Speech of the Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev at the solemn opening ceremony of a new television tower in Baku - July 6, 1996

Dear compatriots, sisters, brothers!

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

Today a significant event is happening in a life of our country - Azerbaijan. At last, a radio-television broadcast, radio-television tower, being under construction during long years, having huge value for our republic and playing a great role in a social-political life of Azerbaijan, is given to using of our people and nation. On the occasion of the event, I congratulate you and all the Azerbaijani people, the Azerbaijani citizens.

In the country there are such constructions, installations, objects which serve the certain sphere. The world, as a whole, existed and developed owing to construction and creation. All natural riches on the ground were created by nature, by God. But all things created on the ground, planet during hundreds, thousand years, have been created by work, will, mind, hands of people.

While looking back at the historical past, we are proud of everything - monuments, fortresses, cities, statues, roads - created by hands of our ancestors and kept till now and we always remember their creators, we express them our gratitude. In due time, they created buildings which passed from century to century and informed the past up to the present generations, and at the same time, as well as hundred, thousand years ago, there are new constructions among the created things. People build houses for themselves, create the certain conditions for a life. All this belongs to separate people. At the same time people gather, build separate buildings, palaces, the industrial enterprises and roads, and for last centuries construct the installations of high level corresponding modern techniques. And they serve, basically, separate spheres and develop them.

However, all over the world, including in our Azerbaijan, there are such structures and monuments which serve all people, the country. One of them can be the most important, the huge radio-television tower, the radio-television broadcast of Azerbaijan which is put into operation today. Perhaps, not everyone realize a true essence of it. The essence consists of that, it is very important installation for our country, people, and at the same time it is intended for each person, citizen. This installation serves all people. Today radio, TV are such means without which, it is possible to tell, it is impossible to live.

The broadcasts have started 70 years ago, and telecasts have started 40 years ago in Azerbaijan. All this serves all people and has taken such a place in a life of our country, a society, that nothing can replace it. Because by means of radio and TV people learn about the events occurring in the world at once. By radio and TV people get acquainted with both music and works of art. Radio and TV introduce fun, good mood in their life. By means of radio and TV, political processes reach each person, citizen. With their help, alongside with the extremely important political news, people receive also the different usual information. Radio and TV influence people, help them to be improved and to develop spiritually, open eyes on the world, connect them to all world. The person, sitting at home, in the room listens, sees all world, feels each corner of the world, Azerbaijan, feels daily, hourly, every minute pulse of our country by radio and TV.

Such means in history of mankind is irreplaceable. Not casually, that today radio and TV cover all corners of the planet. Each country tries to develop this sphere, and day by day to serve people more by means of radio and TV. At the same time it is a parameter of a cultural level of each country, each state. And therefore, from the moment of creation of radio and TV in Azerbaijan, we tried to strengthen their material-technical base. Because radio and TV are such means which will have qualitative, interesting, pleasing for people if it possess rich, strong material- technical base. Therefore, constantly developing material-technical base of radio and TV, we tried to raise quality of these broadcasts, expand their scope as well.

If in the beginning, 40 years ago when telecasts have started to be broadcasted in Azerbaijan, they covered only Baku, - at all not all parts of capital, - now we cover all corners of Azerbaijan with these telecasts. For example, in Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan, being integral part of Azerbaijan and being separate territorially from Azerbaijan, a suspension of translation of telecasts connected with break of telecommunication lines and events happened recently, - I have felt all this in those years when I lived there, - has deprived the local population of many things. Probably, people who lived there had a need for TV in the same way as for bread and water, - I have felt it in my private life. When these telecasts did not reach up to Nakhchivan for days, months, people were as if in the position torn off from the world.

And consequently we have tried and achieved that TV, as well as radio, could cover all the corners, the most remote regions of Azerbaijan. I repeat, events which occurred after 1988, have broken all our opportunities. But, despite of it for last two-three years we tried to restore all this and we managed to restore many of them, and in the further we will continue this business.

From this point of view at the end of 70th, we came to such conclusion that radio-television broadcasts available in our country do not meet modern requirements. At that time, in some central cities of the Soviet Union, undoubtedly, first of all in capital - Moscow very high television tower has been constructed. We also tried to construct such radio-television tower in Azerbaijan. Undoubtedly, it was difficult. For this purpose means were necessary, and we did not have the sufficient experience, necessary installations, equipments. But we have achieved it, and by the end of 70th, having seen, analyzed some projects carefully, we have approved the project of this television tower, of which construction has just come to the end.

Recollecting those days, once again I am marking that it was very complex process. On the one hand it was necessary to find means, and on the other hand, it was necessary the suitable project of installation, which would meet requirements of not only the end of the 70th and beginning of the 80th years, but also long years in the future. At the same time for this purpose it was necessary the appropriate equipment, very sensitive devices. It has demanded from us a lot of time, works, finance. We have executed all this, and, at last, begun construction of radio-television tower which is very necessary for Azerbaijan.

Then our plan consisted of finishing this construction maximum for 4-5 years. And it was quite real, we had opportunities for this purpose. Because in 70th we showed, proved not only in our republic, but also in the former Soviet Union, that in Azerbaijan it was possible to finish construction of the huge industrial enterprises, residential buildings, monuments of culture, power stations, roads or other huge installations and structures for a short time. For example, the Baku factory of conditioners which has huge glory now, later 20 years, has been constructed by us only for two years. At that time anybody in the Soviet Union did not trust that it has been constructed for two years. And consequently it is not casual, the factory has been turned into a place of "pilgrimage". From all corners of the Soviet Union the interested people came here to look and personally to be convinced that really this huge factory, which in other parts of Soviet Union would have been constructed, probably, for ten years, here has been constructed for such short time. We have got its all equipment from Japan. Even such industrially developed country as Japan could not construct it for such short time. But we have constructed. However, not only this factory. For example, the Palace of Republic. It serves the Azerbaijani people for twenty five years. We have constructed it just for two years.

We have also other buildings, factories - oil refining, machine-building factories. We have finished all this for two, three, four years. In due time, we have constructed huge power stations. All this became the big tradition in our country, we have got huge experience. We already knew our opportunities, trusted in ourselves and knew that we would finish the construction of a radio-television tower for a short time.

And consequently we began its construction in 1981 with great belief. Since then it has passed 15 years. Recollecting those days, I want to note that maybe, I paid special attention to the construction of this television tower in comparison with other structures concerning culture, science and education. I considered it very important and took it under the special control. I wished very much to construct it quickly. As here it has been already told, unfortunately, then construction has been suspended. And the suspended construction, certainly, not only is late, but also everything constructed gradually falls, spoils, loses its quality.

Thanks to God, for last two years we have given a push to this construction, and it was already completed. You, and I together with you, with feeling of huge pride, satisfaction have gathered here and we are participating at the opening a radio-television tower, broadcast, being pride of Azerbaijan. Once again I congratulate you on this event and I wish to express confidence that this radio-television tower will serve the Azerbaijan people, independent Azerbaijan Republic for decades and maybe, for centuries.

Undoubtedly, many people worked on its construction. I know names of many initiators, initiators of this work. One of them was Huseyn Rasulbayov, then Azerbaijani Minister of Communications. He began this work just as minister. But, undoubtedly, this work was not only the work of one ministry, but all state, the government, the leadership of the Azerbaijan Republic. At that time, we have involved many construction organizations in this work. It has now passed a lot of time, if term was short, it was possible to tell, who, at what stage, carried out which work. But 15 years has passed since then. There are those who laid the foundation of this work in 1981, we should recollect them too. We should recollect workers, assemblers, engineers, different experts who have been engaged those years in construction. Especially, we should recollect those who took part in acceleration of this work for last two-three years.

I am grateful to everyone who laid the foundation of this tower, and all those, all organizations, builders, assemblers, all experts, engineers who worked on construction from the very beginning. I thank all of them! All those who worked on construction of this installation a little, have rendered service to the people, the nation and the future generations. Everyone participating here has a share, it is impossible to forget their share, it is necessary to estimate the work done by each of them properly. Once again I thank all those who worked here, and I highly estimate their merits before the Azerbaijan Republic, before the people.

I want to express hope, as henceforth the radio-television tower will be in reliable hands, and it will be used skillfully, effectively. I am noting again that in comparison with other structures, feature of this tower still consists of that; this installation works constantly. That is, this structure, and already the industrial enterprise of communication, the radio-television enterprise in any way has no opportunity to stop the work for a minute. That is, it cannot stop its work, it is the enterprise which operates constantly, works constantly. Therefore, I repeat, management, using this installation demands special competence. It is necessary to approach to its use very cautiously, carefully. If any enterprise, factory, the industrial enterprise or other any enterprise will not work, it can be repaired, it can suspend its work for a while. But here, it is impossible to do it. If this tower is put into operation, it should work, operate eternally, the people attached to this object, should work constantly above it.

Therefore, our valuable riches, which were under construction within fifteen years, should be in reliable hands henceforth, cautiously used, and it is necessary to approach it very carefully, closely. I want to express confidence that the Ministry of Communications, the Company of Radio-telecasts of Azerbaijan, - they should use this tower, - at the same time all other organizations involved in use of a tower, realize the responsibility. The radio-television tower which has been constructed hardly during this difficult time for republic, and now has entered into operation, will be rationally used.

I wish to express hope that after today`s ceremony, all citizens of Azerbaijan will see qualitative changes in radio telecasts. Each person will daily observe it. As a citizen, I will observe it too. Therefore, let the Ministry of Communications, the Company of radio telecasts, other organizations do not think that we have gathered today here, congratulated each other, solemnly noted this event - and everything has ended, and quality of radio-telecasts remains as previous. You know, you will be responsible. And this responsibility is very high, be aware of it. Big amount of money has been spent for it, big effort, trouble has been taken, people waited for it for fifteen years. We should see fruits, results of it. And consequently, I do not doubt at all that it will be so. Considering the last experience, I warn everyone to know his responsibility. You should know that henceforth the Ministry of Communications, the Company of radio-telecasts and other organizations bear the great responsibility for using of this tower.

At the same time the radio-television tower is a great monument of architecture. Baku is one of the beautiful cities of the world. Those who built, created Baku within centuries, have constructed beautiful city for today`s and future generations. We, inhabitants of Baku, have the right to be proud of the capital. We are proud of its all features. At the same time we are proud of its natural beauty, architectural beauty as well. Those who built, created Baku actually did it heartily, honestly.

Undoubtedly, here there were also disorganizations, mistakes. The subsequent generations eliminate them. I consider that for last twenty five years we have also done many works to beautify appearance of Baku. But anyway, Baku was under construction, created by centuries beautifully. The natural area, where Baku is located, is also beautiful, at the same time monuments, the buildings created here give special beauty to Baku. Therefore architectural monuments in Baku are our national pride.

The radio television tower, created today here, in one of the highest points of Baku city, decorates Baku even more. It is a new monument, a monument of architecture. I believe that the future generation will highly estimate this monument, as well as others, created till now. From this point of view the radio-television tower has very great importance for Azerbaijan and its capital. I hope that this monument will be kept, its external and the interior will be even more decorated due to the measures undertaken in further, and it will always be our pride, as the monument of architecture being really on the highest place of the city. From this point of view this tower, which was founded fifteen years ago and which is put in operation today, is great national property of Azerbaijan and Baku.

I am extremely glad that at last, construction of this tower has come to the end. You know, those years when I was far from Azerbaijan, - my communications with it have been completely interrupted, and I was looking with melancholy at Azerbaijan from afar, I was thinking of much. When I met separate people, who came to Moscow from Baku, I was interested in construction of any object, in particular a radio-television tower. I very much worried, why this construction remains incomplete. But today I am very glad that we have finished this construction. Today I am full of pleasure, and I believe that you and our people are glad too.

I congratulate you once again, I thank all those, all the organizations which worked on construction of this tower. I want to notify, I am sure that the tower will be successfully used.

Thank you, be happy.