AZERI OPPOSITION LEADER CRITICIZES PRESIDENT'S REACTION TO MEDIA CRACKDOWN

Turan News Agency
Nov 30 2006

Baku, 30 November: I believe that the attitude that [Azerbaijani
President] Ilham Aliyev demonstrated to very serious issues was
not serious, the first deputy chairman of the Democratic Party of
Azerbaijan, Sardar Calaloglu, told Turan while commenting on Ilham
Aliyev's statement on attacks on the free press.

Calaloglu said that ANS did not consist only of people. He did not
rule out that those people perhaps did make some mistakes in their
work. He described the closure of the TV channel as unacceptable as
it was an institution of society.

"There are lots of shortcomings in the work of people working at the
Cabinet of Ministers or the presidential administration. Should those
agencies be closed down because of that?" Calaloglu said.

Calaloglu said that the president's description of the eviction of
Azadliq newspaper and Turan news agency from their building as a
technical issue was not serious. He said that following this logic,
the leaders [of the country] can give Karabakh to Armenians as "a
technical issue". He said that the mass media and political parties are
institutions of society and the authorities' disrespectful attitude
to these agencies is a manifestation of disrespect for society as a
whole. "In his statement, Ilham Aliyev did not display an adequate
reaction to the serious developments that have taken place, which is a
gross violation of the constitution," Calaloglu said while commenting
on the president's statement.