The Caucasus in Eurovision
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The Caucasus in Eurovision
Eurovision 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan
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Armenia Stands Firm on Eurovision Boycott - IWPR Institute for War & Peace Reporting - P212

Armenia has withdrawn from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan, following the death of a soldier that was initially blamed on Azeri troops.
 

The boycott will stay in place even though it transpires that the soldier was killed by one of his comrades rather than by an Azerbaijani sniper.


The contest is organised by the European Broadcast Union, EBU, which issued a statement on March 7 announcing the withdrawal of Armenian Public Television as a participating member.

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Azerbaijani Rights Activists Launch Eurovision Campaign - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2011

Azerbaijani Rights Activists Launch Eurovision Campaign - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2011 | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
BAKU -- Several Azerbaijani rights organizations have launched a public campaign about rights violations in the country ahead of Baku's hosting of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

The campaign, "Freedom Songs in a Non-Free Country," was launched last week. The organizers argue that Azerbaijan's Eurovision win by Ell & Nikki (Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal) in May was not only a cultural event but also held socio-political significance.

The Azerbaijani duo's first place at the contest in Duesseldorf, Germany, meant that Baku would host the 2012 competition.
"Azerbaijan is not only the host country; it should also be represented in this contest as a true member of the European family that respects democratic values," read the organizers' statement on Facebook.

Anar Mammadli, an initiator of the campaign, told RFE/RL the activists want to see concrete changes from the Azerbaijani government.

"First, political prisoners should be released from jail," he said. "Second, we want public TV to provide more pluralism. Third, the right to freedom of assembly should be guaranteed. Fourth, we want to inform the world about violations of property rights. Finally, we are concerned about the visa regime. Foreigners coming to Azerbaijan regularly face this problem."

Mammadli said the campaign will hold public debates, issue statements, and publish and distribute posters and other materials. He added that activists will also try to meet with the Eurovision organizing committee to press their case.

Human rights activist Leyla Yunus told RFE/RL they want to focus Eurovision participants' attention on the deteriorating human rights situation in Azerbaijan.

The initiators of the campaign have appealed to domestic and international human rights organizations to join the campaign.
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News.Az - Stamps on Azerbaijan's Eurovision-2011 win issued

News.Az - Stamps on Azerbaijan's Eurovision-2011 win issued | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
Azermarka company at Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has issued a postage stamp dedicated to Azerbaijan’s victory at Eurovision.

The stamp that displays the winners Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal has been released in 15,000 copies.

Nominal of the postage stamp is 1 manat.

Azerbaijani duo Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal ended up first among 43 countries in Dusseldorf (Germany), which hosted the 56th Eurovision Song Contest.
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Armenia: Ready to take part? | ESCDAILY.com

Armenia: Ready to take part? | ESCDAILY.com | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
Earlier this week we wrote that Amrenia was set to consider their Eurovision 2012 participation over the next few weeks, as reported by newspaper Zhamanak- however today the same publication is claiming that there are already two names in the running to go to Baku.

“The Board of Public TV and Radio of Armenia will soon announce that Armenia will take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku. At the moment the board is discussing whether participant from Armenia or abroad will represent the country at the contest”, writes Zhamanak, accoring to news.am.

The two names allegedly being considered are the recently re-united rock band ‘System of a Down’, or Razmik Amyan who came third in the 2010 national final. Rumours about ‘System of a Down’ taking part in Eurovision for Armenia have surfaced most years since the Caucus country joinedi n 2006, however the fact that names are being banded around might indicate that Armenian participation in 2012 is becoming more likely.
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News.Az - Armenia to decide on Eurovision issue in coming days

News.Az - Armenia to decide on Eurovision issue in coming days | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
Issue of Armenia’s participation in Baku-hosted Eurovision-2012 will be settled in coming days.

The issue of Armenia’s participation in Baku-hosted Eurovision-2012 will be settled in coming days, reports Aykakan zhamanak newspaper citing the head of the Armenian delegation in Eurovision Goar Gasparyan.

Azerbaijani duet Nikki (Nigar Jamal) and Ell (Eldar Gasimov) won Eurovision 2011 in Dusseldorf. Under the rules of Eurovision, the next contest will be held in the winner country.

“The preliminary information on this issue will come out soon. The decision has not been taken yet”, Gasparyan said.

Armenia has not been represented in the final for the first time in six years of its participation. Its representative Emmi performed her Boom Boom (music by Apricota group, lyrics by Sosi Khanikyan, arranged by Ara Torosyan) number four in the semifinal but failed to get to the final.
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WILL EUROVISION BRING SOME DEMOCRACY IN BAKU?

A group of Azerbaijani human rights activists and journalists is urging President Ilham Aliyev to release all political prisoners ahead of next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service reports. The call came in an open letter signed by more than 30 people, which was addressed to Aliyev on May 26.

Azerbaijan won the final of the pan-European contest in Germany earlier this month, meaning it will host next year’s final. “The final of Eurovision 2012 will be held in Baku and will attract the attention of the world to both the contest itself and to Azerbaijan as a whole. Therefore, we would like to draw your attention to the tense civil rights situation in the country, including violations of freedom of speech, assembly and association, and especially the issue of political prisoners, which is noted by local and international human rights organizations. This is the alarming situation of the background against which Eurovision 2012 will be held in Baku,” the open letter reads.

The activists say that if no major steps are taken to reduce social tensions, then Azerbaijan will appear to be a country that is not free, despite hosting a free art event. “As you know, rock is the music of free people,” the authors write. Hikmat Hajizadeh from the Eurointegration committee, one of those who signed the letter, told RFE/RL that Azerbaijan is not an isolated island in the world. “We have to be together with the world and Europe,” she said. “We’ll lose if we become a closed country. Our enemies will strengthen and we’ll lose our lands.”

Human rights activist Leyla Yunus said she is not very optimistic that the government will rectify all its past mistakes ahead of Eurovision 2012. “But many believe our government is far-seeing, and one will see during the Eurovision that Azerbaijan is a developed country,” she added. The activists call on Aliyev to take steps to reduce this tension and to pardon by May 28 (the anniversary of Azerbaijan’s independence in 1918) all political prisoners and jailed journalists and activists.

President Ilham Aliyev issued a pardon decree on May 26, paving the way for the release of 70 prisoners, including journalist Eynulla Fatullayev. They include several other political prisoners, but not Baxtiyar Haciyev, recently sentenced for draft-dodging; youth activist Jabbar Savalanli; and Ruslan Bashirli, a leading member of the youth organization Yeni Fikir (New Idea). Bashirli was sentenced in July 2006 to seven years’ imprisonment on charges, which he denies, of accepting money from Armenian intelligence to try to overthrow the Azerbaijani leadership in the run-up to the November 2005 parliamentary elections.
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The story of Azerbaijan -- Its singing talents are back on the world stage. Now for its politics.

The story of Azerbaijan --  Its singing talents are back on the world stage. Now for its politics. | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
It may have been a surprise win for most of the globe, but for Azerbaijan citizens its recent victory at Eurovision was the “easy” part of the test for a land rich with musical talent. But while its politics are undeniably the nation’s biggest hurdle, the effects of the victory might just go beyond a simple singing contest, writes Leila Alieva.

Azerbaijan has always been rich with singing talent. The Azerbaijani singers' Muslim Magomayev and Polad Bul Bul Oglu were adored by millions during Soviet Union period. But where perhaps true inspiration comes from for the Azerbaijani people- that of the pre-Soviet period – the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic of 1918-1920, is when its founders created a parliamentary republic based on liberal democratic values - something which Azerbaijani people are proud most of.

The post-Soviet reality created yet another opportunity for the people of Azerbaijan to express their creative potential. This time however, in the form of a more difficult test of their ability not only to survive in a complex geopolitical environment, but also to re-create a free and open society. Unfortunately, Azerbaijan’s current leadership falls well off this mark.

Today, that creative freedom is all but a memory. Current leaders have all but quashed the freedom of assembly and speech since the inflow of oil revenues started cushioning the pockets of those in power at the turn of this century.

But inspired by the Arab revolutions, Azerbaijan people have started to find their voice once more. On 2nd April, hundreds of protesters came out in the streets to express their need for change. They amassed against a powerful resistance which led to the arrest of nearly 250 people, with 16 of them arrested under criminal charges. Amongst the stories of those detained were; Sahib Rustamli, Raud Mammadov, Ramin Bakhishov, outstanding attorney Namizad Safarov and human rights defender Vidadi Isgandarli. All were all tortured while under police custody. No food or medicine was provided during their detention.

For those of us in the human rights defender circle, the target groups are clear – youth activists, political parties, and leaders of social networks. All these are seen as a major threat to the regime and as something which is not possible to control through administrative measures. Indeed, there are all sorts of pressure mechanisms against private owners, or state employees- they are too dependent on state for their survival.

So who are these young people who fight so bravely and have been sentenced, like Jabbar Savalanly and Bakhtiyar Hadjiyev? They deserve a personality.

Bahtiyar Hadjiyev, currently waiting trial having been charged with criminal charges for protesting, is a Harvard graduate. He returned to contribute to the development of his country and has run for parliament. He was arrested for criticising the elections for being flawed and sentenced to two years under the charges of ‘evasion of military service’.

Jabbar Savalanly was a student of the Baku State University and a passionate social networker, and well regarded being an excellent student. Other activists who sit locked in a cell for fighting for freedoms are Tural Abbasly and Ahad Mammadov; both inspiring idealists, bright students and true youth leaders with visions of a democratic future of Azerbaijan.

I bring you now to today and the wake of Azerbaijan’s victory at the Eurovision contest. I can tell you that immediately after the Eurovision contest; a group of 30 Baku based activists sent a “Eurovision without political prisoners” call to the president to free all political prisoners. Sensing the euphoria they wasted no time; hoping that with Azerbaijan the center of attention in Europe that they could draw attention to all the ills of the suppressive Azerbaijan regime.

This appeal attempted to focus on one thing; that being “European” does not prove itself so much in singing, but rather in providing its citizens with major freedoms and equal opportunities.

The timing worked. Just weeks after the Eurovision win Eynulla Fatullayev was pardoned by the Presidential decree on the 26th of May.

Coincidentally, or perhaps rather deliberately, the release decree was signed on the eve of the 93d anniversary of the first Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, clearly intended to connect the event with the outstanding past of the first Democratic Republic in the Muslim East.

Whether this was a show case or the genuine beginning of an attempt to be worthy of the ancestors and founders of the Republic will only be clear from the fate of the rest of the political prisoners, including the 16 recently arrested.

The inevitability of change is reflected in the fact that it may come from the unexpected side, or be triggered by a totally unrelated event such as the national celebration of the singing competition victory. What ever the outcome, it is clear that we as activists must work more intelligently and use what ever small windows, or large in this case, of opportunity out there to illuminate our cause
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Azerbaijan: Is Fatullayev’s Release Related to Eurovision Preparation? | EurasiaNet.org

Azerbaijan: Is Fatullayev’s Release Related to Eurovision Preparation? | EurasiaNet.org | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
Could it be that pop music, traditionally viewed by conservative governments as a scourge, is precipitating a thaw in Azerbaijan? Human rights activists in Baku are hopeful that is the case following the recent release of a prominent independent journalist from prison.

An observation by US Ambassador Matthew Bryza that Fatullayev’s May 26 release “launches a new era of reforms in Azerbaijan” is helping to fuel an impression that it is linked to Azerbaijan’s recent triumph in the Eurovision pop music contest. Rights activists and foreign governments had viewed Fatullayev as a political prisoner, jailed for his anti-government writings.

“What can be a better start for the preparation process for Eurovision-2012 in Baku?” Bryza told journalists on May 27. So far, officials have not commented on President Ilham Aliyev’s May 26 amnesty. Fatullayev was among about 90 prisoners released overall.

Many human and civil rights activists are inclined to believe that the release of Fatullayev marks the start of a new government trend. Hosting Eurovision next year means increased international scrutiny of Azerbaijan and, in turn, increased pressure for the release of political prisoners, predicted longtime human rights activist Novella Jafarova. “Now authorities will gradually release all, or almost all political prisoners, including recently arrested Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, Jabbar Savalan and other opposition and youth activists,” predicted Jafarova, head of the Baku-based Human Rights Society.
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News.Az - Eurovision versus Euro-Jingoism

News.Az - Eurovision versus Euro-Jingoism | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
On May 14, 2011 a song titled "Running Scared" performed by the Azerbaijani duo, Ell and Nikki, or Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal, won the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), the biggest and most popular musical show in Europe since 1956. Though competing music groups represent individual European nation-states, the ESC seeks to erase boundaries and create synergies similar to the European Championship League in soccer.

While such expressions of European multi-culturalism deserve the utmost admiration, the reaction of some European media outlets to the victory of Azerbaijani music duo reveals the disturbing and persistent pattern of jingoism. I do not mean the reaction from Azerbaijan's nemesis, Armenia and Armenian diaspora, which flooded Internet forums with negative rhetoric in the aftermath of the ESC final. The ongoing conflict between the two countries makes such jealousy somewhat understandable.

Yet I am dismayed and disappointed by the reaction of some media outlets in Western Europe. Suddenly, a debate has emerged about the relevance of Azerbaijan’s geographic location in Europe. Even ignoring the fact that the substantial parts of Azerbaijan are, in fact, located north of the Greater Caucasus mountain range and, thus, geographically belong to Europe, the appearance of such arguments now is rather surprising. That is, the questioning of Azerbaijan's belonging to Europe appears now, not in 2008, when the country joined the Eurovision contest, not in 2001, when it became part of the Council of Europe, and not in 1992, when it joined the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), the predecessor of now well-known OSCE. And no one questions the geographic belonging of the 1998 ESC winner, Israel, in Europe either. Two of Azerbaijan’s immediate Christian neighbors – Armenia and Georgia – are not also the subject of such discussion.
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Участие армян в Евровидении-2012 в Баку будет символом новой страницы в отношениях двух стран

Участие армян в Евровидении-2012 в Баку будет символом новой страницы в отношениях двух стран | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
(Rasim Musabekov: Participation in Eurovision 2012 will symbolize a new peaceful chapter in Armenia-Azerbaijan relations)

Участие армянских представителей в международном конкурсе песни «Евровидение-2012» будет символизировать новую, мирную страницу в отношениях армянского и азербайджанского народов. Об этом сегодня, 16 мая, в ходе онлайн-конференции в «Сети журналистов Кавказа» заявил азербайджанский политолог Расим Мусабеков.

«По правилам конкурса, участие представителей всех стран обеспечивается страной-организатором. Полагаю, что представители Армении могут участвовать (страна решает сама). Их безопасность, возможность подготовиться и достойно выступить будет обеспечена», - заявил депутат.

Отметим, что прошедший в немецком городе Дюссельдорфе конкурс «Евровидение-2011» выиграл дуэт из Азербайджана, тем самым перенеся следующее «Евровидение» в Баку.
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Koko Murat: Armenia must perform in Azerbaijan next year

Koko Murat: Armenia must perform in Azerbaijan next year | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
PanARMENIAN.Net - According to IBF Inter-Continental champion Karo Murat (Germany), Armenian representative Emmy performed well at Eurovision song contest 2011.

On May 23, in Yerevan, Murat stated: “During recording the music video the singer visited our training camp, when they made some shooting with Arthur Abraham. The song and the clip gave rise to a great interest in Germany, and I think it could be in Top 10.“

Murat's brother boxer Koko Murat believes that Armenia must perform in Azerbaijan next year. ”I think, that the representitive of our country should be elected by voting,“ he suggested.

On May 10 in Düsseldorf, Germany, Armenian singer Emmy performed her “Boom-Boom” song in the first semi-final. Armenian famous boxer Arthur Abraham was the main hero in the video filmed specifically for the song. But Emmy failed to advance to the contest finals.
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Azerbaijan: Bloggers divided over Eurovision win · Global Voices

Azerbaijan: Bloggers divided over Eurovision win · Global Voices | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
Last weekend, Azerbaijan was shaking, with thousands of people flooding on to the streets of Baku, the capital, celebrating their country's win in the Eurovision Song Contest held a few hours earlier. However, not everyone was euphoric about the victory in the international music competition.
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Eurovision winner Azerbaijan is now top for flight searches - {Travel Daily News}

While Azerbaijan has been basking in the glory of its Saturday night Eurovision win, WhichBudget.com has identified another accomplishment it can be proud of... Azerbaijan is topping flight destination searches, with peaked flight interest in the country following Saturday’s triumph.
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Will 'Pop Music Diplomacy' Delay War in a Long, Bitter Azerbaijan-Armenia Land Dispute?

Will 'Pop Music Diplomacy' Delay War in a Long, Bitter Azerbaijan-Armenia Land Dispute? | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
Will the expressed willingness of Azerbaijan to let its arch-enemy Armenia take part in the 2012 competition produce a breakthrough, where international negotiators and military threats have failed?
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BRIEF: Azerbaijani computer producer ready for Eurovision-2012

Jul 06, 2011 (Trend News Agency - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The Azerbaijani KUR computer equipment producer is ready to create the necessary infrastructure to ensure universal access to the Internet during Eurovision-2012.

According to the information, the matter rests in expanding the network of Internet kiosks in Baku. It will allow tourists to have ubiquitous access to the Internet for free.

"Tourists, who will stay in Baku this period, will want to share experience with their loved ones, and thus the availability of these devices may become relevant," KUR said.

The stand-alone device, connected to the high-speed Internet lines, will provide all interested persons with fast connection. KUR plans to install these devices in public areas of the capital.

Internet kiosks are used by public and private enterprises.
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News.Az - Azerbaijan seeks to reassure Armenia over Eurovision

News.Az - Azerbaijan seeks to reassure Armenia over Eurovision | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
Azerbaijan will ensure that entrants from Armenia enjoy the same conditions as all other competitors in Eurovision 2012, officials have said.

“In line with the provisions of Eurovision, Azerbaijan is ready to ensure the participation of all participants in the upcoming contest in Baku,” Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elkhan Polukhov told Interfax-Azerbaijan.

“Armenian representatives have equal rights with contestants from other countries in the contest and there are no special problems here,” sources in Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism told the news agency.

The remarks come as Armenia is reported to be finalizing its decision on whether or not to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku next year.

On Thursday, Armenian newspaper Haykakan Zhamanak (Armenian Times) reported that Armenia would compete in Eurovision 2012.

“In the near future, the Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Council will declare that Armenia will take part in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku. A contestant is now being selected,” the newspaper reported.

Baku earned the right to hold Eurovision 2012 after Azerbaijani duo Ell & Nikki won this year's contest.
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HOW SURE ARE WE FOR BAKU 2012?

HOW SURE ARE WE FOR BAKU 2012? | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
More than one week after the so much anticipated first meeting of EBU and Ictamai the news coming from the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest seems to be totally foggy. First of all there seems to be no change in the dates for the semifinals and the final of the next year’s Eurovision edition awaiting the answer of Israel who was very strict to any potential participation in the specific dates.

The official website of www.eurovision.tv happily reports that the Reference Group and the Azeri national broadcaster discussed the preliminary phases of visa, delegations safety, venue requirements amongst others. The big news coming out is that the EBU and Ictamai do not safely say that it will be Baku which will host the 2012 Eurovision edition.

With the next Reference Group meeting with Ictamai scheduled in August we have no idea about the new venue, we have no idea if the country can actually host the event. The only thing we know the past few weeks is that the First Lady of the country will head the organizing committee. So what if they buy new taxi from London, what if they publish glamorous posts in various newspapers about potential venue inside the Caspian Sea?

The meeting of August seems to be the last chance of Azerbaijan to convince us that they can actually host the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. The foreigners often use this for Greeks, so it’s time to post for Azeri broadcaster as well: Instead of making noise through their national press about 100 million Euros cost, Caspian Sea venue and lots of mythological stories (such as they are expecting 60,000 visitors – when no other organization achieved more than 5,000), Azerbaijan should wake up and convince us that they can host it.

Weird enough, there are quite many blogs reporting that RAI is already standing by; why?
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Eurovision « Terp notes

Eurovision « Terp notes | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
I doubt if two years ago, when Hollywood actor Willem Dafoe and actress Ashley Jensen jokingly voted for Azerbaijan at the Graham Norton’s Eurovision Warm-up comedy show on BBC Two, anybody would imagine that this country with such a hard-to-pronounce name will win the Europe’s most watched song contest, which brought more than 120 million people to the front of the television screens past weekend on 14 May 2011.
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Azerbaijan’s Song Contest Victory Puts A President In The Hot Seat - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2011

Azerbaijan’s Song Contest Victory Puts A President In The Hot Seat - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2011 | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
Last month, more than 120 million viewers watched a pop duo from Azerbaijan win the 2011 Eurovision song contest. That’s a bigger audience than any ever recorded for the Academy Awards show.

For more than 50 years, Eurovision -- in all its kitschy splendor -- has pitted Europe’s best pop acts against one another for the cause of national glory. And while easily sloughed off as an exercise in the lowest of popular culture, the success of Eurovision has mirrored the evolution of Europe itself. Just as the geographic conception of the continent has changed, and its population diversified, so too has the pool of Eurovision winners, expanded to include representatives from the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, and even Turkey (in 2004).

Each year the contest is hosted in the home country of the previous competition’s winner, and Eurovision viewers often find themselves learning about places they would have never bothered to visit. This wave of publicity can be a blessing for the host country’s rulers -- or a curse.

So what will Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev make of the opportunity?

He could start by thinking hard about how he wants his country to look when it takes the stage before its first European mass audience. Azerbaijan’s capital Baku is geographically closer to Kabul or Baghdad than to any EU capital city, but that has never stopped Azerbaijanis from thinking of themselves primarily in European terms.
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News.Az - Baku to ensure security for Armenian Eurovision contestants

News.Az - Baku to ensure security for Armenian Eurovision contestants | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
Azerbaijan guarantees the security of Armenian contestants in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Baku, a minister has said.

"We would like Armenian representatives to compete in this contest, but if they decide not to come to Azerbaijan, then that is their right," Youth and Sport Minister Azad Rahimov told journalists.

Commenting on the venue for the contest, Rahimov said: “We need to find a company that can build a 15-25,000-seat hall in eight months which can serve as the venue for Eurovision 2012."

He said that if a company was found, there were many fine places for construction of the venue in Baku. The minister mentioned the seaside promenade and Flag Square as potential venues: “If a company cannot be found, it will be possible to hold the concert at the Tofig Bahramov Republican Stadium or the Heydar Aliyev Sport and Concert Complex after renovation work."

Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a bitter war in the early 1990s after Armenia made claims on Azerbaijani territory. Armenian armed forces have occupied a swathe of Azerbaijani territory since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and seven surrounding districts. Although a cease-fire was signed in 1994, talks are still continuing on a peace deal.

The two countries do not have diplomatic relations and it is rare for citizens of one country to visit the other.
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Today.Az - World Countries to confirm their "Eurovision-2012" participation in November

Today.Az - World Countries to confirm their "Eurovision-2012" participation in November | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
The procedure of confirming the participation in the Eurovision-2012 will be held in November.

The European Broadcasting Union will determine terms of the confirmation by the countries, Public Broadcasting Company Spokesman Tahir Mammadov said.

Azerbaijan has already launched preparatory work for holding the competition.
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Go Lucina?: Prizefighter reveals his Armenia pick for Eurovision in Azerbaijan - News | ArmeniaNow.com

Go Lucina?: Prizefighter reveals his Armenia pick for Eurovision in Azerbaijan - News | ArmeniaNow.com | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
Germany-based Armenian professional boxer Karo Murat sees Lucina, a rising Armenian pop star, as the country’s choice for next year’s Eurovision song contest in Azerbaijan, he revealed at a press conference in Yerevan.

The IBF inter-continental champion said he had a chance to meet with Armenia’s Eurovision 2011 participant Emmy when she visited his training camp for the production of a video with another Germany-based Armenian professional boxer Arthur Abraham. Murat told the media in Yerevan that despite her failure to qualify for the finals Emmy performed well at the Dusseldorf show.

“The song and her clip had aroused a great deal of interest in Germany, and I think it could finish among the top ten,” Murat (Karen Muratyan, 27) said, according to PanArmenian.net.
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APA - Dusseldorf’s Lord Mayor to visit Azerbaijan to present Eurovision 2012 Host City Insignia to Baku Mayor – EXCLUSIVE

APA - Dusseldorf’s Lord Mayor to visit Azerbaijan to present Eurovision 2012 Host City Insignia to Baku Mayor – EXCLUSIVE | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
Dusseldorf’s Lord Mayor Dirk Elbers is planning to visit Baku to present the Eurovision 2012 Host City Insignia to Baku Mayor Hajibala Abutalibov, APA reports.

The Lord Mayor is expected to arrive in Baku in the near future.

A special delegation will accompany the Dusseldorf’s Mayor, who will deliver the Eurovision Host City Insignia, he received last year, to Hajibala Abutalibov.

Eurovision 2011 winners, Azerbaijani singers Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal are in Germany now. They are planning to perform during the Russian Muz TV award ceremony in Moscow early in June.
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Azerbaijan: Eurovision winner Nigar Camal’s visa criticism · Global Voices

Dissident blogger and journalist Elnur Majidli, now living in France and facing arrest in Azerbaijan for his Facebook activity, has uploaded a screenshot of a status line written last year by Nigar Camal, one of the two singers who won this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Germany, on the popular social networking site. With concerns already being raised regarding the less than simple visa application process for the oil-rich former Soviet republic ahead of next year's competition, Camal, now a British citizen, says she was refused an extension for her own visa and commented “what an idiotic country with idiotic laws.”
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Baku and beyond: a road-trip around Azerbaijan | Travel | The Guardian

Baku and beyond: a road-trip around Azerbaijan | Travel | The Guardian | The Caucasus in Eurovision | Scoop.it
Azerbaijan may have won Eurovision, but its beautiful, remote towns are uncharted territory for most Europeans.
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