Baku Destroying Homes, Building Parks Instead

President Aliyev said on Saturday that parks in Baku rank first across the globe.

President Aliyev said on Saturday that parks in Baku rank

first across the globe.

He expressed this in a speech to a group of Baku State University-associated teachers.

He also mentioned that in Baku, whenever a building is demolished, a new park is created in its stead, adding that the next such large park will be on Yusif Safarov street, in Baku’s Khatai district.

What the president did not mention was the effect the demolition of such buildings generally has on their former residents and on the surrounding areas as well.

The first cases of large-scale residential building demolition

began in 2009

, with the “Winter Boulevard” project, which now cuts through a large plot of land in downtown Baku where formerly more than 20 buildings used to stand.

Numerous former residents have been

left unsatisfied

by the meager compensation they have received from the government. The compensation was 1500 manat per one square meter of property owned.

Another area of Baku which has begun the process of ‘reconstruction’ is the historical ‘Sovetski’ area, which is located in Baku’s western district of Yasamal.

The decision to go ahead with the demolition of the area was made in 2014. According to the order, 4500 residential and non-residential facilities have already been demolished; compensation was the same –

1500 manat



to  Deputy Prime Minister Abid Sharifov, more than 10 thousand apartments will be demolished in total.

As in the previous case, many of the former residents of these buildings have been left without adequate payment for their homes, and many are disturbed by the fact that they have been effectively evicted from the downtown area of Baku and forced into the periphery.

In addition to residential buildings, other monuments of architectural value have also been destroyed.

Despite protests that lasted several months, on July 1, a one-hundred-year-old mosque, the Haji Javad Mosque, was recently demolished ahead of schedule. The mosque was built in 1912, and the President had promised mosque-goers that the mosque would not be demolished until another one had been built on a different location; the construction of this second mosque has not been completed.

Later, the president did order an investigation into the incident and demanded that those responsible for the early construction be punished,

Trend reported at the time.

In Azerbaijan’s central city of Goychay, a park, where in 1969 famous Azerbaijani poet Ali Kerim was buried, will be turned into an entertainment center. The poet’s wife, Elza Kerim, has written a letter to the president asking for help in preventing the reburial of her husband’s remains.

According to her, the grave has already been fenced in with a wall of bricks, and the monument of the poet Ali Kerim was removed from the entrance to the park and placed in the far corner.

Azerbaijan also has a reputation for building parks abroad as well. One of these projects, the

“Azerbaijan Park”

, was realized in the city of Evian-les-Bains, France on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on July 4, 2017.



a park appeared in Kyiv in honor of deceased, former Azerbaijani president Heydar Aliyev.



Ankara, Turkey named a park in honor of Heydar Aliyev’s wife, Zarifa Aliyeva.



, another park opened in Kyiv, named the “Friendship Park of Azerbaijani-Ukrainian Peoples.” There are parks named for Heydar Aliyev in the Georgian cities of Tbilisi and Rustavi as well.

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