Petro-dollars to Fuel Azeri Propaganda

By Hagop Hagopian, Toronto, 25 June 2022

Azerbaijanis, Iranian-Azerbaijanis, and Turks in Canada will establish a coalition organization in September to primarily enhance the image of the Azeri dictatorship among Canadians.

Spearheaded by retired politician and long-time promoter of Turkey Tony Ruprecht, the coalition is expected, according to reliable sources, to lobby Canada to recognize the thirty-year-old firefight in Khojali (Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh) between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops as genocide. The organization is also certain to lobby Canada to lift the ban on the export of high-tech drone parts to Turkey. Anti-Armenia and anti-Armenian propaganda is expected to be an integral part of the incipient coalition. Considering Turkey’s long experience in propagating anti-Armenian falsehoods, it’s expected Turkish community representatives will take a leading role in the Azeri-funded coalition.

The coalition will certainly ignore that no election in Azerbaijan has been deemed free and fair. The three-headed entity would not mention that President Ilham Aliev is a dictator. It would also pretend ignorance of the imprisoned journalists, the beatings in prisons, the lack of access to lawyers, lack of access to medical care, forced confessions, and lengthy pretrial detentions. It will certainly not talk about the Armenian POWs who are tortured in Azeri prisons.

Ruprecht returned recently from an Azerbaijan junket where he was guided through Azeri-occupied Artsakh. Did he see the defacement of Armenian churches and sacred icons? Did he care to protest? During the freebie visit, Ruprecht misled his hosts by identifying himself as representing the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada. Upon his return to Canada, he received a cease and desist letter from Tom Saras, president and CEO of the group, telling him not to repeat the misleading connection.

In recent months, three Canadian members of parliament have been on similar Azeri “familiarization” trips. The junket racket, dubbed Caviar Diplomacy, is a transparent Azeri ploy to win political friends courtesy of petro-dollars. Politicians from around the globe are wined and dined in Azerbaijan, receive expensive “souvenirs”, and are force-fed false history and anti-Armenian misinformation. Their flight and accommodation expenses are picked up by Aliev’s generous minions. Over the years, US government investigators have revealed that politicians on Azeri junkets have received jade earrings, rugs worth $3,500, silk scarves, tea sets, perfumes, and video box sets about the life and times of Aliev. One U.S. politician received an incredible 34 presents.

Some local MPPs are similarly lobbying provincial governments on behalf of the Turkish and Azeri embassies to adopt policies favorable to Turkey and Azerbaijan. These politicians are working hand in glove with both countries’ embassies and consulates and provide them with access to provincial decision makers.

We call upon Canadian-Armenian organizations to take concrete measures to expose the interference of foreign governments into Canadian domestic affairs and for pitting ethnic communities against each other.

  1. Thank you for publishing the article about the anti-Armenian efforts of the Azeris and Turks in Canada. Here is further information about the anti-Armenian campaign which Armenian activists should be aware of:
    In February, the Azeris launched an e-petition addressed to the Canadian government to “declare Feb. 26 as a National Day of remembrance of the victims of the Khojali Massacre.” It was presented to the House of Commons by MP Michael Cooper (St. Albert-Edmonton).

  2. It would be useful for Armenian organizations to know who are the Canadian politicians who support Azeri/Turkish activities. Here are some of them: Senators Salma Ataullahjan and Victor Oh, MP Michael Cooper, and the members of the Canada-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Friendship Group (MPs Philip Lawrence, Jamie Schmale, and Eric Melillo). Lawrence, Schmale, and Melillo went on an Azeri junket in late May.

  3. Azerbaijan is a terrorist state, just like Turkey.
    Azerbaijan has used all kinds of international terrorists from the first days of the Artsakh war 30+ years ago up through the 2020 war.
    Azerbaijan has also obviously violated the UN’s Convention on the Use of Mercenaries which it signed.
    Isn’t it about time for Armenians everywhere to use this information against Azerbaijan?
    Unless, of course, in the present case, Canadians have some sort of perverted love of ISIS and similar organizations.
    Keghart has published several articles on this, as have I, and the Web is replete with such information.
    Why not flood the streets of Montreal and Toronto with flyers exposing terrorist Azerbaijan and Turkey?

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