Some fact-checking for people who doesn't know Azerbaijan or Azerbaijani society yet: You shouldn't expect any protests during war time. Even social media is fully aligned towards war. If you write a harsh criticism some random guy could say "it is time put our differences away"
The story of people protesting and burning Heydar Aliyev photos in Sumgait is fake. It happened in June 2015 and cause was never found. It is thought to be because of an electric malfunction. https://www.azadliq.org/a/27055804.html
About military casualties - families of soldiers killed in action are informed privately with authorities. By the time this information comes, entire neighborhood becomes aware of it. Just like my friend's burial here. So families aren't in dark here. Just numbers aren't released
And about Aliyev - come on guys, Karabakh is nationwide problem. It has been a problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia since at least 1917/8. Do you honestly believe if the president was democratic Ali Karimli, instead of authoritarian Aliyev, Azerbaijanis would just give up?
Our entire childhood was spent watching Khojaly videos, learning history, learning when rayons were occupied and etc. And I am surprised by the fact that people actually surprised "how Azerbaijanis became so passionate about Karabakh"? One should learn more about 'the enemy'.
This doesn't mean war was inevitable, perhaps Karimli or others would have thought of more peaceful ways, but Karabakh would still be a nationwide problem for Azeris.
What we learn about Armenians is another story itself. According to Azeris - every Armenian is brainwashed by their parents, being constantly told "The Turk is your enemy". Every Armenian is dreaming of "Greater Armenia" and is dedicated to it, works for it by every means.
You may disagree of course, but I am just a messenger.