Interview of Heydar Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the Turkish NTV Television - Ankara, May 6, 1997

Question: Mr. President, as you know, Russia entirely supports Armenia. Becasuse of that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict hasn`t been solved yet. Russia supplies Armenia with weapons regularly. In connection with it, it may be useful to establish cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey in this field, mayn`t it?

Heydar Aliyev: You know that I declared today in the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Russia has a military base and military staff in Armenia. Furthermore, there is an agreement on military cooperation between Russia and Armenia. The agreement has been ratified by the parliaments of both countries. As a result of the investigations of some commissions of the Russian parliament in the Defence Ministry, it was disclosed that Russia supplied Armenia with weapons worth of one billion dollars in the recent three years.

It is dangerous not only for Azerbaijan, but for the whole region and Turkey as well. I declared it in the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

Question: Mr. President, did you discuss the signature of such an agreement during your visit?

Heydar Aliyev: We discussed it and we`ll discuss it in future as well.

Question: The second question is related to economy. A few years ago the Turkish Eksimbank gave a 250 million dollars credit for Azerbaijan. But a few part of the credit was granted. Which projects are there for the use of the credit?

Heydar Aliyev: As you know, this credit was opened. But Azerbaijan didn`t benefit from its use. 71 million dollar of the credit has been spent. Much of it was paid for the purchase of wheat in 1993-1994 when the situation in Azerbaijan was hard. The other part was spent for different purposes then. However, our republic didn`t benefit from the credit. Now we can not pay the credit back. But we are obliged to pay the percentage of 10 million dollar back. So, we received 71 million; however, we didn`t benefit from it anything as it was spent for wheat. We have paid the percentage of ten million but the 71 million is still left. I asked President Mr. Demiral, Prime Minister Nedjmeddin Erbakan, Foreign Minister Tansu Chiller to delete it as and aid. Great powers aid other countries so much.

Question: With which terms should the rest part of the credit be given?

Heydar Aliyev: If the rest of the credit is given with such terms, we shouldn`t get it then. What can we do with such terms?

Question: Mr. President, there are some rumors on the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Allegedly, you agreed one of the pipelines to pass through the territory of Armenia, if Nagorno-Karabakh is liberated from the occupation of the Armenian armed forces and the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is restored. Do you think that Armenia will agree with such conditions?

Heydar Aliyev: Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan. The armed forces of Armenia have occupied this area. However, it is an integral part of Azerbaijan and will remain so. But we talk about the peaceful solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Last December OSCE summit took place in Lisbon. The basic principles of the peaceful solution of the conflict were adopted by 53 members of OSCE. Only Armenia didn`t accept them.

We think that the conflict must be solved on the basis of these principles. The co-chairs of the Minsk Group of OSCE Russia, the USA and France must make efforts for the realization of these principles and peaceful solution of the conflict together with Azerbaijan and Armenia.

As for the pipeline to cross Armenia, it may be taken into consideration. Undoubtedly, we can not present it to Armenia as a gift. A country through which territory the big pipeline will cross will always benefit. Thus, in order to benefit, Armenia must do something. This issue must be discussed.

Question: How do you appreciate the efforts of Turkey in the solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict?

Heydar Aliyev: Turkey makes efforts. I negotiated with Mr. Suleyman Demiral comprehensively in Lisbon. In our negotiations yesterday and today I asked Turkey to pay more attention to these issues.

Question: Mr. President, will the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline be built? When will the oil of Azerbaijan reach Turkey?

Heydar Aliyev: The oil from Baku will be delivered to Turkey for sure. Perhaps, the first oil will reach Supsa, the Georgian port on the Black Sea next November.

Question: Many countries wish the pipeline to cross their territories. Will the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline realized?

Heydar Aliyev: Yes, it will.

Question: You know that we wish the pipeline to cross the territory of Turkey. But there are some troubles in this issue. Russia has its own interests on this issue. Will Azerbaijan be able to stand this pressure?

Heydar Aliyev: Of course they are hard tasks. But I hope that we shall be able to solve the issue.

Question: Mr. President, were all the supposed issues solved during your official visit to Ankara? In your speech in the parliament it was perceived that you have a grudge against Turkey. Is it really so?

Heydar Aliyev: In my speech at the parliament I disclosed that there was the second big attempt of coup d`etat in Azerbaijan in March 1995. The first attempt was made in October 1994, the second - six months later, in March. In my speech at the parliament I told about it broadly. I regret that some Turkish citizens participated in the preparation and implementation of the attempt of coup d`etat. The Turkish citizens were among the conspirators. Regretfully, some high-ranking officials of Turkey also took part in the plot.

On March 17, 1995 the conspirators attacked the Presidential Palace in order to capture it and commit terror against the president. We prevented it. Undoubtedly, there was a clash between our soldiers and conspirators which caused losses. The next day some letters and documents were found out there. It was known about Ferman Demirgol, a Turkish citizen who lived in Azerbaijan. During the rule of Popular Front he was appointed an advisor in the parliament. He was supported by some people. Afterwards he was appointed a teacher at the Azerbaijani university. He was a representative of the Turkish organization TIKA. He used to receive a monthly salary from the Turkish ambassador Altan Karamanoglu as if for his service for TIKA.

Within 4-5 months before the attempt, he prepared a coup d`etat together with the police colonel and others. He was one of the conspirators and even received some instructions from Turkey; then he went to the village of Keleki where the former president Abulfez Elchibey lived. He told Abulfez Elchibey that after the plot and murder of Heydar Aliyev, the State Council would be formed in Azerbaijan. The State Council would comprise several figures, including Ferman Demirgol, Abulfez Elchibey, and ex-President Ayaz Mutellibov who lives in Moscow for five years, and be headed by the police colonel. The member of Musavat Party Tofig Gasimov who was the Minister of Foreign Affairs during the rule of the Popular Front took part in this plot, too.

They prepared to come to power with blood and terror. Ferman Demirgol was one of the most active plotters.

But we didn`t know it. The police colonel has a base in the city in which he assembled his police troops and many weapons. I was aware of it. It was situated in the centre of the city. If there was a shoot, it could harm the people living around. The conspirators tried to use this condition to be in security.

I knew that the police colonel was engaged in these issues; thus, I invited him for negotiations. Some people also wanted to talk to him.

I told his father that the colonel must stop the crime. His father also tried to convince him. There were a lot of people around him then; I knew that Ferman Demirgol was also with him.

There was a document among many other documents after they were detained. It proved the participation of Ferman Demirgol in the plot. Some conspirators were arrested, some were killed, but he could escape. Some Turkish officials in Azerbaijan hided him. Subsequently, I was appealed not to disclose this issue and to name Turkey. He was surreptitiously handed to Turkey. Then I thought that this issue must not be disclosed or spread. Because the friendly relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan are above all. There was such an attempt and we prevented it, so it must not be disclosed. It`s my opinion.

It happened two years ago - in March 1995. That person lived in Turkey for a while. Afterwards the mass media informed about it. Thus, I must tell everything today. I didn`t want to do it. However, if they think that it can be disclosed in Turkey, I told it. But he wasn`t alone; there was another Turkish citizen - Kenan Gurel who was arrested and imprisoned. Some Turkish officials took part in the plot.

Question; Do you regret it?

Heydar Aliyev: It all was in the past.

I want to express my love and respect to the Turkish people. I`ve been here in Ankara for two days. I and the representatives of Azerbaijan accompanying me were hosted with warm attitude and hospitality. These days will be included to history of the Turkish-Azerbaijani friendship and brotherhood as new and bright pages. I`m very satisfied with it. I wish happiness and success to the both peoples.