|President of Azerbaijan|
31 October 2003
|Prime Minister||Artur Rasizade|
|Preceded by||Heydar Aliyev|
|Prime Minister of Azerbaijan|
4 August 2003 – 4 November 2003
|Preceded by||Artur Rasizade|
|Succeeded by||Artur Rasizade|
|2nd Chariman of the New Azerbaijan Party|
31 October 2003
|Preceded by||Heydar Aliyev|
|Born||Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev
24 December 1961
Baku, Azerbaijan SSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||New Azerbaijan Party|
|Spouse(s)||Mehriban Aliyeva (née Pashayeva) (m. 1983)|
|Alma mater||Moscow State Institute of International Relations|
Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev (Azerbaijani: İlham Heydər oğlu Əliyev; born 24 December 1961) 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.
His tenure as president has been marred by widespread cases of political corruption, censorship, and human rights abuses in Azerbaijan and allegations of nepotism and the concentration of the country's wealth and resources in the hands of his family.
Aliyev was born in Baku. In 1977, Aliyev entered the Moscow State University of International Relations (MSUIR) and in 1982 continued his education as a postgraduate. In 1985 he received a PhD degree in history. From 1985-1990 Aliyev lectured at MSUIR. After the collapse of the USSR while his father was in power and the Nagorno Karabagh War was going on, Ilham was abroad in Turkey and Russia, and was known to be a gambler. In 1998, Heydar Aliyev abruptly ordered all casinos in Azerbaijan to be closed, as reports circulated that Ilham Aliyev was massively in debt to a shady Turkish gambling magnate.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (January 2012)|
In May or June 1994, Ilham Aliyev was appointed vice-president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). He participated as one of the key figures during the negotiations between Azerbaijani government and Western oil companies during the conclusion of new contracts now known as Contract of the century. The following year Aliyev was elected to the National Assembly of Azerbaijan and later became president of the National Olympic Committee (still incumbent) and head of the Azerbaijan delegation to the Council of Europe. In August 2003, two months prior to the presidential elections, he was appointed prime minister. In October, Heydar Aliyev, suffering failing health, stepped down as president. However, he maintains a large cult of personality and appointed his own son, an independent candidate, as his party's sole presidential candidate.
The official results of the October 15, 2003, elections gave victory to Ilham Aliyev, who earned 76.84% of the votes. However, the domestic opposition refused to accept the results and staged mass protests. The protests were due to alleged corruption and staging of elections.
The elections received harsh criticism from the international community, with many observers noting that they fell short of international standards and were accompanied by voter intimidation, unequal campaign opportunities for the candidates, and widespread violations of the electoral laws and process. The OSCE International Election Observation Mission noted a number of irregularities in the counting and tabulation. Human Rights Watch complained that Aliyev's election campaign had been supported by government resources and that the Central Election Commission and local election commissions had been stacked with its supporters, while local non-governmental organizations had been banned from monitoring the vote.
Opposition members and human rights activists complain that during Aliyev's presidency the human rights situation has not improved. Opposition mass meetings remained banned or were allowed to be held in remote parts of Baku, thus aiming at demoralizing and making it difficult for supporters of opposition to reach there, and the government has continued to pressure the opposition and independent press. In March 2005 under continued pressure from the international community, especially the Council of Europe, Aliyev released from prison many prominent members of the opposition, arrested during protests against the way the October 2003 election was conducted.
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.
Aliyev's government has been listed as one of the most corrupt in the world by Transparency International. 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". According to ICIJ latest report, Aliyev's family has been a shareholder of big offshore companies. As reported by The Washington Post and British 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 March 26, 2005, Aliyev was officially elected as the ruling New Azerbaijan Party chairman. 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.
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. Speaking at a public forum sponsored by the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations, Aliyev discussed oil, economic development, and democracy with an audience of reporters and others. The visit was capped with a private meeting in the White House with President George W. Bush, who told reporters that their discussion was "really interesting", although he also said the meeting was "candid" - sometimes a code word for "tense". 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.
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."
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.
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. The Economist subsequently scored Azerbaijan as an authoritarian regime, at 140th place out of 167, in its 2011 Democracy Index.
Repeated protests were staged against Aliyev's rule in 2011, calling for more democracy and the ouster of the government. Aliyev has responded by ordering a security crackdown, using force to crush attempts at revolt in Baku. Officials loyal to the president have dismissed protesters' comparison of Azerbaijan to other countries considered to be part of the same revolutionary wave that has rocked North Africa and Western Asia since December 2010, and Aliyev has rejected the precedent set by leaders in Armenia, Oman, Jordan, and other affected states by refusing to make concessions. Well over 400 Azerbaijanis have been arrested since protests began in March 2011. Opposition leaders, including Musavat's Isa Gambar, have vowed to continue demonstrating, although police have encountered little difficulty in stopping protests almost as soon as they begin. As president, Aliyev earns a salary of close to $230,000 a year. 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 [freedom 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".
In 2012, Aliyev convinced the government of Hungary to transfer convicted murderer Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan to complete the rest of his prison term. Safarov had murdered an Armenian lieutenant -Gurgen Margaryan, with an axe, in his sleep while they both attended a NATO-sponsored English-language course in Hungary. 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, given an apartment and over eight years of back pay covering the time he had spent in jail.
Ilham Aliyev married Mehriban Aliyeva in Baku on 22 December 1983. They have three children: Leyla, Arzu and Heydar. Aliyev's daughter Arzu, a television actress, model is the owner of millions of dollars worth of company shares and other assets such as Silk Way Bank and Sw Holding.
- Aliyev's photo is shown in the final frames of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) implying misleadingly that he is the president of Borat's fictionalised Kazakhstan.
- On February 22, 2012 American broadcaster CNBC aired the documentary "Filthy Rich", which explored the President Ilham Aliyev’s family's real estate holdings abroad.
- On 21 November 2009, Aliyev was also included in the book, 500 Most Influential Muslims of World.
Ilham Aliyev's major honors include:
- Former Soviet states
- Order of Honor (2003)
- Order of Yaroslav the Wise 1st degree (2008, awarded by Viktor Yushchenko)
- Order of Glory and Honor 1st degree (Орден Славы и Чести; 2010, conferred by Kirill I of Moscow)
- Order of St. Sergius I degree (Орден Преподобного Сергия Радонежского I степени (РПЦ))
- Order of Holy Prince Daniel of Moscow, I degree (Орден святого благоверного князя Даниила Московского I степени)
- Юбилейная медаль «10 лет Астане»
- Other countries
- Order of the Star of Romania (2004, awarded by Ion Iliescu)
- Grand Croix of the Légion d'honneur (2007, awarded by French Ambassador in Baku Bernard Chaffin)
- Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (2008, awarded by Lech Kaczyński)
- Gold Medal of the Greek Parliament (2009)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Three Stars (Latvia)
- Order of Abdulaziz al Saud (2005, awarded by Fahd of Saudi Arabia)
- Order of Mubarak Al-Kabeer (2009, Kuwait)
- Order of the Republic of Serbia (2013)
- International Organizations
- Medal For Distinction in Protection of CIS State Borders and Badge for Strengthening of Border Cooperation (2008)
- Order of Glory «Great Cordon» (International Military Sport Council)
- Order of Glory of the International Confederation of Sport Organizations of CIS countries
- Supreme Order of the Hall of Fame FILA "Legend of Sport";
- İhsan Doğramacı Prize of International Relations for Peace (Turkey)
- Лауреат «Гран-при» премии "Персона года 2009" (Russia)
- Лауреат премии "Друг журналистов"
- “Man of the Year” by «Balcanii şi Europa» magazine (Romania)
- Academic Institutions
- Honorary Professor of the Turkmenistan State University named after Makhtumkuli (Turkmenistan).
- Honorary Professor of the Belarusian State University
- Honorary Professor of Moscow State University (2008)
- Honorary Professor of L.N.Gumilev Eurasian National University (Kazakhstan)
- Honorary Professor of University of National and World Economy (Bulgaria)
- Honorary Doctor of Lincoln University (USA)
- Honorary Doctor of the Moscow State University of International Relations
- Honorary Doctor of Bilkent University (Turkey)
- Honorary Doctor of National Academy for Taxes (Ukraine)
- Honorary Doctor of Petroleum and Gas University of Ploesti (Romania)
- Honorary Doctor of Kyung Hee University (South Korea)
- Honorary Doctor of Jordan University (Jordan)
- Honorary Doctor of Social Sciences of the Corvinus University (Hungary)
- Honorary Doctor of the Kiev National University named after Taras Shevchenko (Ukraine)
- "President Biography". Government of Azerbaijan. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "Azerbaijan’s president to run for third term". The Times of Israel. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2013. "The 51-year-old Aliyev has been president of the authoritarian, oil-rich Caspian Sea nation since taking over from his ailing father Heydar in October 2003."
- Vincent, Rebecca (19 May 2013). "When the music dies: Azerbaijan one year after Eurovision". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 10 June 2013. "Over the past several years, Azerbaijan has become increasingly authoritarian, as the authorities have used tactics such as harassment, intimidation, blackmail, attack and imprisonment to silence the regime's critics, whether journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders, political activists, or ordinary people taking to the streets in protest."
- McGuinness, Damien (28 May 2013). "Cracking down on dissent in Ilham Aliyev's Azerbaijan". BBC News. Retrieved 10 June 2013. "But according to human rights groups, the charges are trumped up - an authoritarian government's attempt to stamp out any Arab Spring-style uprising, they say."
- Hiatt, Fred (7 February 2011). "Obama needs a freedom agenda he can believe in". Washington Post. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Scahill, Jeremy (2011). Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. London: Profile Books. p. 238. ISBN 9781847654786. "The board of directors includes senior executives from ExxonMobil, Chevron, Cono- coPhilips, and Coca-Cola, while the trustees include Azerbaijan's dictator, Ilham Aliyev, and top neoconservative Richard Perle."
- Neukirch, Ralf (4 January 2012). "A Dictator's Dream: Azerbaijan Seeks to Burnish Image Ahead of Eurovision". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Martin, Daniel (9 March 2011). "Now Prince Andrew comes under fire for links to ruler of second corrupt former Soviet state". Daily Mail. Retrieved 10 June 2013. "Prince Andrew has developed a 'close friendship' with a billionaire dictator accused of torturing protesters, and lobbied the president of another of the world's 'most corrupt' countries, it has emerged."
- Harris, Mike (7 November 2012). "Why is a crucial conference on internet freedom taking place in a dictatorship?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- Peck, Tom (1 November 2012). "The Prince, the brutal dictator and a friendship he just won't give up". The Independent. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Report".
- "Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper".
- "Azerbaijan: WikiLeaks Cable Compares Ilham Aliyev to Movie Mafia Bosses". EurasiaNet.org. 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- "Talysh: WS on the Case of the Talysh People". UNPO. 2006-03-12. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- The Guardian. Corruption index 2012 from Transparency International
- Transparency International. Azerbaijan out of Tune?
- OCCRP Names Aliyev "Person Of The Year". December 2012
- The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Offshore companies provide link between corporate mogul and Azerbaijan’s president
- Washington Post. Pricey real estate deals in Dubai raise questions about Azerbaijan's president
- MailOnline. Filthy rich: Britain's favourite dictatorship had so much oil its heiresses bathe in it... but beneath the fabulous wealth of Azerbaijan lurks very murky secrets
- Radio Liberty Azerbaijani President's Daughters Tied To Fast-Rising Telecoms Firm
- "ISN Security Watch - Mr Aliyev goes to Washington". isn.ethz.ch.
- "Azerbaijani president: Armenians are guests in Yerevan". REGNUM News Agency J. January 17, 2008.
- McGuinness, Damien (24 April 2011). "Azerbaijan cracks down hard on protests". BBC News. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- Schwirtz, Michael (4 April 2011). "Opposition in Azerbaijan Vows to Step Up Protests". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL MEDIA BRIEFING. AZERBAIJAN: HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES PLACED UNDER THE E-SPOTLIGHT. 29 October 2012
- "Ax Killer Pardon Reignites Caucasus War Fears in Oil-rich Region". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Azerbaijan Pardons and Frees Convicted Killer". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan".
- Filthy Rich about Aliyev. Full video
- "Azerbaijan: In Solidarity with Khadija Ismayilova". Human Rights House Foundation. March 16, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
- Cohn, Scott. "The Filthy Rich". CNBC. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
- "Azerbaijani president included in 500 most influential Muslims of world book".
- "Президент Азербайджана вошел в книгу 500 самых влиятельных мусульман мира" (in Russian).
- Алиев Ильхам Президент Республики Азербайджан. broken link
- "ЗА ЗАСЛУГИ — ОРДЕН ЧЕСТИ". Вышка. 30 мая 2003 года.
- Виктор Ющенко наградил Ильхама Алиева орденом князя Ярослава Мудрого І степени
- (Russian)"Президент Азербайджана награжден орденом Русской Православной церкви "Славы и Чести I степени"". News.Life.az. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
- "Завершился исторический визит Патриарха всея Руси Алексия в Азербайджан". Православие.Ру. 29.05.01.
- (French)"Le président azerbaïdjanais reçoit les insignes de Grand-Croix de la Légion d'honneur". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
- (Russian)"Ильхам Алиев награжден Большим крестом польского ордена "За заслуги"". Day.az. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
- "President of Azerbaijan honored with Gold Medal of Greek Parliament". APA. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
- Президенту Азербайджана Ильхаму Алиеву исполнилось 48 лет
- "ВСТРЕЧА ПРЕЗИДЕНТА АЗЕРБАЙДЖАНА ИЛЬХАМА АЛИЕВА И ЭМИРА ГОСУДАРСТВА". Газета Бакинский рабочий. 11.02.2009.
- (Russian)"Ильхам Алиев награжден высшими наградами Совета командующих пограничными войсками СНГ". Regionplus.az. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
- "Президенту Азербайджана Ильхаму Алиеву присуждена высшая награда – Гран-при ежегодной премии "Персона года 2009"". Информационное агентство TREND. 2010-02-26.
- "Президенту Азербайджана Ильхаму Алиеву вручена награда "Друг журналистов" (ФОТО)". Информационное агентство TREND. 2010-12-29.
- "ПРЕЗИДЕНТ АЗЕРБАЙДЖАНА ИЛЬХАМ АЛИЕВ ОБЪЯВЛЕН В РУМЫНИИ "ЧЕЛОВЕКОМ ГОДА"". Газета Бакинский рабочий.
- "Azerbaijani President is designated "Man of the Year" by "Balcanii si Europa" magazine". Financiarul. 26 Noiembrie 2010.
- "ПРЕЗИДЕНТ АЗЕРБАЙДЖАНА". Посольство Азербайджанской Республики в Республике Беларусь.
- "Ильхаму Алиеву присвоено звание почетного профессора Белорусского госуниверситета". The First News. 12 ноября 2009.
- "Студенты ФГП приняли участие во встрече с Президентом Азербайджана И.Г. Алиевым". Факультет глобальных процессов МГУ имени М.В. Ломоносова. 2008-02-22.
- Official Azerbaijan president website
- Official YouTube channel of the President of Azerbaijan
- BBC profile: Ilham Aliyev
- Political portrait of Ilham Aliyev
- Speeches, statements, interviews, declarations of the Azerbaijan Republic President Ilham Aliyev
- Ilham Aliyev and oil diplomacy of Azerbaijan
|Prime Minister of Azerbaijan
|President of Azerbaijan