Yanki's trip to Baku

Dear friends. On a short term I decided to go to Baku from June 18 till June 21 for talks related to our planned election observation mission. Elnur Sadiqli’s help was very fruitful. So I was able to meet many people although I decided on the last minute to go to Baku. Members of Yeni Fikir/New Idea met me at the airport. Most of them wear the colour orange which became the symbol for free and fair elections.

4 articles in 3 newspapers were published about the trip and LYMEC’s election observation plans. Now we are known in Baku. I visited one more newspaper and informed everybody about our mission plans. I had two interviews with RFE/RL, a short one in english and a longer one in azeri. A short version is on the RFE/RL website. I will try also to contact BBC. I have uploaded some documents to the EOM maillists website. Please send all articles on Azerbaijan in ANY! language to the EOM maillist. I forward them to the organizations in Baku and it gives them moral support.

I met with MP Ali Kerimli from the People’s Front, his deputy Fuad Mustafayev, Musavat deputy leader Arif Hajili (he was imprisoned after the October 2003 protests) and MP Siyavus Novruzov from YAP/New Azerbaijan (ruling party, EPP member in the CoE). I had no time to meet ADP (SerdarJalaloglu) and the YES block but I met two leaders of the Young Azerbaijan-New Names block. I have a long list of contacts which I will provide later. I was told that Musavat is coming closer to LDR/ELDR/LI. The Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation in Baku and MP Novruzov are willing to assist us with the international observer application at the CEC.

June 18 the first big demonstration since years (was allowed and) took place. It was a big success. The police did not let everybody enter the Gelebe (Victory) square. But the square was full. The opposition is united. Many people in Baku daily wear orange.

With Azer Hasret (CASCFEN, JUHIAZ) I had a very good meeting. We talked a lot about the situation in Azerbaijan. He told me he wants to be an independant candidate in Baku (against the Freedom Block). When I told about our mission, he said he would switch as a Freedom Block candidate to his native northern region of Xacmaz/Hachmaz if we would be there with 20 STOs. Many fear that outside Baku with few observers elections will be hard. I told him we will not be able to decide on our location until shortly before the elections.

I met constantly people from Yeni Fikir/New Idea. I had meetings with Dalga and Meqam. I saw Yokh and spoke for a minute with Cagri. I have some of their papers. Of them Yeni Fikir seems very interesting to me and they don’t have a sponsor! I hope in the coming months youth organizations from Europe will start cooperation with them. Most youth movements are with people you would expect on a continental European campus! And the most exciting, everybody speaks about liberal democracy and european values. They all asked about LYMEC membership. With an succesfull election observation mission, we could spread our vision to Azerbaijan, start good cooperation and help building democracy in Azerbaijan. There seems to be another youth organization called Son/End.

After the Ukraine elections the expression “KTO SLEDUSHIY” appeared. It means “WHO IS NEXT”. Azerbaijan could be next, if Europe would not only talk about its values, but also act. I am sure pressure for free and fair elections will work. Things can develop very negatively in Azerbaijan if after 10 years of undemocratic elections we will have another one. The democratic opposition will be weakened and the people will move away from European and democratic values. People complained that there is no activity of Germany, France and Italy in Azerbaijan. This could be because Azerbaijan bought some Airbus planes. What a shame! The ambassadors of Norway and USA are very involved in democracy support. They visit the opposition leaders in jail, at the court, meet them when they need assistance and now during a hunger strike for freedom of education. This has to be common for all EU-25 members! I think we have to pressure our governments and parliaments to push for free and fair elections and democracy support.

I heard so unbelievable things in Baku that I have to revise my thought of the current regime. I hope some of us can go to Baku in the next weeks to give moral support and to get information from the spot. In the next days I will write again about some details of activities for the next weeks. All youth organizations united and started a hunger strike because of of the Yeni Fikir/New Idea members was expelled from the university. If we get the contact details of the university president we should start mailing and ringing him.

LYMEC is now known in Baku and people wish us to be active. I am sure our work for LYMEC will be rewarded with good success and cooperation.

Thanks for your interest and bye with the hope for your support, Yanki Pursun LYMEC IMS Julis Germany

For more information, contact Yanki: fyp@gmx.de

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