Aziz Aliyev

Prominent scientist and public figure Aziz Mammadkarim oglu Aliyev was born on January 1, 1897 in the village of Hamamli near the city of Iravan. He received his primary education in Ibadulla bey Mughanlinsky’s boarding house in Iravan. He was taught by Jabbar Mammadzadeh, the son of Fars Abbas, a well-known linguist-scientist. Here he studied Arabic, Persian and Russian, as well as French. The prominent researcher-scientist Aziz Sharif writes that at that time there were two boarding schools in Iravan to prepare Azerbaijani children for gymnasium. One of them was run by teacher Jafar bey Jafarov, and the second by Ibadulla bey Mughanlinski and Jabbar bey Mammadov. After graduating from boarding school, Aziz Aliyev continued his education in Iravan gymnasium in 1908.

Aziz Aliyev, a young man studying at Iravan gymnasium, worked hard on his self-improvement. In 1914, due to his father’s illness, he continued his education while teaching children in the evenings. In 1917, he graduated from the Iravan gymnasium with a gold medal, but he did not have the financial means to continue his education. For this purpose, A.Aliyev wrote a letter to Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev, a well-known millionaire and philanthropist, and Haji sent him 300 manats. On those funds, A.Aliyev went to Petersburg and entered the Military-Medical Academy.

In 1918, while in his 2nd year of study, Aziz spent the summer vacation in Iravan. Since his father died that year, A.Aliyev, who had to carry the burden of his family, was forced to interrupt his studies. Due to the rise of Dashnak conspirators, the whole family first moved to Sharur district of Nakhchivan, then to Shahtakht village, and from there to Arablar village in South Azerbaijan. The family returned to Shahtakht in 1921 and lived there for two years.

In May 1923, A.Aliyev came to Baku and got a job, and that year he was admitted to the therapist department of the Faculty of Medicine of the Azerbaijan State University and successfully graduated four years later. After that, A.Aliyev’s intense labor activity began. From October 1929, he was appointed deputy of the public health commissar of the republic, then the director of the Clinical Institute, and in 1932, the rector of the Azerbaijan State Medical Institute. During the three years he was rector (1932–1935), thanks to his high level of organization, 45 textbooks and teaching aids were prepared and published in the Azerbaijani language. Among them are “Clinical-diagnostic laboratory analysis” by A.Aliyev, “Normal human anatomy” by K. Balakishiyev, “Microbiology course” by M.Ganiyev, “Eye diseases” by U.Musabayli, “Mild tuberculosis” by Y.Ghaziyev, etc. and other fundamental works.

A.Aliyev has always worked in high and responsible positions. In March 1934, he was elected the head of the Baku City Health Department, and after 3 months he was returned to his previous position, the rector of the Azerbaijan Medical Institute. At the same time, he was the director of the Azerbaijan Pharmaceutical Institute and headed both institutes until June 1, 1938.

In 1935, A.Aliyev defended his candidacy thesis and was awarded the title of associate professor two years later. The hard-working scientist defended his doctoral thesis in 1937. His dissertation was awarded a prize at the end of 1938.

A.Aliyev’s scientific work did not isolate him from his social activities. He was a member of the Transcaucasia Central Executive Committee from 1936, and in 1937 he was elected a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and then to the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR.

During these years, A.Aliyev published more than 20 scientific and journalistic articles, headed the People’s Commissariat of Health of the Azerbaijan SSR and Azerbaijan State University.

At the end of the 1930s, A.Aliyev was already one of the most noticeable figures in the republic with his organizational skills. Gradually, he was promoted to more responsible positions, first he was elected the secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR, and in March 1941 he was elected the secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan. According to the agreement reached at the beginning of the Second World War, when the former Soviet Army entered Iran, A.Aliyev was sent there as a member of the military council.

German troops occupied almost the entire European part of the former USSR. The North Caucasus was already in the hands of the Germans, and the fighting had reached the borders of Dagestan. To lead a multi-ethnic republic like Dagestan, an extremely high-level personnel was needed. Such a person was A.Aliyev. In September 1942, the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party sent him to Dagestan as the first secretary. 1942–1948 years in Dagestan constitute a special stage in A.Aliyev’s life. At that time, the province was going through a very difficult period. Dagestan played the role of a bridge between the southern republics and the front for sending food and oil. Aziz Aliyev started working in such difficult conditions, and thanks to his hard and tireless work, he successfully coped with the upcoming difficulties.

During the years when Aziz Aliyev was the head of Dagestan, strong development was shown in all areas of the province – agriculture, science, education, and culture. During this period, an academic center, research base (later became a branch of Academy of Sciences of the USSR), a Women’s Institute and a women’s school were opened in Dagestan. The youth of the province were sent to higher schools of the former USSR to study. A.Aliyev always took care of the literary and artistic figures of the republic and created necessary conditions for their creativity.

During the 6 years of his work in Dagestan, Aziz Aliyev did unprecedentedly great things in the autonomous republic and at the same time was elected a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the Supreme Soviet of the Dagestan ASSR from that area. Popularly known as “Founder Aziz”, Aziz Aliyev worked as an inspector of the Central Committee of the All-Union C(b)P in 1948–1950, and as the Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Azerbaijan SSR in 1950–1951. A.Aliyev, who left his profession – medicine long ago, returned to his profession in 1952, being appointed the director of the Scientific Research Institute of Orthopedics and Reconstructive Surgery of the Azerbaijan SSR. Five-volume scientific works, 122 scientific works and 13 methodical brochures of the institute were published during his leadership. Aziz Aliyev was awarded the title of professor on April 14, 1958, and from that year until the end of his life in 1962, he was the head of the Azerbaijan Training Institute for Doctors.

Aziz Aliyev died on July 27, 1962, and was buried in the Alley of Honor. A number of streets in Azerbaijan and Dagestan are named after him.

Əsgər Zeynalov, İrəvan ziyalıları (Bakı: Oğuz eli, 1999)