Caucasus, Armenia and Azerbaijan conflict for Karabakh

Turkey: Azerbaijan is capable of defend itself against Armenia

Turkish government calls on the international community to press Armenia to end the occupation of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan is perfectly capable of liberating its territories occupied by Armenia without resorting to the help of Turkey, has assured the Turkish foreign minister, again denying that a Turkish F-16 aircraft shot down an Armenian fighter jet and calling on the international community to pressure the government of Yerevan to withdraw its troops from Azerbaijani territories, illegally occupied for three decades.

“If Azerbaijan wants to solve this problem on the ground, we will stand by its side with all our means. We will do whatever it takes if Azerbaijan requests it. But what we see is that Azerbaijan’s capacity is sufficient. Aliyev (the Azerbaijani president) often says (to the Armenian government): ‘Let’s stay alone and see what happens,’ ” Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Wednesday in statements to the Anatolia agency, recalling that Armenia has an agreement with Russia for military assistance.

The new pre-war escalation in the South Caucasus worries the international community, which has made several calls for a ceasefire between both sides in recent days; however, Turkey, which maintains close political, economic, historical and cultural ties with Azerbaijan, denounces that international pressure should be directed to ask Armenia to liberate the territories occupied by force in Azerbaijan, as required by various UN resolutions.

In Çavuşoğlu’s opinion, it is perfectly understandable that the Baku government has decided – and has been warning it for years – to solve the problem once and for all given the impassivity of the international community, while 20% of its territory has remained occupied by Armenian forces since the 1990s and has a million of its inhabitants displaced by the conflict and living for three decades as refugees in their own country.

International community must demand an end to the Armenian occupation

“We understand Azerbaijan’s concerns. The problem has not been able to be solved in the last 30 years, and they have not even seen concrete steps taken; in addition, Armenia continues with its acts of aggression,” the minister recalled, stressing that Azerbaijan has demonstrated to have a long patience all these years waiting in vain for the conflict to be resolved peacefully.

“Almost all countries are asking for the fighting to stop… But, are they also asking Armenia to end its occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories? No. Do they have a formula to achieve a solution? No”, said Çavuşoğlu, insisting that several UN Security Council resolutions have demanded an end to the Armenian occupation in the region.

“Azerbaijan is waging a military struggle for its territories. Where in the world can the occupying force, and the country whose lands are occupied, can be seen as equals?” The minister wondered. “Just as we support the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia, the same position should also be maintained for Azerbaijan,” he concluded.

Turkish opposition backs support for Azerbaijan

For his part, the leader of the main opposition party in Turkey – the CHP – Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu showed on Tuesday the support of his party for the Turkish government’s policy in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, reiterating the support of the CHP under any circumstances to the Azerbaijani people and government as they are fighting against the Armenian occupation.

“Not only the CHP, but also the citizens of Turkey are with the citizens of Azerbaijan. Turkey is doing what it should,” Kılıçdaroğlu told Haber Global, where he clarified that although he is critical of much of the foreign policy of the President Erdoğan, he is not with the Azerbaijan issue since Baku defends its legitimate right to territorial integrity.

“What I am saying is that the foreign policy followed by Turkey has been wrong. But Azerbaijan is different, because its lands are under occupation (by Armenia). Furthermore, Azerbaijan has been prohibited from claiming its rights. It is within its right to defend its own territory. No matter what government there is (in Turkey), it should always support Azerbaijan,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.