Turkey concerned over Karabakh conflict

By: Laman Sadigova

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict wouldn’t have happened if in the early 1990s Turkey has been as strong as it is now, Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan said on March 16.

The president of Turkey — closest ally of Azerbaijan in the region — in his statement drew attention to the conflicts ongoing in the South Caucasus and the Middle East.

Turkey supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which lost 20 percent of its internationally recognized territory as a result of Armenian occupation.

In response to such a gross violation of international law Turkey closed its borders with Armenia, calling on its leadership to implement UN Security Council resolutions by immediately withdrawing from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan — the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven adjacent regions.

Turkey also broke off its diplomatic relations with Armenia in 1993 due to Armenia’s desire to achieve recognition of the so-called “Armenian genocide”.

Ankara has repeatedly protested world powers’ apathy toward the crisis, urging the international community to intervene and restore order by setting Azerbaijan’s territories free. Baku also regards Turkey joining the OSCE Minsk Group, which is brokering in the peace talks between the conflict sides, a good development.

Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations in their capacity of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.

Azerbaijan, incidentally, is dissatisfied with the inactivity of the group. It frequently criticized its insufficient work.

Turkey’s arrival into the mix could have a positive impact on the peace talks, giving the whole process a different impetus. This idea was actually launched several years ago but the obvious disinclination of the OSCE member-states slowed the process down.