I defend homosexual romanticism over war romanticism. It is acceptable when two men kill each other, but is it a sin when they sleep together?
Alekper Aliyev, author of Armenian-Azeri gay love story Artush and Zaur (Hurriyet)
P.S. An extract from the interview with Turkish daily Hurriyet:
The long-standing conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region serves the governments of both Armenia and Azerbaijan, Aliyev believes. "Both countries scare their citizens by inciting the war again," he said. "Both suffer from corruption and bribery, [their] societies are enslaved. Both are feudal governments. I defend homosexual romanticism over war romanticism. It is acceptable when two men kill each other, but is it a sin when they sleep together?"
Oil and gas, serum for a sick geography
Aliyev is pessimistic about the future of the Caucasus region, saying, "There is no light in the end of the tunnel." He calls the area a "sick geography," adding: "Crude oil and gas are the serum for this patient. When the serum comes to an end, it will show its true colors. The poverty behind the luxurious cars and buildings will be seen then. I want my own county’s natural resources to be exhausted at once. Otherwise, we will continue to become like the Arabs and more authoritarian. Our only escape is the closure of crude oil and gas pipelines for good."
War is the backdrop for Aliyev’s novel, which tells the story of two schoolboys. The author says he chose main characters of that age "because such sexual drives appear at puberty." He said the novel had become a hot issue in Armenia more than in Azerbaijani, especially in the Armenian parliament. Referring to an article published in an Armenian paper, Aliyev said: "The writer said there was no homosexuality in Armenia and that such perversions could be seen only in Azerbaijan. I think such statements make no sense in the 21st century."
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