However, in a conversation with us Mushfig Namazov calls another and, in his opinion, a more reasoned motive. "Both Yerevan and Baku are closely watching Tekali process, I am an active participant of it as well. Detractors of the peace process, people that have spy mania hang on us thousand sins, slandered and accused almost a betrayal of the nation. I am not a supporter of conspiracy theories, but what happened to my family, makes us think that there are people in our country who do not like it, at least out of respect for certain circles of the neighboring country, we are going to the village, talking about the Peace and good-neighborliness, - says Mushfig Namazov - otherwise how to explain the situation, when you are attacked in broad daylight, and the perpetrators are not punished and on the contrary the victims are being judged? ". According to him, when the powers want to do so, they can easily find a reason and the controversial bank debt, to which Namazovs do not agree, is just an excuse.
After Mushvig Namazov "disturbed" Parliament, the Government and the People's Advocate, the Prosecutor's Office became interested in his business as well and soon put the limits against him down "based on the interests of the investigation".
Among other things, Mushfig Namazov’s words about Tekali process and its active participants, such as the heart and soul of the process George Vanyan, Is far from being “favored” in Yerevan and especially in Baku, confirm the antitekali information campaigns. Moreover, Vanyan waseven threatened with physical violence.
An interested reader can look into “Google” search system and see everything himself: just type in Russian, Armenian or Azeri language "Mushfig Namazov", "Georgi Vanyan," "Alternative Start", "Tekali process" and you will see a lot of the negative, libelous materials, both the Azerbaijani and the Armenian state media (such as public broadcaster of Armenia) and of media with questionable financing. Moreover, medias in both countries were told to abandon the mutual contacts between Azerbaijanis and Armenians, and never meet Mushvig Namazov and Georgi Vanyan.
So what are Tekali civil hearings actually? The whole essence of the process was formulated by an expert from Baku Zardusht Alizadeh at a recent hearing in the Tekali, referring to a student from Yerevan who was skeptical regarding the peaceful solution of the Karabakh conflict, "Asya you can share the knowledge, ideas obtained here (in Tekali) with your friends in Yerevan, so that they will think about the importance of peace, the will popularize the peace process. For example, my Tekali friend Samvel Beglaryan is changing and I am changing, changing a lot as a result of the influence of my Georgian and Armenian friends."
In general, any phenomenon, any activity is related to specific people. This happens in the case of Tekali as well: someone actively, someone not very actively, create space together, an environment where people talk openly about how disgusting the war is and how good the Peace is, that it is bad when people are persecuted and killed on ethnic or religious grounds, and how good a multicultural environment is. Mushfig Namazov, he said, follows these principles, and that is why he was involved in the peace process of Tekali.
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Georgi Vanyan talked about Tekali process as a whole, its role and importance, and if we judge him by negative articles against him, he himself needs to be protected. Interview recorded in February 12 of this year.
Q .: What can you say about the importance of Tekali process?
G.V.: Tekali process started in 2011, during a meeting of public figures, journalists and experts from the three countries of South Caucasus. Since that time Tekali held about twenty public discussions about the issues of regional security and human rights, two festivals of art. Main features of Tekali process is the variety of participants: here come people with different political views, different ages and generations, experts and professors with years of professional experience, students, people of different professions, the farmers of border areas of the three countries, rural teachers and journalists from the capital and the border villages, European researchers, students and journalists. In general, different people who share an interest or concern related to the unresolved conflicts in our region are involved in Tekali meetings. Also, they are united by a desire to meet and communicate with each other. In cases when we have the possibility to organize a civil hearing more than 100 participants gather in Tekali, and the information spreads only through some of the sites, with more than good advertising, I'm sure that a lot more people companions and friends will be interested. Tekali process provides a platform for communication, which is more accessible to everyone, than similar conferences and seminars, that are held for individual social groups or experts with a limited number of participants.
Tekali process is not a subject to political conjuncture, it is a democratic process, a process that is coming from "below", despite the political situation. Tekali is the closest settlement in Georgia to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, and meetings and events here are held even during the military escalation in this region, and more than half of the meetings are directly devoted to discuss the possibilities of ordinary citizens to influence the situation and contribute to the maintenance of the ceasefire. The political mainstream in all three countries of South Caucasus, the government, the opposition and the expert community do not consider the discussion of the regional cooperation and collaboration important and relevant at this stage . Especially the specific non-military options and scenarios of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and Georgia the restoration of international security in the region are not being discussed. These ideas are discussed in Tekali, because, in spite of the so-called real politics, there is also a real life and human rights, a real need for everyone to live, not to die, to build a future for their children, rather than to spend every day in fear and with fear of the future. Every citizen has the opportunity to show their position, to show their solidarity with the idea of peace and cooperation In Tekali.
Tekali process is the most open process. Firstly, everyone has access to the microphone in Tekali and no one supervises and coordinates the speeches of participants in advance, everyone can express their opinion on any subject, advertise their activities and promote their ideas. At the same time, of course, Tekali respects the laws of Georgia, and any attempt to even the smallest insult or incitement to hatred is immediately being suppressed by the participants, there is no need of intervention from the organizers. Every detail of each event is being sanctified in the official website of Tekali process, each meeting can also be found in advance, and any journalist from any media, without special accreditation can operate in Tekali. The meaning of Tekali process is in its uniqueness, and today, in the year 2015-2016, it is the only open and free platform for meetings of Armenians and Azerbaijanis.
Q .: What can you say about the importance of the border areas inhabitants’ participation in the process?
G.V.: Different people are involved in the Tekali process from borders. Among them are representatives of NGOs, journalists who have participated in other regional projects, but the majority, as it is said, are the common people, who have the opportunity to meet each other for the first time in 20 years,as well as young people who see an Armenian, Azerbaijani for the first time. There are even those who go outside of their country for the first time, but live very close to the border. And people that live in borders not only see each other, but also communicate and make friends with each other.
All other projects conducted by governmental and non-governmental organizations in all three South Caucasus countries have training or purely charitable orientation. Residents of border areas of the three countries, to a greater or lesser extent, are not perceived as the residents of intersection, but the inhabitants of the outskirts, residents of the place where the world ends, they have little or no geographical and cultural benefits: trade, business and cultural ties and, especially, politics goes through the capital. Tekali process aims to raise the status of these people, to discover their cultural and social potential, but not through trainings and seminars, but through natural communication.
It should be noted that, thanks to Tekali process, the stereotype that the regions and the Georgian village with 100 percent Azerbaijani population is not safe for the citizens of Armenia was broken not only among the participants but also in the whole Armenia, the fears that the Armenians had since the Karabakh movement, about the so-called genetic hostility of our peoples, have been overcome. Not a single car with Armenian numbers passed on Red bridge before Tekali process. Especially young people from Armenia, the new generation of post-conflict times, literally experience shock when they begin to realize that fear against Azerbaijanis is pure fiction. And they understand this not in humanistic books, but in reality, after spending the whole day in the Azerbaijani houses, and communicating with locals and the participants who came from Azerbaijan.
Tekali process is a cultural revolution for the bordering areas of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Yesterday’s villagers could not even imagine that they could be allowed to go to an international meeting and to communicate with the residents of the neighboring village.
Q: And what about Mushfig in this process?
GV .: Mushvig Namazov was a member of Tekali meetings from the start. From 2011 till 2014 the meetings were held in various houses of Tekali village, a tent was constructed in the courtyard houses and the owners of the house organized a reception and accommodation, as well as a large joint dinner for all participants with the help of their fellow villagers.
During the 2012 and 2013 festivals that had been organized due to our friends and associates from Berlin, we discussed the possibility of having our own space for Tekali meetings as public events, especially film screenings, musical evenings that are not very convenient in houses. By this time a circle of key players, and especially the artists, have put a task to find a public, social platform for Tekali process, that will have more technical possibilitie and will give the opportunity to engage more people. The idea of opening the Center of the World had become more urgent. Then I had a meeting with the head of the rural community that included the village Tekali, we tried to find out if there were any areas of common land in Tekali, which we could rent for a nominal fee for our peacekeeping activities. This land was not in tech. I also asked the villagers about the sale or lease of their private plots. And at a meeting I was approached by Mushfig Namazov, he said he wanted to give a part of their land to Tekali process, and I asked him to announce it in the microphone for all participants. Mushfig is a man of few words, but it is enough just to talk to him to see why he wanted to become a sponsor of Tekali process. You can ask him why he did so too.
So 4 hectares of Mushfig Namazov’s land completed the disposal of Tekali process. Of course, we have not issued land deed because Mushvig is one of us, a member of the Tekali Council Association, a non-governmental organization, which is registered in Georgia, and the purpose of which is the development of Tekali process. Mushvig’s land is his contribution to the common cause.
I must say that when we moved the event to the land, which is located on the outskirts of the village and is very close to the junction of the borders, it added a lot of work to Mushfig and his fellow villagers of the team that helped us. Firstly, they have cleared and leveled the land, which was previously used for sowing. Secondly, every time we need a big tent for the event, we need to conduct electricity, built a temporary toilet and bring water. We currently do not have funds for the construction, but, nevertheless, it is already two years the event is being held there.
Without the support of Tekali villagers there would be no Tekali process. Of course you can theoretically argue that hospitality is inherent in all Caucasian people, but we are not talking about the traditional hospitality here. Mushfig Namazov is a strong and principled man, and the fact that today there is Tekali process, it is thanks to Mushvig Namazov, a citizen of Georgia with Azeri origin, he is a rural entrepreneur, a family father who took on a very difficult civil mission, to support the peace-building and the struggle for human rights. So here, as in everything, the will and faith in the ideals of the individual is important.
Unfortunately, the Tekali process added not only institutional care but also created such problems that require a lot of courage to overcome. And while Mushvig keeps its position, tens and hundreds of people involved in the Tekali process in the three countries will have the opportunity to meet.
Q .: Why don’t they like the process in Yerevan, Baku and Tbilisi?
GV .: Yerevan and Baku authorities did not want to see this process to started and to be continued. They, like any authority, do not like independence from them, a processes they cannot control. And that's fine.
To some extent, the Tekali meetings are extra headache for the Georgian authorities, at least for the reason that they have the ability to calculate a provocation and speculation surrounding this process.
Therefore the authorities simply cannot like the Tekali process, even though several of them may be interested in, and even sympathize with this process.
And then the question is not to like or to dislike. The question is how the authorities react to this process, which is not under the auspices of any one of them.
Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are authoritarian regimes, and, theoretically, both of these countries are open to "prohibit" Tekali process by a variety of traditional repressive means. There is no open, enforced ban on the process today, but they apply certain scenarios to reduce the significance of this process, and they need the process to end itself, as a result of a very hidden and disguised repression trying to create a picture of the failure of this process.
And the funniest part was the initial period, when the pressure on the process participants was being preceded both in Armenia and Azerbaijan in parallel, and therefore it turned the opposite effect. In the internet age, when almost all countries are in the general information field, such parallel attacks convinced the participants and the general public that this is an interesting, new and viable process.
But eventually the imbalance in the repression became apparent, first the pressure from Azerbaijan increased, and as soon as it began to wane, Armenia intensified. And now, I'm sure, the source of repression is in Armenia. Tekali process perceived as anti-imperialist, anti-Putin project at all stages. The project, which is opposed to the idea of the colonization of the former Soviet Union, in cultural terms, is an anti-Putin, antiKGB project. And the deeper and wider was the occupation of Armenia by Russia, the clearer and more insidious began reprisals against Tekali process.
Anti-democratists, powers that are steeped in corruption and abuse are prone to exhibit their entire essence with this example related to a small-scale project such as the Tekali process. They need to constantly sow apathy, disbelief, fear around themselves. Therefore, even in this particular case, their methods are KGB methods. Use blackmail to break the people, this is their task.
In the last 10 years in our region, in each of the countries, in varying degrees, groups of so-called “intelligence” have been developed with different underclass elements that are financed from hidden sources. In countries such as Armenia, they being merged with the government and the so-called opposition, are the tool of occupation, they create developed organizational and business structures with a definite purpose of keeping control through provocation, fear, obscurantism.
The question is whether the Tekali process can survive in these conditions or not?