Ilham Aliyev
President of Azerbaijan
Ilham Aliyev
Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev is the President of Azerbaijan, having been elected in 2003. He also functions as the Chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party and the head of the National Olympic Committee. Apart from his native Azerbaijani, he speaks English and Russian. Ilham Aliyev is the son of Heydar Aliyev, who was Azerbaijan's president from 1993-2003.
Biography
Ilham Aliyev's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Ilham Aliyev from around the web
Pope Francis: Don't Use God To Justify Fundamentalism
Huffington Post - 5 months
Pope Francis visited a mosque in overwhelmingly Muslim Azerbaijan on Sunday and told leaders of all faiths that God should never be used to justify fundamentalism.  “From this highly symbolic place, a heartfelt cry rises up once again: no more violence in the name of God! May his most holy name be adored, not profaned or bartered as a commodity through forms of hatred and human opposition,” he said. “God cannot be used for personal interests and selfish ends; he cannot be used to justify any form of fundamentalism, imperialism or colonialism,” the pope said in an address to Muslims, Christians, Jews and members of other faiths at the mosque, named after Azerbaijan’s late president Heydar Aliyev. Francis has made similar appeals before and also has visited mosques on his world travels. But his visit to Azerbaijan, whose population of about 9 million people are mostly Shi’ite Muslims, was the first time he had made such an appeal from inside the main prayer hall of a mosque ...
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Huffington Post article
Pope visits Azerbaijan on Caucasus peace tour
Yahoo News - 5 months
The pontiff held a mass for the country's tiny Catholic community in the capital Baku ahead of a scheduled meeting with President Ilham Aliyev. The meeting comes just days after strongman Aliyev -- who is accused of ruthlessly stamping out dissent in the energy-rich country -- won a referendum on constitutional changes seen as consolidating his family's grip on power. "You are a little flock precious in God's eyes," the Pope said in his homily to the country's few hundred Catholics.
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Yahoo News article
Azerbaijan holds referendum to extend president's term
Reuters.com - 5 months
BAKU, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan held a referendum on Monday on extending the presidential term from five to seven years, a step that a European democracy watchdog said would hand unprecedented power to President Ilham Aliyev.
Article Link:
Reuters.com article
Azerbaijan announces ceasefire in breakaway region
Reuters.com - 11 months
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev announces a unilateral ceasefire with Armenian-backed troops over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, but accuses Armenia of violating international law in the fighting and says his country will strengthen its army. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
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Reuters.com article
Azerbaijan announces ceasefire in breakaway region
Reuters.com - 11 months
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev announces a unilateral ceasefire with Armenian-backed troops over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, but accuses Armenia of violating international law in the fighting and says his country will strengthen its army. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
Article Link:
Reuters.com article
Azerbaijan has weathered oil shock with minimal losses - RIA cites president
Reuters.com - about 1 year
MOSCOW, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, said in Munich on Friday his country had emerged from the collapse in global oil prices with "minimal losses", Russia's RIA...
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Reuters.com article
Protests rattle Azerbaijan as oil price slump hits economy
Yahoo News - about 1 year
Hit hard by falling oil prices, ex-Soviet Azerbaijan has plunged into an economic crisis that has seen rare protests shake the authorities in the tightly-controlled nation. The government -- which under strongman Ilham Aliyev allows few signs of dissent -- sent in troops to quell the unrest in the city of Siazan and several other provincial towns where tear gas, water cannon, and rubber bullets were reportedly used against stone-throwing protesters. The government blamed opposition activists for staging riots, an accusation they rejected as groundless.
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Yahoo News article
Azerbaijan frees rights activist from prison
Yahoo News - about 1 year
By Nailia Bagirova BAKU (Reuters) - Azerbaijan on Wednesday released Leyla Yunus, a leading rights activist in the former Soviet republic, whose imprisonment was decried by critics as politically motivated. Yunus, the head of the Baku-based Institute for Peace and Democracy, had been held in detention since July 2014. Critics of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev accuse him and his government of cracking down on dissent in the oil-producing country to block the rise of any political opposition.
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Yahoo News article
Azerbaijan says 29 missing after oil platform fire feared dead
Reuters.com - about 1 year
BAKU (Reuters) - Azeri state energy company SOCAR said that 29 workers missing after its oil platform in the Caspian Sea caught fire on Friday were feared dead, and President Ilham Aliyev declared a day of national mourning.
Article Link:
Reuters.com article
Dozens Feared Dead In Fire At Azerbaijan Oil Rig
Huffington Post - about 1 year
BAKU, Dec 5 (Reuters) - At least one worker was killed and 30 others were missing on Saturday after an Azeri oil platform caught fire during high winds in the Caspian Sea on Friday, state energy company SOCAR said. As hopes of finding survivors faded, SOCAR said a severe storm was hampering rescue efforts at its platform in the Guneshli oil field. "One body was found and a search-and-rescue operation for 30 missing workers is under way," it said in a statement, adding that 32 workers had been safely evacuated. Earlier on Saturday, the head of Azerbaijan's Oil Workers' Rights Protection Committee, Mirvari Gakhramanly, told Reuters 32 workers had died and 42 had been rescued overnight. The fire started after the storm damaged a natural gas pipeline, causing the platform's partial collapse. Oil production on 28 oil wells linked to the facility was suspended and all oil and gas pipelines, which link the platform with the land, were blocked as a safety precaution, SOCAR a ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Dozens Feared Dead In Fire At Azerbaijan Oil Rig
Huffington Post - about 1 year
BAKU, Dec 5 (Reuters) - At least one worker was killed and 30 others were missing on Saturday after an Azeri oil platform caught fire during high winds in the Caspian Sea on Friday, state energy company SOCAR said. As hopes of finding survivors faded, SOCAR said a severe storm was hampering rescue efforts at its platform in the Guneshli oil field. "One body was found and a search-and-rescue operation for 30 missing workers is under way," it said in a statement, adding that 32 workers had been safely evacuated. Earlier on Saturday, the head of Azerbaijan's Oil Workers' Rights Protection Committee, Mirvari Gakhramanly, told Reuters 32 workers had died and 42 had been rescued overnight. The fire started after the storm damaged a natural gas pipeline, causing the platform's partial collapse. Oil production on 28 oil wells linked to the facility was suspended and all oil and gas pipelines, which link the platform with the land, were blocked as a safety precaution, SOCAR a ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ilham Aliyev
    FIFTIES
  • 2013
    Age 51
    In 2013, Ilham Aliyev faced criticism from the United States and Amnesty International for election 'irregularities' along with crackdowns against journalists and opposition activists, including the jailing of election monitors.
    More Details Hide Details Ilham Aliyev's image remains largely controversial. He has been criticized for his authoritarian rule and sometimes described as the head of corruption in Europe by analysts and political commentators. Aliyev's government has been listed as one of the most corrupt in Europe by Transparency International.
    In the 2013 presidential elections, held on 9 October, Aliyev won with 85 percent of the vote, thus securing a third five-year term.
    More Details Hide Details A day before voting began, a smartphone application run by the Central Election Commission showed Aliyev winning the election with 72.76 percent of the vote, suggesting that the election results were prefabricated. Azerbaijani officials claimed the results were those of the 2008 election, yet the candidates listed were from the 2013 ballot. Aliyev's main rivals in the election were Jamil Hasanli and Igbal Agazade.
  • 2012
    Age 50
    In 2012 the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) named Ilham Aliyev Person of the Year (a title bestowed for figuring prominently in 2012 on stories on crime and corruption) after "well-documented evidence" revealed that "his family has secret ownership stakes in the country’s largest businesses including bank, construction companies, gold mines and phone companies".
    More Details Hide Details According to ICIJ latest report, Aliyev's family has been a shareholder of big offshore companies. As reported by The Washington Post and Mail Online, Aliyev's two daughters share a property portfolio of about £50 million – across Dubai, Paris and London and Aliyev's 11-year-old son in Dubai owns "nine waterfront mansions" with a total price of "about $44 million – or roughly 10,000 years' worth of salary for the average citizen of Azerbaijan". On 3 April 2016 an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released leak of documents on offshore companies created by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. It revealed Aliyev's family ties to offshore companies controlling major sectors of Azerbaijan's economy. According to leakage "The family of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev leads a charmed, glamorous life, thanks in part to financial interests in almost every sector of the economy. His wife, Mehriban, owns banks, insurance and construction companies, a television station and a line of cosmetics. Their eldest daughter, Leyla, editor of Baku magazine, and her sister, Arzu, have financial stakes in a firm that won rights to mine for gold in the western village of Chovdar and Azerfon, the country’s largest mobile phone business. Arzu is also a significant shareholder in SW Holding, which controls nearly every operation related to Azerbaijan Airlines ("Azal"), from meals to airport taxis. Both sisters and brother Heydar own property in Dubai valued at roughly $75 million in 2010; Heydar is the legal owner of nine luxury mansions in Dubai purchased for some $44 million.
    In 2012, Aliyev convinced the government of Hungary to transfer convicted murderer Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan to complete the rest of his prison term.
    More Details Hide Details While attending a NATO-sponsored English-language course in Hungary, Safarov had murdered an Armenian lieutenant who was also taking the course, Gurgen Margaryan, while Margaryan was asleep. Safarov had been tried and sentenced to life imprisonment in Hungary. However, after being extradited to Azerbaijan, Safarov received a hero's welcome; he was promoted to the rank of major, and given an apartment and over eight years of back pay, covering the time he had spent in jail. Aliyev has been cited as calling all Armenian people in the world as the enemies of Azerbaijan, and as regularly threatening to take over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the entire Armenian Republic through military force. In 2008, Aliyev declared that “Nagorno Karabakh will never be independent; the position is backed by international mediators as well; Armenia has to accept the reality" and that "in 1918, Yerevan was granted to the Armenians. It was a great mistake. The khanate of Iravan was the Azeri territory, the Armenians were guests there."
  • FORTIES
  • 2011
    Age 49
    Repeated protests were staged against Aliyev's rule in 2011, calling for more democracy and the ouster of the government. Aliyev responded by ordering a security crackdown, using force to crush attempts at revolt in Baku. Officials loyal to the president dismissed protesters' comparison of Azerbaijan to other countries considered to be part of the same revolutionary wave that rocked North Africa and Western Asia beginning in December 2010, and Aliyev rejected the precedent set by leaders in Armenia, Oman, Jordan, and other affected states by refusing to make concessions.
    More Details Hide Details Well over 400 Azerbaijanis were arrested after protests began in March 2011. Opposition leaders, including Musavat's Isa Gambar, vowed to continue demonstrating, although police had little difficulty stopping protests almost as soon as they began. Amnesty International in its Media Briefing of 2012 reported that the "crackdown on the free speech has intensified in recent years". The report highlighted that "In Azerbaijan, people who exercise this fundamental right of speech to criticise President Ilham Aliyev, his family or government, risk being threatened, attacked or imprisoned – whether they do so on- or off-line".
  • 2010
    Age 48
    The 2010 parliamentary elections produced a Parliament completely loyal to Aliyev: for the first time in Azerbaijani history, not a single candidate from the main opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front or Musavat parties was elected.
    More Details Hide Details The Economist subsequently scored Azerbaijan as an authoritarian regime, at 140th place (out of 167) in its 2011 Democracy Index.
  • 2009
    Age 47
    In 2009, following his reelection as president, Aliyev passed a referendum which removed the presidential consecutive term limit, thereby allowing him to run for president as many times as he wishes.
    More Details Hide Details The opposition claimed this to be a violation of the Azerbaijani constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • 2008
    Age 46
    Ilham Aliyev was re-elected in 2008 with 87% of the polls, while opposition parties boycotted the elections. In a constitutional referendum in 2009, term limits for the presidency were abolished and freedom of the press was restricted.
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  • 2006
    Age 44
    In April 2006, President Aliyev made a state visit to Washington, D.C. It was a remarkably successful trip, at least in terms of image.
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  • 2005
    Age 43
    Opposition groups said that an official meeting with President Bush sent an inappropriate signal that the violence and intimidation of the 2005 parliamentary election was now a closed matter.
    More Details Hide Details In 2010, WikiLeaks uncovered a diplomatic cable dispatched by the US Embassy in the Republic of Azerbaijan, part of the cache of documents obtained by the WikiLeaks website, that explicitly compared Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to a mafia crime boss, leaving many to wonder if his government was actually democratic and whether people truthfully believed that Azerbaijan does not repress minority populations. A number of groups have also complained to the Commission on Human Rights for the purpose of adopting a resolution, which urges Azerbaijan to guarantee the preservation of the cultural, religious and national identity of the Talysh people in light of repeated claims of repression.
    On March 26, 2005, Aliyev was officially elected as the ruling New Azerbaijan Party chairman.
    More Details Hide Details The opposition denounced this as a violation of state laws, because according to the law on political parties, the president should have no party affiliation.
  • 2003
    Age 41
    The official results of the October 15, 2003, elections gave victory to Ilham Aliyev, who earned 76.84% of the votes.
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    In October 2003, Heydar Aliyev, suffering failing health, stepped down as President.
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    In August 2003, two months prior to the presidential elections, he was appointed as Prime Minister.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1995
    Age 33
    In 1995, Aliyev was elected to the National Assembly of Azerbaijan; later he became president of the National Olympic Committee (still incumbent) and head of the Azerbaijan delegation to the Council of Europe.
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  • 1994
    Age 32
    In May or June 1994, Ilham Aliyev was appointed as vice-president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR).
    More Details Hide Details He participated as one of the key figures during the negotiations between the Azerbaijani government and Western oil companies during the conclusion of new contracts now known as the "Contract of the Century".
  • 1993
    Age 31
    Ilham Aliyev is the son of Heydar Aliyev, who was President of Azerbaijan from 1993 to 2003.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1985
    Age 23
    From 1985 to 1990 Aliyev lectured at MSUIR.
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    In 1985 he received a PhD degree in history.
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  • 1983
    Age 21
    Ilham Aliyev married Mehriban Aliyeva in Baku on 22 December 1983.
    More Details Hide Details They have three children: Leyla, Arzu and Heydar. Apart from his native Azerbaijani, he is fluent in English, French, Russian and Turkish.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1977
    Age 15
    In 1977, Aliyev entered the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-MSIIR) and in 1982 continued his education as a postgraduate.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1961
    Born
    Aliyev was born in Baku in 1961.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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