Timur Tillyaev, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva
Timur Tillyaev is the husband of the younger daughter of Uzbekistan’s president Islam Karimov, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva. It’s known that Lola and Timur got married in the mid-2000s and have three children: two daughters and a son.
Timur Tillyaev attended a high school in the United States and graduated from Midland University.
He is reportedly a shareholder in a trade and transport company, Abu Sahiy Nur, a profitable market leader in Uzbekistan.
Sources close to the country’s power circles said that Karimov’s younger daughter and her husband have always distanced themselves from Uzbekistan’s politics and political elite, making it clear that they do not have any political aspirations.
Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, in her recent interview with the BBC, said that Mr Tillyaev has not benefited from her family connections and he has never been involved in public tenders, been associated with national resource industries like gas and cotton, and does not enjoy tax exemptions or monopoly status.
Karimova-Tillyaeva told the BBC she doesn’t have any political ambitions and never discussed politics during her rare meeting with her father.
She also revealed that a rift that divides her and her sister Gulnara Karimova is beyond repair and they have not been on speaking terms for 12 years.
Earlier reports which appeared on the internet suggested that Lola and Timur left Uzbekistan shortly after their got married due to pressure and threats from Lola’s elder sister Gulnara Karimova, who for more than a decade enjoyed all-encompassing influence and was described by Wikileaked US diplomatic cables as “a robber baron” and “the most hated person in the country” who pushed her way into nearly every business sector in Uzbekistan.
Speaking to the BBC about her relationship with Gulnara, Lola said: “We have never hidden this from anyone. We have neither family nor friendship contacts.”
Karimova-Tillyaeva distanced herself from the Uzbek government’s policies and the comments she made on the issues like the use of child labour in cotton fields and the clampdown on religious activities stood in stark contrast with the Uzbek government’s official line.
Karimova-Tillyaeva was forthright in her condemnation of the practice of using child labour in cotton fields, for which Uzbekistan has come under harsh international criticism for years. She also described “unemployment and lack of opportunities” as the main sources of frustration which created a breeding ground for radicalization in the region.
Karimova-Tillyaeva dismissed her sister Gulnara Karimova’s chances to become her father’s successor saying they were “minuscule”.
Her comments sparked an outrage from Gulnara Karimova, who had always sought to project the image of “the all-powerful princess of Uzbeks” and had on more than one occasion hinted that a presidential bid may not be out of question. Gulnara Karimova responded to her sister’s interview with a barrage of accusations, which Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva called defamatory and slanderous.
“We have been receiving many requests from the media to comment on the accusations which Gulnara Karimova has been making against me and my husband. For our part, of course, we would like to refrain from making any comments on the events. However, the situation leaves us with no choice but to start consultations with our lawyers, and consider taking a legal action against Gulnara Karimova through filing suit in court in connection with the spread of defamatory statements, slander and threats against me and my husband Timur Tillyaev in social networking websites and the media,” Karimova-Tillyaeva said in a statement published on her official website in December.
Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva heads two charities in Uzbekistan, which help orphanages and children with special needs. She is also her country’s envoy in the UN cultural organization, Unesco.