Speech of Heydar Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan Republic in the ceremony held by the organization of strategic and social researches of "Marmara" group - October 30, 1998

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

The Heads of "Marmara" group and our friends, brothers gathered in this hall!

I greet you sincerely. I want to express the deepest love to you and in your person, to all Turkish people and citizens of the Republic of Turkey.

You know, I have come to your country on the occasion of 75th - year anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. I participate in these celebrities togehter with you from the beginning till the end and we are celebrating it today. I congratulate sincerely you, Turkish people, and all citizens of Turkey Republic on the occasion of 75th - year anniversary of Republic of Turkey. I wish peace, safety to Turkey and happiness, successes in all the affaires to the citizens of Turkey.

The 75th - year of anniversary of Republic of Turkey is at the same time a holiday of Azerbaijani people. Because the friendship, and brotherhood relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan, between our peoples have laid down the foundations of it. Your holiday is also our holiday.

These days we, every Azerbaijani patriot in our country, feel pride as you do. Because such a great republic was founded in the ruins of Ottoman Empire in the frame of very difficult terms 75 years ago and it lives for 75 years. Everybody can imagine services of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, the founder and, great leader. Who founded this republic he is in the heart of everybody. While celebrating this holiday, we express our respect and loyalty to the recollection of the founder of this republic, to 75th - year history of the democratic, and universal state that he founded.

In those years to found republic in hard period of Turkey, required great courage, manliness, heroism, patriotism and prescience. The greatest achievement and happiness of Turkish people is that the leader of people, great personality appeared in hard and difficult period at the beginning of XX century and Great National Assembly was created on his will for the first time in 1920. The Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 with his intellect, his will, and prescience. We are always grateful to this history, these services, as you are and will be grateful till the end lifelong.

Mustafa Kamal Ataturk founded the republic, but at the same time he built and immortalized it. It is doubtless that it is not so easy to create every something new. It required great will, mind, and heroism. But not everything, which is built can live. The services of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk also consist of the fact that he not only laid down the foundations, and the base of the Republic of Turkey, but also built it, created all its institutions, made it great state, and entrusting it today`s generations, youth joined the eternity.

Achievement of today`s generations of Turkey deserves high appraisal. We rejoice very much in Azerbaijan and take pride that Republic of Turkey follows the way of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk consistently, firmly, speedily, and confidently. This republic faced with hardships and different ideas in different historical periods. Perhaps they exist still today. But Turkish government, people, the majority of its citizens want the Republic of Turkey to go forward on the way of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, a universal way. We want it too. We are together with you, equal with you in all these issues.

Valuable people of Turkey who immortalized the Republic of Turkey for 75 years and brought it to these days, will never forgotten by our people. As a friend, and a brother, we have never forgotten these services and will never forget them.

Today we are glad that, there are leaders of Turkey capable to run this state along the way of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk. Among these leaders there is Suleyman Demirel, the president of Turkey, who have been acting in the political arena of Turkey for more than 40 years and gaining great successes, head of state, great friend of Azerbaijani people, my dear friend and brother.

I am in Turkey with these feelings and I am celebrating this great holiday together with you. Accepting your invitation with these feelings I came from Ankara to Istanbul, now I muting with your group here. But the reason of my being late for this meeting is not me, but the plane. I had to wait for an hour in Ankara airport for coming here.

I knew it before, but today I felt that "Marmara" group is worthy of great respect. The names of those who have been invited here are already mentioned. I felt that the famous businessmen, scientists, scholars, educated men, writers, engineers and statesmen are gathered here. It is doubtless that a group of such composition can be very successful in their activity. I`ve understood that you`ve been acting for 14 years and your activity has been successful up today. I hope it will be successful after this. Anyway, the "Marmara" group can accept its friend in my person.

You have quite enough information about Azerbaijan, our life and about me I heard it from the information given here that you know everything. So I feel no necessity to give an additional information here. It is very joyous that you know these. A man knows what he is interested in. If you are not interested in anything, so you won't know it. You've got interested, you learned it therefore.

I am very much pleased that there is a great interest to Azerbaijan in Turkey. Turkey always studies, knows Azerbaijan, knows both its past and present life of Azerbaijan. It shows success of our friendship, brotherhood and future joint work.

Seven years Azerbaijan has declared its state independence. I speak Azerbaijani. You know, I can speak to you in Turkish. That is, I am able to speak it. But I don`t do it. Because I want you to learn my language, as I know your language. But these languages have no difference. These are the same languages. Our greatest success, happiness is that our ancestors, great grand fathers spoke in the same languages and this language lived in the course of history.

There are a lot of Turkic - speaking nations in the world. We are of one origin. Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kirghizistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey and others are of the same family. All of us have one root, one origin and one language. But there is no other language so closely related to one another as Azerbaijani and Turkish languages.

I know well the Slavic group of languages. Slavic language groups includes a lot of languages. But if we take the Ukrainian and Russian, there is not so much closeness as Azerbaijani- Turkish. It shows how much - Turkey and Azerbaijan to each other. That`s why we don`t need a translator. You understand what I am saying; I understand what you are saying. I want to teach you to speak Azerbaijani. So listen to my speech and ask me which word you don`t understand. I`ll explain it to you.

Dear friends, so, today`s meeting is a new manifestation of Turkey -Azerbaijan friendship. You see, the friendship consists of various parts. The friendship and relations of men, families ad groups with one another, creates friendship of nations, countries, states. So we develop and strengthen our friendship with such meetings.

I want to assure you that Azerbaijani people, the independent Azerbaijan state attaches a special importance to the friendship, brotherhood and collaboration with Turkey. As the president of Azerbaijan, it is one of the main directions of my foreign policy and it`ll be so after it. These are feelings, coming from the heart of the people. But it is too important to turn the feelings, coming from the heart of people into a state policy. Because there is too much interest to Azerbaijan from different places, different directions. It is asked which country Azerbaijan is closer with or which country does Azerbaijan set more relations with? There are a lot of people who ask there. But the world knows and let everybody know that Turkey is the closest country to Azerbaijan, relations of friendship and brotherhood between Turkish people and Azerbaijani people have great and rich history. I again state that our friendship is eternal and unbreakable.

We have already been living as an independent state for seven years. But these years were very hard period for us. You know that military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan 10 years ago 1988, with an attempt of pulling Mountainous Garabagh region from Azerbaijan and annexing it to Armenia hardened and complicated the life in Azerbaijan. The war broke out on the basis of it. But it did not give the result wanted. There were different reasons. You know these. As a result of this, Azerbaijan has withdrawn from some part of its lands, that is Armenian armed forces have occupied twenty percent of Azerbaijan lands. More than million Azerbaijanis, Azerbaijani citizens have been forcibly derived from their native lands. Now most of them are living in the tent-camps in very hard conditions and it is doubtless they want to return to their lands. But it is obvious, that everything has been destroyed and ruined in those occupied lands. The economical potential accumulated by Azerbaijan for centuries has been destroyed. Houses that people built for ages, the property, everything have been destroyed. Our religious holy places mosques, all that have been ruined. Cemeteries, holy places of our people were damaged. It is a case that destroyed all the spheres in life of Azerbaijan.

You know, we stopped fire in May of 1994 and signed an agreement on ceasefire. There is no fire more than four years. We live in the condition, of ceasefire regime. But we haven`t achieved a full peace yet. We want peace. But the peace has a term, this term is that the occupied territories of Azerbaijan should be liberated, territorial integrity of Azerbaijan should be secured, all state borders of Azerbaijan should be secured recognized by international association and as a result of it, a peace can be achieved between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The mountainous Garabagh is a small province in the composition of Azerbaijan. 50 thousand Azerbaijanis lived there, they have been derived from there. Only 100 thousand Armenians live there. At last we agreed to give them the status of self- government to Mountainous Garabagh.

My dear friend stated in his speech here that we could make them accept these terms in the top meeting in Lisbon of the OSCE in December of 1996. The heads of 53 states out of 54, - excluding Armenia, - Armenia did not support it,- accepted it and such a resolution was adopted in the Lisbon Summit. Enjoying good opportunities, I would like to say that Turkey had great services in the accepting of that historical decision. We are always together with Turkey for settling the Mountainous Garabagh and for the settling Armenian- Azerbaijan conflict, Turkey always supports us, helps us. Turkey tries to solve this matter together with us. We were together in Lisbon too. My friend Suleyman Demirel and I were in Lisbon. We tried together and with a support of Turkey, Suleyman Demirel and a lot of other countries, as a result of the support of 53 countries out of 54, the resolution of the Lisbon summit was adopted. Now we want to achieve the full peace on the basis of it. The words of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk are actual today not only for Turkey, but also for all of us: "Peace in the native land, peace in the region, peace in the world". We want it.

While speaking about it and on this subject, I would like to note particularly that, - it was said here again- Turkey acts and will act together with Azerbaijan in our fight. Azerbaijani people estimate it highly that though Turkey has common border with Armenia, it has not set diplomatic relations with Armenia up to now. It doesn`t carry out any joint business work with Armenia and Turkey declared to Armenia that there could not be any relation and any joint business between Turkey and Armenia until Armenian armed forces left the occupied Azerbaijani lands, restoring territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. We highly estimate it. Our people are also very sensitive to it.

I said some words when I came to Turkey in 1996. Some businessmen for the sake of commercial interests had raised the issues on opening the borders for business, opening the passage from Gars, opening the door from Iqdir etc. I came and made a speech in the Great National Assembly, in Istanbul too. I said, you know our Turkey -Azerbaijan friendship and brotherhood exceeds the profit gained from our commerce. We cannot sacrifice our friendship and brotherhood to the commerce.

Our people objected, the newspapers wrote that some businessmen went to Armenia, wanted to make a joint business there. Then my friend Suleyman Demirel said very clever and fine words. He said that it did not depend on us. It depended on Turkish people, Turkish society. Even if anybody wants it, Turkish people, Turkish society would not allow it. We are thereby thankful to you. I believe, we will be together in this and in all other matters. I believe, we`ll fight and liberate the occupied lands of Azerbaijan together. Creating full peace in all Caucasus, in the region is necessary for us, for Turkey, for Armenia too. Armenia still doesn`t understand that it is isolated completely.

For instance, all Caucasus, all countries of the world, Central, Middle Asia all are here, in 75th - year anniversary of Republic of Turkey, but Armenia is absent from the Caucasus. Armenia remained isolated. So Armenia should understand it. You know and we know that Armenians committed crime against Turkey and Azerbaijan historically. They committed crime against us, but they spread a runout that as if Turkey did genocide against Armenia. It is wrong opinion. Turkey has never done genocide against Armenian. Armenians did genocide against Azerbaijan and Turkey. They made great slaughter in 1918 and Turkish army came and saved Azerbaijanis from Armenians. All this history has united us and we will be together after it. The basis of our present and future actively lies just here.

You spoke about Baku- Ceyhan pipeline today and estimated my services. I thank you very much. I am glad that everybody in Turkey can understand and estimate it properly. Really, it is a historical phenomenon, an event. Because Azerbaijan laid down the foundations of energy reserves of the Caspian Sea opening to the world. Azerbaijan has been producing oil in the Caspian Sea for 50 years. But we used to do it in the frame of the Soviet Union. Having gained the state independence, sovereignty and after becoming a sovereign state, Azerbaijan solves all affairs and its fate itself. I have already said it in yesterday`s signing ceremony. I said that the greatest event is that we take our destiny into our hands after becoming independent, we take any step we want. Yesterday it was a historical event of signing the declaration on Baku- Ceyhan.

We have covered a long way to get here. You know, in September of 1994, Azerbaijan signed a contract with a consortium of 11 companies from 7 states. It was an explosion in the world, as if a bomb burst. Because it is a great contract and the world called it "Contract of the Century". There were those who were glad, but also those who felt uneasy. There were pressures, attacks against Azerbaijan: "Why did Azerbaijan do it? Why did Azerbaijan bring companies of America, England, Turkey, Norway and other countries to the Caspian Sea? - We were blamed, condemned, and there began a propaganda against us. As though, this contract would not be realized, because status of the Caspian Sea was not determined. Even the companies, which signed that contract were afraid, they came to us and asked whether it was true that the contract would not function.

Russia made a statement that it did not recognize this contract. But one company of Russia is in this contract. The ministry of foreign affairs of Russia made a statement that Russia did not recognize this contract. The foreign minister of another Western country came to me and said what would be if this contract was not recognized. I said why are you uneasy for being recognized? Do we need their recognition? We don`t need it.

Then the issue of status of the Caspian Sea appeared: "The status of the Caspian Sea has not been determined; in this case this contract cannot be signed". We said that the status of the Caspian Sea was still defined in 1970 by the Soviet Union. Because at that time, the Caspian Sea belonged to the Soviet Union. A little part in the south of the Caspian Sea belonged to Iran. The rest of it belonged to the Soviet Union. Now the Soviet Union is collapsed. There are countries around the Caspian Sea- Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran. Altogether five countries. By the tradition created in the past, the Caspian Sea should be divided into sectors. Every republic situated here has its sector in the Caspian Sea. We are in our sector now; we haven`t stepped out of our sector. It was said that the sector principle was not accepted. The Caspian Sea should be common sea- let everybody do work, wherever he wants. But we said that it could not be so. Nobody accepted this sector principle except us. But I can tell you, that now everybody, all the littoral countries of the Caspian Sea- Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, even Iran accept this sector principle, that is, those who were against our contract in 1994 sector principle said that this sector principle was not accepted, the status was not determined and this work could not be done.

However, you just see what they did. We signed contract on September 20, 1994. On September 21-22 a great crime was committed in Azerbaijan. Four criminals were escaped from the prison by special service bodies of one country in Azerbaijan. There was disorder in Azerbaijan.

I was on a visit to N. Y. and attended the assembly of the United Nations Organization. When I was in New York, assistant of the chairman of Milli Mejlis of Azerbaijan and one colonel were killed as a result of terror.

While coming back from New York, I came here to Istanbul. Suleyman Demirel met me here. There was such a situation in Azerbaijan that they were going to make a coup d`etat in Azerbaijan. It was assumed that Heydar Aliyev would not be able to return to Azerbaijan. But I came here to Istanbul. I met here my friend Suleyman Demirel and returned to Baku. A week after it, on October 3-4, there was coup d`etat in Azerbaijan. What did I have to do? I didn`t have enough force, arm at that time. Till that time, the situation of Azerbaijan was in the hands of separate illegal armed groups. I addressed to the people through the television. You heard it. Half a million people gathered in front of the presidential palace during two hours at night. They defended Azerbaijan state, the President of Azerbaijan and head of state.

Why did they try a coup d`etat? It was done in order to strike a blow to that contract. It was done in order to disturb us, to destroy the independent Azerbaijan state. But we stood to it and prevented it.

In March of 1995, another coup d`etat took place again. You know it, it is obvious. It is a pity that some officials in Turkey, some people working in the Embassy of Turkey to Baku were involved in it. You know it. They also wanted to kill the president of Azerbaijan, and seize the power.

It was the activity of special service bodies of different countries. It was done for the oil of Azerbaijan, in order to break that contact of Azerbaijan. We prevented it too.

Then we began to work. There were various pro`s and con`s. But we worked and on November 12 last year, we got primary oil. Respectable Prime Minister Mesud Yilmaz came to participate in our holiday there. The guests from the whole world came there. We got the primary oil and exported it to Novorossiysk part of Russia in the Black Sea through Baku-Novorossiysk pipe line. Now oil is running there.

Eight of oil wells have been drilled in that "Chirag" oil field. Although we expected 500 tons of oil from every well, per day, but now we get two thousand tons, that`s four times more than expected. Everyday 10 thousand tons of oil is being extracted from that one field. But there should be not 8 wells, but 24 wells and it will be so soon. So, it will thrice increase extracted from one field in a day. When we signed this contract, 510 million ton oil was expected from the fields of"Azeri", "Chirag", "Guneshli" fields as a prognosis. But in the course of working there, this figure has increased and 630 million tons oil is expected now.

Later we signed new more contracts. We have signed 15 contracts during four years. Every contract has its great work and according to the prognoses, we expect from 15 contracts, 1,5 bln tons of oil will be extracted and perhaps, 60-70 billion cub meter gas will be extracted. Investment of the companies to Azerbaijan will be in the amount of 50 billion dollars on 15 contracts.

You know, it is necessary to export this oil. We were put obstacles in our way again. I declared Baku-Ceyhan in 1994. I said that the oil, taken to the world market from Azerbaijan should go by Baku-Ceyhan pipe line. We have been working to realize this Baku-Ceyhan route for four years.

People in Turkey are anxious. Every time when Turkish journalist asked me either when I came or in other place the first question was this. How would Baku-Ceyhan be? I have every time answered that Baku-Ceyhan would be. When it would be? I said not hurry, wait, it would be. I said it one two years ago in Istanbul, I said to all the mass media representatives of Turkey. Now I am telling you Baku-Ceyhan already exists.

For some time we have been preparing the declaration, which we signed yesterday. It is doubtless that this declaration first of all is between Azerbaijan and Turkey. But if not Georgia we cannot pass to Turkey. So, Georgia also should be. But we are enlarging our business lately, and Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan also were involved here. Even we tried to involve Turkmenistan, but he did not sign the declaration yesterday. I suppose he will sign it in future.

So if four years ago only Azerbaijan and Turkey were thinking about Baku-Ceyhan, but now, after four years Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhistan, Uzbekistan also were involved in it.

So if four years ago only Azerbaijan and Turkey thought about Baku-Ceyhan, but now, after four years Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhistan, Uzbekistan and the minister of power engineering of the USA signed this declaration, supported it, Baku- Ceyhan. It is already a reality.

It is true that there are people who prevent it today. You should know that other consortiums are still working. But the main consortium that extracts oil from the Caspian Sea- is Azerbaijan International Operation Company, consisting of 11 companies. Those companies don`t want Baku- Ceyhan and they have been to our State Oil Company several times, gave us figures, writings and papers. They say that "Baku- Ceyhan is expensive, we want it to be cheap. We don`t need politics. We need money, commerce. We invested money and want get money, profit". Lately, they have increased the cost of Baku- Ceyhan. They gave information that it would cost for 3 billion 900 million dollars. It was said a year ago that it would be 2 billion 700 million dollars. Now they say, it will be 3 billion 900 million dollars. It is doubtless that they should invest this money, allocation. Private companies cannot invest money here, they should invest it. Because they are realizing this project.

For instance, that consortium has invested 1 billion 600 million dollars up today. So 1,6 bln. Dollars has been invested for the volume of the work done by now. I told you that Baku Novorossiysk pipeline was built. Now oil is going there. There is Supsa port of Georgia in the Black Sea. Baku-Supsa pipeline is being built there. It will be ready by the end of April of the next year. We will export oil there. That`s why the leaders of the consortium say that we have two pipelines-one goes to Novorossiysk, and the other one goes to Supsa. We export the oil that we extract. Why should we hurry to build Baku-Ceyhan, and invest money there? We have to get profit, soon after we made investments. One can understand these. That`s why they refuse it.

I received them before coming there, spoke to them. The President of our State Oil Company and they should submit a joint report about the real cost of this project during 15 days to me. In spite of these I made a decision that Baku-Ceyhan should be built and this declaration should be signed. I`ll have you know, that we have prepared the project of this declaration too. We distributed it here in Turkey and others and signed it yesterday, it is a historical event.

I consider that Baku-Ceyhan is not only for today or tomorrow. Our work`ll exist more than 100 years. I told you, because 15 contracts have been signed in the sector of Azerbaijan. Now Kazakhstan asks us. Kazakhstan has much oil both in the Caspian Sea sector and "Tengiz" field in the land. They want to export it. In future Turkmenistan will be obliged to go in this way. It also will be so.

Now I`am saying that 1,5 bln tons is being envisaged on our contracts, but this prognosis will increase some times. These also will come. So, it will at least exist till the end XXI century. Yesterday we signed the declaration on Baku-Ceyhan pipeline consolidating our nations, states, the countries, a great contribution to the future generations in XXI century. I consider it the great historical event and congratulate you on this occasion. I appreciate your paying high attention, an interest accorded to this work and you may be sure that the policy of Azerbaijan, the policy of the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev is stable and will be stable till end.

Collaboration and business relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan are large. My friend has already said about it that more than 10 thousand people of Turkey work in Azerbaijan. There are many companies there. But opportunities are more than it.

After being elected the president, I said in the inauguration ceremony on October 18 and state it again here. We will create more favorable conditions for foreign investment coming to Azerbaijan. I know that separate officials make obstacles to some businessmen working in Azerbaijan. Perhaps, laws in certain areas do not make it possible. You should know that we are aware of it. But you have to understand that, I was obliged to pass all these stages during five years out of seven years of independence. It is impossible to do all these at once. But we are doing it and will do. It means we will offer facilities after this for foreign capital, as well as investments from Turkey and conditions for businessmen coming to Azerbaijan and working here.

I consider that, our today`s meeting is a new step for developing Turkish-Azerbaijani friendship collaboration. That`s why, I express my gratitude for this care, attention, respect and to this meeting. You may be confident that I will be faithful to this friendship and brotherhood. Good bye.