A Scattering of News Items
Some recent Azerbaijan news items worthy of your attention:
First, the ongoing Ambassador game. Matthew Bryza has made it one step closer to finally filling the role of US Ambassador to Azerbaijan. It’s now been well over a year since we’ve had an ambassador to Azerbaijan. The overwhelming evidence points to Bryza being the guy for the job. And the Armenian diaspora has done a great job using the media and their lobbying efforts to stall this development, as seen by Senator Barbara Boxer’s repeated holds on Bryza’s nomination. Barbara’s constituency consists of the largest population of Armenians in the US. Certainly, I think examining Bryza’s background in this area of the world is a worthwhile enterprise, as anyone who’s been in any sort of power position is likely subject to a heavy dose of corruption. However, it seems to me that Bryza is as good as any, and the efforts of the ANCA are not necessarily to shake down Bryza and get the right guy in the seat, but instead to prevent any ambassador from being appointed. That’s a shame and the US should know better.
Another thing to know is that the Maiden Tower in Baku, one of the main tourist attractions in all of Azerbaijan, has now closed the top of its tower. Another suicide jump from the top of the tower has convinced officials that it’s no longer prudent to allow people atop the tower. From Today.Az:
Currently, the top of the tower is planned to be covered with a transparent coating for security reasons and only after that visitors can admire the capital’s panorama from the top of the tower. The last suicide case in the Maiden Tower occurred on September 18. A girl aged 25-26 jumped to her death from the tower. A total of 15 suicides have occurred in the tower for the last 3-4 years.
Last, from the Lənkəran police blotter, it turns out that a museum in the city has been plundered. The museum is a museum-house just down my street formerly occupied by Həzi Aslanov. Həzi Aslanov was a WWII hero of the Soviet Union, a Major General who now has his very own park in the city near the train station. Aslanov was Talysh and grew up in Lənkəran and worked at a brick factory, serving later in the Soviet Army commanding tank brigades. It looks like the plunderer of the museum was one of the local drug users, and they managed to get him fairly quickly. Hopefully all returns to normal at the house of Həzi Aslanov.