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Azerbaijani minister of culture dismissed after corruption scandal

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Minister of culture of Azerbaijan Abulfas Karaev has been dismissed, however no explanation as to why has been given.

Shortly before that, the state security service said there was evidence of fraud in the activities of the ministry of culture.

The deputy minister was arrested on charges of abuse of power, embezzlement and forgery. It is with this corruption scandal that society connects the resignation of Karaev.

Over the past six months, ‘purges’ among high-ranking officials have become more frequent in Azerbaijan. But so far they have not affected the heads of departments.

Abulfas Karaev (avropa.info)

63-year-old Abulfas Karaev belongs to the Russian-speaking elite of the country, formed back in Soviet times. He has spent more than 14 years as minister of culture.

Among the population, Karayev was not the target of either special popularity or particular hostility (unlike some other ministers). Most often, he was accused of passivity and the fact that old buildings were being demolished in Baku.

Actually, it is the very demolition of architectural monuments that Karaev’s deputy was charged with.

It is still unknown who will head the ministry of culture, and users of social media are presenting their own versions on this score.

The most popular “comic candidacy” is the current minister of economics Mikail Jabbarov. He is “famous” among the people, first of all, for having managed to be the head of three ministries in seven years (education, taxes, and now, the economy).

On the whole, everyone agrees that some young “reformer” with a foreign education from the clan of the first lady and first vice president of the country Mehriban Aliyeva will be appointed to the place of Abulfas Karaev.

The post Azerbaijani minister of culture dismissed after corruption scandal appeared first on English Jamnews.

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World Nomad Games Moved To 2021 Due To Pandemic

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World Nomad Games Moved To 2021 Due To Pandemic

Turkish authorities have moved the Fourth World Nomad Games to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The games, an international competition dedicated to ethnic sports, were scheduled to be held in the Turkish city of Bursa in autumn this year.
The President of the Turkey-based World Ethnosport Confederation, Bilal Erdogan, said on July 9 that the decision was made after consultations with Turkey's Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Health Ministry to prevent a surge in coronavirus cases.

Kyrgyzstan’s Hills Come Alive With The Sound Of Nomads
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Kyrgyzstan’s Hills Come Alive With The Sound Of Nomads

RFE/RL’s photographer was on hand to capture the hoof-thumping action as the mountain venue of Kyrgyzstan’s Nomad Games opened on September 3.

The World Nomad Games were initiated by Kyrgyzstan and held for the first time in the Central Asian nation in 2014.

The second and third World Nomad Games were also held in Kyrgyzstan's picturesque northern region of Issyk-Kul in 2016 and 2018.

The nomad games include horse racing, archery, mounted archery, falconry, and different types of wrestling, including wrestling from horseback.
The games have gained in popularity, prompting teams representing Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Russia, and even the United States to regularly attend the event.

The last World Nomad Games in 2018 hosted athletes from 66 countries, including several European nations, such as Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Ukraine.
This year, for the first time, the games were scheduled to be held outside of Kyrgyzstan.

With reporting by Anadolu, TRT Haber, and Yeni Safak

Read Original Article here by RFERL

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“Autumn will be even worse” – journalist’s letter criticizing gov’t response to pandemic causes stir in Azerbaijan

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TV presenter and blogger Azer Garib published an open letter on his Facebook page in which he accused the Azerbaijani authorities of taking an irresponsible attitude towards the coronavirus pandemic and criticised the deplorable state of the healthcare system.

Garib is indignant about the fact that the authorities are holding the public responsible for the continuing rise in coronavirus cases, saying that people simply aren’t complying with the quarantine requirements enough.

We’ve been under quarantine for four months, and we haven’t seen any progress.

People don’t believe the virus exists because they do not believe [the authorities].”

The post received a lot of support among the Azerbaijani population, and within a day, had received more than 16,000 likes and was re-published more than 8,000 times.

As of July 8, there are 21,374 reported coronavirus cases in Azerbaijan. Of these, 265 have died and 12,635 have recovered. For several months now, the country has been under an almost constant strict quarantine regime, with only a few breaks. Shopping centers are closed and the metro has stopped running. Public transport is shut down on the weekends, and most businesses are closed. One of the main restrictions is on movement. People are required to stay at home, and can only go out for two hours a day, and only after receiving special SMS permission from the authorities.

It will be worse in autumn

Azer Garib wrote the open letter in response to statements made at the most recent press briefing by representatives of TƏBİB, the official structure responsible for combating the coronavirus pandemic in Azerbaijan.

In particular, they reported that in other countries, and not just in Azerbaijan, the situation is deteriorating again and there is a rise in coronavirus cases. Therefore, the strict quarantine is justified. Moreover, it was reported that the situation may get even worse in the autumn.

What does this warning mean, that the situation will get worse? Then why are we suffering, what’s the point of the quarantine?” writes Azer Garib.

Scientists all over the world are literally shouting that people need vitamin D. And we, who live in a city by the sea, are locked in our homes. Yes, the doctors are right: in autumn, it will be even worse, because now, people are deprived of the sun, sea air, and don’t have the opportunity to strengthen their immune system, which will hurt them enormously in the autumn.”

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Garib asked the Coronavirus Operational Headquarters talk about other countries that were successful in combating the pandemic.

Why don’t you tell us about Georgia? Why don’t you tell us that Britain, which introduced quarantine later than other countries, has already lifted their strict quarantine? Why don’t you comment on the example of Belarus?”

Azer Garib said the quarantine regime that has been implemented in Azerbaijan for the last four months was like “a game of roulette.”

“Let’s close the subway. No, let’s open the subway. Let’s set up [police] posts. No, let’s remove the posts. Let people out of the house. No, lock people in their homes. Why has it been impossible to coordinate between the various government institutions over the past four months in order to develop a unified policy?” the journalist writes.

Doctors should educate the population. They must explain that even if you get sick with a coronavirus, this does not mean that you will die from it,” the journalist writes.

Instead of accusing people of not complying with quarantine, it is better to give them hope that the measures taken by the government will lead to an improvement in the situation, because then, they will adopt them, the letter says.

The post “Autumn will be even worse” – journalist’s letter criticizing gov’t response to pandemic causes stir in Azerbaijan appeared first on English Jamnews.

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials arrested in Azerbaijan for bribery, embezzlement – claim they were ‘helping ministry’

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A number of high-ranking officials in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry have been arrested as a result of an anti-corruption operation.

Farhad Mollazade, chairman of the Foreign Ministry’s tender commission, Salim Alizadeh, head of economic affairs department, and Nurupasha Abdullayev, head of the legal section of the Consular Department, were arrested on July 3 for bribe taking, the State Security Service of Azerbaijan reports.

According to the State Security Service, Mollazade and Alizade are suspected of having appropriated money allocated for various structures in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

In addition, “when purchasing certain goods, the suspects demanded business owners transfer them a sum of the total amount in the form of a bribe.”

The houses of the suspects have been searched and documents found attesting to the bribes and the money received for their ‘work.’

A criminal case has been opened against Farhad Mollazade and Salim Alizadeh under the articles “abuse of official position”, “embezzlement” and “bribery”, while Nurupasha Abdullayev faces bribery charges.

The detainees have already confessed their crimes on camera. In a video circulated in the media, they spoke in detail about their actions.

Elkhan Шахahinoglu is a political scientist, head of the Atlas Research Center, writes on his Facebook page, quoting from Farhad Mollazade’s confessions:

“‘They gave money to Salim, and he brought the money to me. I kept 10 percent for myself and gave 10 percent to Salim. We spent the rest on solving the problems of the ministry.’

“This is the statement by Farhad Mollazade, Head of Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who was caught taking bribes. The last sentence means that the Foreign Ministry, it turns out, was solving its problems through bribes. Wow! What is going on in the ministry that represents Azerbaijan in the world? And instead of resigning, Elmar Mammadyarov [ed. the head of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry] is holding an online conference today with some European organization.”

The post Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials arrested in Azerbaijan for bribery, embezzlement – claim they were ‘helping ministry’ appeared first on English Jamnews.

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