No Orange In Azerbaijan

by Nathan Hamm on 8/19/2005 · 3 comments

Planning on making a trip to Azerbaijan soon? Well, if MosNews is correct, you might want to leave your orange clothing at home.

Starting August 10, major shopping centers in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, are being raided by officers in civilian clothes who seize merchandise of orange color. Where retailers object their visitors threaten with police summons.

Retailers say they were warned in advance against selling goods of orange color and ordered to withdraw such items from their shops. Now, those who ignored the warning are watching despondently their orange merchandise destroyed in bonfires.

Baku’s largest shopping malls — Sadarak and Bina — have already been fully purged of orange-colored items including children’s clothes and expensive leatherwear.

Not the expensive orange leatherwear!

The story goes on to say that merchants who do not comply with the seizures face heavy fines.

I am somewhat skeptical of the whole story, though governments in the former Soviet Union never cease to amaze me in their utterly bizarre behavior and understandings of politics. Really though, does someone in the Azeri government believe that without their magical orange cloth, people will lack the power to protest a fixed election? The Georgians did it with flowers, so I guess the Azeri government should stock up on herbicide…

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Brian August 19, 2005 at 4:15 pm

“magical orange cloth”, I like that. Yeah, organge cloth is impervious to insults, beatings and even dioxin!

qadinbakida August 19, 2005 at 9:32 pm

I share your skepticism, Nate. All the expensive boutiques downtown still have lots of it in their windows (fashion or statement –who can tell?) and I’ve not heard one person complain about the seizures. I certainly wouldn’t discount the story entirely though. It could also be counter-propoganda.

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