While some see it as a point of pride, others see it as a ‘dishonest move’
Heydar Aliyev, the son of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, has been drafted into the country’s army.
He recently graduated university and is of military service age. Thus, his being drafted should, in theory, not be a surprise. However, the Azerbaijani segment of Facebook has not let the news pass quietly.
Two camps have formed around the news.
The first says Heydar’s military service is a brilliant example of patriotism and sets an example for other officials.
Others have pointed out that Heydar Aliyev will not be serving on the front line, but will instead spend his time with the State Security Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
“The country is at war. The president is sending his son not to the army, but to the State Security Service. That is, he does not trust the army with his son,” writes independent journalist Khadija Ismayilova on her Facebook page.
Others have expressed similar sentiments:
“He made it into the elite military department which, by the way, does not have any connection to the army, nor to the ministry of defence.”
“We have gotten used to cursing MPs whose sons hang on to their mothers’ skirts. And here, the son of the president has gone to the army. He’s broken the stereotype. Is that really so bad?”
“These are ‘troops’ of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. They’ll just guard the president’s dacha.”
“Well done! What a good example for the president’s administration, which doesn’t send its sons to serve!”
“One can only dream of undergoing such ‘military service’. Had they drafted him to the front, with its smelly toilets, bed bugs, lice and cockroaches in the soup, then yes, this would be a great example.”
“We’re a strange nation. If the son of an official doesn’t serve, we get angry. And if he goes, we make fun of him. We’re jealous instead of being proud. Maybe we should praise something good for once.”
Some are hopeful:
“How can we know? Maybe the conditions of soldiers’ lives will improve. Maybe it’s all for the better.”