were important parts of Heydar Aliyev`s foreign policy.

Along with political and economic problems Heydar Aliyev paid special attention to the sphere of culture. The state rendered support to the men of art and culture as the welfare of the country improved. The Azerbaijani culture of lived the period of its prosperity thanks to the support and attention of Heydar Aliyev. Celebrations of anniversaries of outstanding men of Azerbaijan and national holidays were held by orders and decrees issued by Heydar Aliyev. Examples may serve the solemn celebrations of the 1300th the anniversary of the most ancient written monument of the Azerbaijani people "Kitabi-Dede-Korgut" and 500th anniversary of the great Azerbaijani poet Mohammed Fuzuly.

Outstanding politicians, heads of states and governments, men of culture and science expressed their cordial words about Heydar Aliyev, famous and genius politician. They appreciated Heydar Aliyev as a prominent politician and strong statesman. We quote some of them:

George W. Bush: "Heydar Aliyev was the most important person in the Southern Caucasus for long time. His personal efforts were vital in the establishment of friendly relations between the United States and Azerbaijan from which they profit today. Namely under his leadership the US and Azerbaijan became partners in fight against terrorism including operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the same time his position and efforts played a major role in the encouragement of foreign investment, strengthening economic development of Azerbaijan. These achievements improved life conditions of millions of Azerbaijanis, and created conditions for Azerbaijan to enter the 21st century as a modern state".

Jacques Chirac (French President in 1995-2007): "This extraordinary personality led Azerbaijan to the way of prosperity. At our different meetings, especially in discussions around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, I highly appreciatec his courage, wisdom and firmness in the peaceful settlement of the conflict".

Receb Tayyib Erdogan: (Turkish Prime Minister): "Heydar Aliyev occupied an honorable place in the Turkic and world history for his extraordinary services and contributions to the happiness and prosperity of Azerbaijan and peace in the region and world".

Islam Karimov (President of Uzbekistan): "Heydar Aliyev`s role is matchless in establishing and strengthening the independence of Azerbaijan, in increasing its international prestige, in developing of bilateral relations between our countries and peoples".

Pope John Paul II (Pope of Rome in 1978-2005): "Under the leadership of the prominent statesman Heydar Aliyev, the Republic of Azerbaijan occupied a worthy place in the world community. I closely pursue and support the works in the sphere of building a legal state and realization of economic reforms in Azerbaijan".

Chingiz Aytmatov (famous Kyrgyz writer): " Heydar Aliyev is one of the builders of the present-day democratic Eurasia, as one of the prominent leaders of the 20th century."