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THE EXTRAORDINARY MINISTER OF AZERBAIJAN

The Azeri Times

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No Azerbaijani has ever made it onto Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, but it’s no secret that some high-placed officials are quite wealthy and control ever-expanding businesses and assets. One of those people is Kamaladdin Heydarov, the Minister of Emergencies (literally “extraordinary situations” in Azerbaijani – ed.).

In 2010, American diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks revealed that US embassy officials ranked the Heydarovs as “the second most powerful commercial family in Azerbaijan” after the first lady’s family, the Pashayevs. According to the leaked cables, Kamaladdin Heydarov amassed his massive wealth from “illicit payments” he received as chairman of the State Customs Committee (SCC), which is thought to be one of the most corrupt institutions in the country.

But Heydarov was a businessman long before he was appointed to the SCC in 1995. The future minister founded Gilan Holding which, according to the official site, has been operating since 1987 and is now the country’s largest group of companies. Only the Pashayev family’s Pasha Holding can compare in terms of the diversity of its activities, turnover, and estimated assets.

By 2016, Gilan Holding was involved in: industrial and consumer sales and retail trade, tourism and hotels, transport and logistics, construction and real estate management, the production of construction materials, and food and agricultural produce. The massive holding company continues to add to its portfolio: according to domestic media, Gilan registers several new companies each month.

Although the holding owns a bank, it also uses cheap financial resources generously provided by the government. Gilan’s bread factory in Baku, ceramic factory in Hajigabul, textile factories in Sumgayit, agricultural complex in Gabala District and numerous other factories were established with tens of thousands of manats in long-term loans issued by the government.

Very few of Heydarov’s companies have released information about their finances, but here is some publicly available data about some investments that have been made in this business empire:

In 2008, construction began on a hotel and shopping complex called Crescent Bay Development. An estimated $1.5 billion was invested in the project.

Below is a searchable database of over 350 companies owned by Kamaladdin Heydarov, his family members, and the companies he has established. The complete list was sent to Gilan Holding for comment, but we received no response.

Armenia

Armenia provocation: Villages in Tovuz shelled

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Armenia committed provocation against civilians on the front line, informs the press-service of the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry.

Starting from the evening of September 14 until the morning of September 15, the units of the Armenian armed forces, using weapons of different calibre, including artillery mount, committed provocation on Tovuz, Terter and Aghdam directions.

The enemy, in particular, subjected to fire the positions of the Azerbaijan Army, stationed in the direction of the villages of Munjuglu, Kokhanebi, Asrik Jirdakhan and Garalar of Tovuz region, as well as civilians living in these villages.

There are no casualties among servicemen and the population of Azerbaijan. Damage has been caused to several houses, property of the population and civil infrastructure.

The implementation of such provocative actions by Armenian side on the eve of the significant events and holidays celebrated in Azerbaijan is purposeful.

The Ministry of Defence reports that as a result of urgent retaliatory actions undertaken by the units of the Azerbaijan Army, the enemy’s activity was suppressed. The military-political leadership of Armenia bears all responsibility for the destruction and losses of the enemy.

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Azerbaijan

Military parade dedicated to the 100th anniversary of liberation of Baku

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The military parade in Baku, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the liberation of the city from occupation, has ended.

During the parade, samples of military equipment, which is in service with the Azerbaijani Army, have been demonstrated.

At the end of the parade, Azerbaijani and Turkish fighter jets demonstrated elements of aerobatics.

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Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan marks centenary of Baku’s liberation

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Today Azerbaijan marks the centenary of Baku’s liberation from the Bolshevik-Dashnak occupation.

On this day in 1918, the Islamic Army of the Caucasus, which included the Azerbaijani corps, entered Baku, liberating the city from the Bolshevik-Dashnak occupation, Trend reports.

The liberation of Baku is an event of exceptional importance for the Azerbaijani-Turkish friendship and brotherhood.

Despite that during 70 years of the Soviet rule this event was purposefully explained in an erroneous context, the Azerbaijani people never forgot the heroism of Turkish soldiers.

On September 10, 1918, Nuru Pasha, an Ottoman general in the Ottoman army, took direct control over the liberation of Baku. By order of Nuru Pasha dated September 10, 1918, the command of the Eastern Front and the Northern Group belonging to it were liquidated, and the movement of all formations at the front was directly entrusted to the command of the Islamic Army of the Caucasus.

In an order dated September 13, 1918, sent to the fighting divisions by the command of the Islamic Army of the Caucasus, it was stated that an offensive on Baku will start on September 14 at 02:00.

About 8,000 Ottoman soldiers and the Azerbaijani forces consisting of up to 7,000 people gathered to take part in decisive offensive on Baku.

At 02:00, the fifth Caucasian division began to advance in the direction of the Heybat-Balajari railway. At 03:00, the first line of Baku’s defense was captured, and at 06:00 – the second line.

The enemy was destroyed by artillery fire. The 56th regiment, who became the protagonist of the offensive, captured the strategic heights and moved forward pursuing the enemy. The 15th regiment takes over Balajary slopes, and the Mashtagha squad from this regiment captured Sabunchu, and the people’s volunteers captured Keshla station. Evading direct confrontation, the Armenians engaged in fighting in city blocks and houses, as if they wanted to repeat the March massacre.

On September 14, General Densterville and the government of the Central Caspian dictatorship, and Baku Commissars left Baku.

After the liberation of Baku by the Caucasian Islamic army, on September 17, the government of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic moved from Ganja to Baku.

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