May 10, 2004

Opening of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation was held in Baku

On May 10 - birthday of founder of Azerbaijan State, national leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev, a solemn opening of the "Heydar Aliyev Fund" was held near Baku Azneft Square, Niyazi Street at the building designed in national architecture style.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the ceremony. The Head of State was warmly greeted by the audience. Establishment of the Fund was dictated by people's desire and intention to express their respect to the memory of national leader Heydar Aliyev, by the need to reflect the eternally alive character of Heydar Aliyev's political thinking, by aspiration to underlined the significance of the Heydar Aliyev's philosophy of Azerbaijanism for our country in the globalizing world, and importance of constant education of new generations in the spirit of ideas of the national statehood created by Heydar Aliyev.

The Fund's objective is to maintain realization of the large-scale programs serving study of rich heritage of our national leader Heydar Aliyev, its use in the name of our country's and its people's progress, to promote activities aimed at protection of national and spiritual values, propaganda of the idea of Azerbaijanism and Azerbaijani culture, involvement in the projects aimed at strengthening economic power of the independent Azerbaijan Republic, support various programs implemented for improvement of the people's welfare, projects providing development of science, education, culture, healthcare and sports in the country, as well as to educate new generations to be devoted to national and spiritual values, and promote activities to increase international prestige of Azerbaijan.

President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva, state and government officials, representatives of foreign states in Baku and public have seen the film made on the base of the documentaries shot in different times and kept in the personal archive of the great leader, outstanding son of the Turkish world Heydar Aliyev.

After that, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made a speech.


- Dear Friends!

- Esteemed Guests!

Most of the exhibits we have been viewing now here has been taken from Heydar Aliyev’s private and family archive. May be the majority of them is presented to the auditorium for the first time. We thought we had to do this.

Heydar Aliyev is a person of genius, an eminent political figure and builder of a modern Azerbaijan. But, at the same time, Heydar Aliyev was a very kind father and  caring grandfather. He was a very dear friend. His personal character was very familiar to us, to his family members. I, my sister and our children had always appealed to him in connection with important for us matters, and we had always heard advice, words of a true father, and were taken care of.

Today is a birthday of Heydar Aliyev, and it is the first time we mark it without him. This is a great test and sorrow for all of us, those who knew him, loved him and worked with him. Usually, this day was an ordinary day for us. I mean, it used to be marked without any special event. He had always been against it. Sometimes we had proposals as to how to mark the birthday, but he used to say “this is an ordinary day, a significant day for our family”. We had always marked this day in a family circle, with members of our family.

In 1993, may be for the first time, we marked the 70th jubilee of Heydar Aliyev in a wider circle. At that time he lived in Nakhchyvan. He was the Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchyvan. People working with him in Nakhchyvan had organized a party in this connection. His friends, relatives had gathered, his supporters, activists of the New Azerbaijan Party had come from Baku. It was a difficult time. The then leadership of Azerbaijan was trying to exert a pressure on Heydar Aliyev and actually there were some pressures. Of course, increasing influence of Heydar Aliyev was disquieting those sitting in Baku. Therefore, those, who had visited him in Nakhchyvan, were, in a true sense of word, his supporters. Certainly, one had to be courageous to come there.

I remember it being a very nice day. Heydar Aliyev too was very happy. We all were very happy. It was a very nice day. In about a month since that day, Heydar Aliyev came to Baku at the request of the people, came to power and, since then Azerbaijan’s development started.

In 1970s and 1980s, while Heydar Aliyev was holding high positions in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan had always made achievements. Azerbaijan’s development pace was much higher  as compared with those of other allied republics. New enterprises, industrial establishments and cultural institutions were created. All these issues were given great attention. Almost all republics were at the same level, but a lot depended on the republic’s leader. He had always tried to bring new technologies and companies to Azerbaijan. He used all opportunities to make Azerbaijan grow. Many buildings and palaces that beautify today Baku in architectural terms were constructed at that time. The then statistics showed that only two republics in the Soviet Union operated with profit. One of them was Azerbaijan. All others were on subsidy.

Companies that play a significant role in Azerbaijan’s economic potential were created by him in those years. If we don’t take these companies into account, we would see that Azerbaijan could not have developed with such a pace. Had these companies not been created in Azerbaijan in those years, we would have faced great hardships today. In those years, other spheres of Azerbaijan had also developed.

Just following his initiative, first time in the Soviet Union after Moscow, a school with military bias was created in Azerbaijan. Named after Jamshid Nakhchyvanski, this school is still operating and trains professional military personnel for the Azerbaijani Army. But, as you know, not everyone could think of such an idea. A person doing it was looking far ahead. He felt that one day Azerbaijan would become independent and it would need an independent army and officers serving in the Army, and generals would be needed. I think and I’m confident that this school was created for this purpose. We can cite a number of such examples and cases. The whole life and activity of Heydar Aliyev served just one aim. Azerbaijanism, serving the state of Azerbaijan, the people of Azerbaijan, our nation were his life’s most principal objective.

After returning to power in 1993, he has spent his life to serving his people. Until 1993, Azerbaijan was almost on the verge of destruction. Processes occurring in the country were wrecking Azerbaijan,  and the country was experiencing economic, political and military crisis. Azerbaijan was in a state of war. Our lands were occupied. At the same time, a civil war had started. Had Heydar Aliyev not returned to power at the people’s request then, in 1993,  the country could have separated. The country was almost isolated from all processes occurring in the world. In that difficult period and circumstances, he had neither weapons, nor an army. He had only a political will, faith and support. Having relied on this support, within ten years he brought Azerbaijan from crisis to progress. Today Azerbaijan is moving forward confidently, and all spheres are developing.

Azerbaijan was freed from international isolation. Today Azerbaijan  has its significant place on the international arena, is an active member of international organizations. It has been recognized by all countries. Azerbaijan enjoys great respect. Azerbaijan has a decisive say in regional issues.   No project may be implemented in the region without Azerbaijan’s participation. Thus, Azerbaijan has become a centre for the region. Our influence and strength is increasing. This will allow us to resolve all forthcoming issues for our benefit. All these are Heydar Aliyev’s services.

I would like to once more underscore that Azerbaijan’s economy was in a destroyed condition. Enterprises had stopped, there was no production. Economic decline was measured in hundreds of percents and the crises experienced in the country until 1996 had negatively influenced on all of us. But, due to his economic policy, Azerbaijan revived quickly, conducting essential reforms in the country. Today, Azerbaijan occupies the first place among the former Soviet republics by the rate of development. Azerbaijan is in the first place by the volume of per capita foreign investment. This is the result of Heydar Aliyev’s policy and his works.

You know, people very quickly become accustomed to good conditions. Sometimes it seems it should have been so. No, had Heydar Aliyev not come to power in 1993, it would have been quite different, and no one could have thought how.

The Armenian-Azerbaijani war was put an end to, ceasefire achieved and this regime allowed us to revive our economy and other spheres. If we compare today the country, which committed an aggression against us, and Azerbaijan,  we would see whose condition is better. Azerbaijan’s perspectives will allow us to achieve what we want. Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity will be restored, occupied lands taken back. This is one of the directions of our policy, and Heydar Aliyev did much endeavours to deliver the truth about Armenian-Azerbaijani, Daghlyg Garabagh conflict to the whole world. As a result of works and promotion done during these years, just idea was created in the world community of this conflict.

A lot has been done also in army building. In 1993, Azerbaijan had no army. There were separate groups. Those groups had certain goals, and every political organization had its own group. A strong army has been created in Azerbaijan, due to Heydar Aliyev’s goal-directed activity. Today the Azerbaijani Army is able to solve every task before the state. As Azerbaijan’s economic potential strengthens and our country becomes  rich, of course, our military potential will become stronger, and this would allow us to solve   all forthcoming issues for our own benefit. I believe and I’m confident this will be so.

There are other issues, citing all of which would take much time. There is no single area, where there was no progress for the last 10 years. Azerbaijan has been experiencing a period of renaissance in the spheres of science, culture and art too.

In terms of history, ten years are not so long. But, so much work has been done for the last ten years. Azerbaijan has made so much achievement. We are indebted to our national leader Heydar Aliyev for all these achievements.

Today we are holding a ceremony of presentation of a Foundation named after him. This idea is not new.  A few years ago, there was such an idea to create a “Heydar Aliyev Foundation”. He too endorsed this idea, but we could not implement this idea. We think today we need such a Foundation. This Foundation has already been created. The Foundation will study, analyse and promote Heydar Aliyev’s political heritage. There are great tasks before the Foundation. The Foundation is a public organization. I hope the Foundation will play a great role in the public life of the Azerbaijani society.

Today Heydar Aliyev is not with us, but his physical absence should not make us pessimists. His ideas are living, his policy pursued, his philosophy, the philosophy of Azerbaijanism, his ideology and built by him modern Azerbaijan lives and develops. It is our duty to develop our Homeland by his way. It is our duty to keep his policy alive, to make Azerbaijan stronger and take to future as he wanted. I’m confident we will do it.

At the elections held the last year, people once more endorsed Heydar Aliyev’s policy. There is no alternative to this policy in Azerbaijan. This policy has brought great successes to Azerbaijan, and I’m confident it will bring more successes. Thank you.

During the Foundation’s opening ceremony on May 10, President Ilham Aliyev received Head of the Georgian President ‘s Administration Irakli Chubitashvili.

Irakli Chubitashvili delivered sincere greeting of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to the Head of the Azerbaijani State.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev expressed gratitude with peaceful solution of an issue associated  with Ajarystan, asked to deliver his greetings and best wishes to the President of Georgia.

Irakli Chubitashvili presented the letter given by President Mikheil Saakashvili to President Ilham Aliyev.

Then President received Deputy Russian Minister for Culture and Mass Communications Michael Shvidkoy, then our fellow countrymen Yuli and Michael Gusmans.

Having greeted the guests, the Head of our State expressed his gratitude for coming to our country in such a significant for our people day, and the attention shown to the memory of Heydar Aliyev.

Talking of Heydar Aliyev’s personality, Michael Shvidkoy said: "He was a person showing special attention to the mutual relations between Azerbaijan and Russia. Therefore, we could not miss this opportunity to come. "

President Ilham Aliyev emphasized that Heydar Aliyev had always recalled his meetings with representatives of creative people of Moscow, Russia with contentment.

Then President Ilham Aliyev watched the documentary called “For the sake of Azerbaijan” reflecting national leader Heydar Aliyev’s life and activity and devoted to   his path of life, and familiarized himself with exhibits displayed in the Foundation’s sections. Exhibits reflecting various moments of Heydar Aliyev’s life give complete idea of the richest period of the Azerbaijani history. Among them, there are numerous photos covering Heydar Aliyev’s childhood, adolescence and youth periods, as well as his political activity, presents given to President Heydar Aliyev by great political leaders of the world, items he used while living in Moscow, Azerbaijan, including Nakhchyvan, and books written about our national leader.  

By entering the database reflecting Heydar Aliyev’s life and activity through a separate Internet line, it is impossible to receive information about this wise personality’s multilateral public and political activity.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev wrote his heartfelt words in the Honoured Guests Book:

"Today is a birthday of national leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev. A ceremony of presentation of the Foundation  named after him was held on this holiday. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation will study, analyse and promote  the political heritage of builder of a modern Azerbaijan  Heydar Aliyev.

The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is a public organization and will play an important role in Azerbaijan’s public life. Heydar Aliyev’s ideas and thoughts are living. Heydar Aliyev’s policy, ideology live and will live for ever. Heydar Aliyev’s modern Azerbaijan will confidently move forward to new achievements.


Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev

10 May 2004.


Chairman of the Milli Majlis Murtuz Alaskarov, Prime Minister Artur Rasizadeh, Head of the Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev, deputy chairmen of the Parliament and deputy prime ministers, members of the Milli Majlis  and other officials attended the ceremony.