- "In his eight years of rule, the autocrat has orchestrated a true cult of personality. Pictures of leathery, sphinxlike Aliyev stare from the wall in every office across the country. The paintings with the caption "Shining Son of the People" show an amazingly rejuvenated president emitting red and yellow rays of light, while in actuality 80-year-old Aliyev is suffering from cancer and has long since chosen his son Ilham to succeed him as president"
- "Lutz Klaveman desribing Aliyev's personality cult"
Heydar Aliyev (May 10, 1923 - December 12, 2003) was an Azerbaijani dictator. He has long been accused of violating human rights and forming an autocratic system in Azerbaijan with some critics even desribing the regime as totalitarian and magisterial. His rule was also characterized by censorship of the press and and atmosphere of fear in Azerbaijan.