It seems as if "White City" is comprised of two parts. On the one side there are new streets and houses being built, and on the other part, there are people who do not agree with the compensation rate and continue their livelihood amidst the ruins of the houses of their neighbors who have already left. Every night, dissatisfied owners gather in a small room. They gather to prevent a possible surprise visit from excavators.
At the moment, there are 30 families left out of the 42 who used live here in White City. Among them there are 17 heads of families who openly oppose the offered compensation.
"They divided our apartment: living room and bedroom as a living area. The rest, bath, toilet and kitchen, were separated. The inside area of my flat constitutes 160 m2, and including the outer area, 195 m2. I have already expressed my own terms. I want 1500 manat per square meter, and I want them to pay for my outer land or to replace with land somewhere else,” Elchin Ahmadov says.
The resident also mentioned that they calculated 1000 manat per meter square for 70 m2. of the living area. For the rest 90 m2., which includes bathroom, toilet, kitchen, hall and garage, they offer something between 50 and 750 manat:
Support and auxiliary buildings
"I have talked about this with Mr. Vadim several times. The first thing to consider when one builds a house is the kitchen and bathroom. The kitchen and bathroom should be provided with floor tiles, plumbing system, and furniture. I want them to charge my whole house at the same price of 1500 manat. We have agreed with all the other residents on this. We will not go anywhere until they satisfy our demands.”
Residents say that they see Rashad Bagirov, chief of the Housing and Communal Services Nr 66, Barat Iskandarov, head of the Housing and Communal Services Nr 2, and Avaz Ismayilov from the local Housing and Utilities administration, among those who come to demolish their houses.
"We went to the Presidential Administration to meet Zeynal Nagdaliyev. And we have been received by his assistant Mr. Rufat. He looked at our document and said that, according to the president's decree we should be compensated with 1500 manat per square meter. And he called the work of the executive authorities illegal. The next morning, we have brought the matter to the chief executive's office. And we were told that they are ready to pay a rate of 1000 manat, and they advised us to get the rest from the president," the residents say.
The contract that citizens have never seen
Residents often use the name of Jabrayil Mikayilov, who is the legal representative of "AQD" LLC. The company was founded in 2002. So far, residents have not seen anyone from the company to come and make measurements, nor have they seen any legal representative. While the abovementioned Jabrayil Mikayilov is involved in the representation of two other enterprises from the same business. These are "Express Value-8" LLC and "Privat-Co" LLC. "Express Value-8" also won the tender. In 2014, they won a tender, which was held by the Narimanov district Executive Power titled "The purchase of assessment works on real estate". The tender amount was 31,395 manat. Turan News Agency reports that the State Property Issues Committee has chosen five companies for the assessment of starting prices and has authorized the capitals of the nearly thousand state enterprises and plots of land.
These are: "Property" LLC, "Value and Sources", "Express Value-8", "Kaspian Audit Kompani" and "Əmlak Ekspert Mərkəzi" companies, which will evaluate 464 small enterprises (Joint Venture) and 529 plots of land. In Baku, there are 282 such joint ventures and 293 land plots. The total value of the assessment of this properties is 251,100 manat. The real estate valuation is implemented at the expenses of the state budget.
"AQD" LLC has attracted media interest since 2014. The Shaki Court of Appeal pointed at the part of their decision on the case of Mingachevir resident who sued "Azersu" LLC, where the expert opinion provided by “AQD” LLC is leaning toward reducing the costs and expenses in the interest of "Azersu" LLC. Another report reveals that, during the service period of the former chairman of "Baku Metropolitan" CJSC, this enterprise along with the "AQD" LLC were sued by a citizen.
Svetlana Ahmadova is the very first homeowner in the area whose flat has been demolished. Mother of two children, Svetlana, speaks against the unjust actions, and mentions how they were destroying their flat while they were in it. She found out from officials of the local Executive Power that, the demolition works on that area were being conducted by the Azerbaijan Development Company (ADEC). "They have tried to justify this by saying that the land was legally allocated to ADEC. That is impossible! Let us suppose that they gave it to the company in 2007, but I got the land in 2000. Well, why they let me live in this hut for 10 years then?" she says.
According to the registry data of ADEC LLC, it was established in 2007. Legal representative of the company is Ruslan Sadikhov Oktay oglu. But there is nothing about legitimate founders of the company. Akhmedova continues with saying that, although they contacted the company about the compensation, they have been told that the company is involved only in demolition process, but not in financial compensation.
The lawyer, Ruslan Aliyev, considers the forced demolition and covert attacks on the homes of residents located in Khatai district area illegitimate. According to him, the absence of an agreement in this case should be accordingly reflected in a court decision. "No one has the right to forcefully take away property from a citizen. Without an agreement deprivation of property is illegal. To start dismantling process without an agreement is an even bigger violation of the laws. The illegal demolition of houses while residents are in them is a death threat for those persons and it is a crime. So far it was a separate case of violations, but the dismantling of houses with people inside - it is about real human lives and it leads to criminal liability".
The lawyer also brought clarity to the claims about the chief of Khatai district Executive Power Rasim Mammadov appointing his relatives to positions in the organization: "The Civil Service Law forbids officials to employ, appoint their relatives. And one should avoid such actions, like employing his cousins. Because this is tribalism. Relatives also have the right to work in the civil service. But this right is denied in civilized countries with traditions of statehood. I is for the public interest - tribalism must not be tolerated in the name of the statehood.”
Once we could not get any answers related to the issue from the Khatai District Executive Power, we started research on who stands behind these companies. Connected with the White City in information resources there is data, which reveals the connection between some of these construction companies, particularly, on how they belong to the same person. Allegedly the largest shopping center in the region, which is to be built in that territory, "Baku City Mall", will be built by "Bakı Siti Moll" Housing Co-operatives. The company was founded in 2008. Legal representatives of this enterprise is Valiyev Rahman Mammad oglu, and the founders are as follows: Hajiyev Azer Mammad oglu, Humbatov Rafiz Fazil oglu, Bakhshaliyev Elkhan Maharram oglu, Mammadov Rafiq Shahsuvar oglu, and the one we already know, ADEC LLC, that is Azerbaijan Development Company. The legitimate representative of "Baku White City Office Building " LLC, another company involved, is Valiyev Rahman Mammad oglu. The founders: "Union Grand Energy Pte. Ltd" (Singapore) company, ADEC LLC. "Azerbaijan Anonymous" has made an investigation about the shareholders of "Union Grand Energy Pte. Ltd" and has proved that the enterprise belongs to Anar Aliyev.
"During the two months they regularly cut off our electricity, gas and water. At the start of November they cut it all at once. There are elderly people and children living in the building. We went to the Office of the President. When we were out after reception we saw representatives of the executive power. Then deputy chief Mr. Teimour said to me that we should have come to them first. Head of the Executive Power Mr. Razim hosted us, and one positive thing in all of this is that, since then they have not touched our gas, water and electricity,” Ahmadov said.
Most of the residents used to be the workers of "Baku Oil Refinery after Heydar Aliyev". And now they say that they can feel the smell of oil in their homes.
Unheard Voices of White City
"My house is 420 square meters. Besides I have an overhang about 64 square meters. It is not considered. I also own a grape canopy, which they have not taken into account. They actually do it, but selectively. You know what? I sleep and what I dream is the law for me starting from tomorrow,” Ilyas Mammadov said.
According to him, they allocated 50 manat per meter square for his fence and grape canopy. The trees are not taken into account, "These last six years I have literally been eating soil. The air is more polluted due to the construction. My grandchildren has are allergic to dust. I had to rent a separate place for them to live.”
"Some have orders, others - bills of sale. When called in private, they say throw it away whenone mentions the bill of sale. In other situations, they ask about the papers, and when one shows them the order, they reply that, he or she is not getting any money," says Karim Gasimov.
A resident says that they have made some measurements of his property, but have not said anything precisely. "A tree that bears fruits for more than three years costs 2000 manat. They noted about 100 of my trees, and the pool. There is still nothing. We also have not received any reference document. If they did everything properly, then they should pay us properly. One day they say I will give you 100,000, the other day they talk about 120,000, as if it were their own money, from their pocket."
"I still cannot explain to them that we have had a bathroom and toilet since the old times. I even offered to hire an expert for them, on my behalf. I do not accept what they say. In response they claim that they are separate from the slate fence. And where is the toilet and bath in this house? I reply. In turn they say, that I have built everything fresh. So, we are to get 200 manat as our share,” Javid Buludzadeh said.
Today, these residents are the speaking voice for the White City. The people, who fight alone against the authorities who want to buy their properties for nothing. Even though the reference point is the Civil Code, they are patrolling their homes at night when the law cannot protect them.