A Brief Look at Azerbaijan’s Priorities
So off to the left there is a screenshot I grabbed from the AzerNEWS website. The usual suspects were populating the news of the day, but I thought it might be illustrative to point out the “Most Read News” section (sorry it’s a little fuzzy). It struck me that it is a particularly poignant bulleted list of the topics that occupy any given Azerbaijani’s mind, at any given time. First, Eurovision. If you haven’t heard of Eurovision, you probably don’t exist here. Azerbaijan took an incredible 3rd place last year, with a song you can hear ringing through the streets, “Always”, by Aysel and Arash. It’s a big deal. Here’s a look. Around here, the buzz is heating up about Oslo 2010.
The next one down is about war with the neighbors. That’s exciting. And I think this list accurately reflects that when most Azerbaijanis aren’t thinking about Eurovision, they’re probably thinking about war with Armenia. The list goes on with concerns about Turkey, the PKK (what some consider a terrorist organization in Turkey), and then Garabagh (or Karabakh). Azerbaijanis love Turkey, so that it’s number three sounds about right. The PKK is probably just a short time thing until that Kurdish party is actually recognized as a terrorist organization by both Turkey and Azerbaijan. And Karabakh is always on an Azerbaijani’s mind. I think the only thing I would change in this list is that oil and gas should replace the PKK. With that minor change, you’ve probably covered all the major news of the day, everyday, in Azerbaijan.