Istanbul Russia Russia with one hand Issued a contract Last month, the Kremlin made an important offer to Turkey to end fighting between two former Soviet republics, Azerbaijan and Armenia, allowing Ankara to monitor its activities.
Russian president says Turkey’s strong military support for Azerbaijan is a fact that the Kremlin cannot ignore
“What can I tell you,” he said when asked on Russian television about Turkey’s broad role in the Caucasus days after the fighting ceased last month. “This is a geopolitical fall from the fall of the Soviet Union.”
Turkey’s involvement in an area traditionally considered the Kremlin’s exclusive zone is a sign of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts to transform NATO member and once US ally into a crossroads between Europe, the Middle East and Asia. .
Turkey played a key role in Azerbaijan’s victory over the Armenian forces Fight for Nagorno-Karabakh control
This week, Mr. Erdogan was the guest of honor at a military parade in Azerbaijan, displaying Turkish attack drones, which supported the successful campaign of the Azeri forces to retake the cities of Nagorno-Karabakh. That action He expelled tens of thousands of Armenians Who lived there for a long time.
“We have felt Turkey’s support since the first days, or even the first hour, of the Patriotic War,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told a rally on Thursday.
The Azeri Coalition was also on display in Turkey, with glowing flags from both countries hanging over Istanbul’s 720-foot television tower for the past month.
According to Turkish analysts, Russia is the primary power in the region, and the latest developments further improve the status quo for 2,000 Russian troops stationed on Azerbaijani soil as part of a peace deal.
To become a power broker in the Caucasus as part of a broader calculation Mr. They also acknowledge that Putin may have allowed it: to create a rift between Turkey and other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
But they say the idea that Moscow will not be emotional when Russian-armed Armenian forces are trapped by Turkish-backed Assyrian forces is as unthinkable as it was a few months ago.
They point out that Russia had to accommodate some of Turkey’s demands, especially by providing for the establishment of a 30-mile travel corridor across Armenia, linking Azerbaijan to the use of its licking. This walkway will allow direct road traffic from Ankara to Baguio.
“This is a huge success for Turkey,” said Behlul Oskan, a professor of international relations at Marmara University in Istanbul. “This is the only Turkish foreign policy victory in the last five or six years.”
Today, Ankara’s role in the Nagorno-Karabakh war and its temporary solution differ sharply from the absence of US and French peace talks. Together with Russia, the two countries co-lead the Minsk Group, which was formed in 1994 to help resolve the ethnic conflict. Both Washington and Paris signed ceasefire agreements in October, but they fell short immediately.
Surprisingly, Mr. Oskan, Turkey’s drive in the Caucasus freed from new Ottoman and Pan-Islamic outlooks, Mr. Erdogan has put forward most of his foreign policy efforts in recent years. Military interventions in Syria and Libya For maritime challenges against Greece and Cyprus.
“It’s a completely practical, well-calculated approach,” he said. Oskan said.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Turkey sought to use the abrupt vacuum to deepen relations with the newly independent states of Azerbaijan and Central Asia, sharing their common religion, Islam and ethnic and linguistic heritage.
Within months, however, the Kremlin drew red lines to counter the growing aspirations of the former Soviet republics.
In 1992, four years after the first war between Armenia and Azerbaijan to control the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh region, Armenian troops captured Shusha, a strategic city that restricts access to the regional capital, Stephankert. In Turkey, pressure mounted on then-Prime Minister Suleiman Demirel to support Azerbaijan, but he hastily halted plans for a military expedition following warnings from Russian military leader Yevgeny Shaboshnikov that any intervention could take the planet to the brink of World War III.
In 1993, Turkey stamped its border with Armenia in support of Azerbaijan, but took a more cautious approach, such as focusing on joint energy projects to deepen its ties with Baku without provoking Moscow. Turkey also quietly began training Assyrian officers and soldiers.
In 2003, Mr. When Erdogan accepted the leadership of Turkey, that strategy was in full swing, Mr.
Mr. Erdogan’s over-muscle strategy posed a risk because Mr. Under Putin’s leadership, Russia has not hesitated to intervene militarily if its dominance over the former Soviet republics feels challenged. But the MGIMO graduate of Moscow, a prestigious university that has long nurtured the country’s diplomats, Mr. Aliyev walked a good path and began laying natural gas pipelines through Turkey, but also created enough space for Russian investors in Azerbaijan’s energy sector.
“Mr. Aliyev is a very intelligent man,” said Aidin Cesar, a Turkish columnist who worked as a trade coordinator in Moscow. “He knows the Russian code.”
While Ankara was wisely gaining influence in Baku, Mr. That year, Mr. Erdogan considered reopening his country’s border with Armenia and resuming diplomatic relations with the government there, but abandoned the plan when the Azeri leader threatened to restrict energy supplies to Turkey.
Flush with petrodollars with the support of Turkey, Israel and Ukraine – Azerbaijan gradually built up a powerful army, with the Armenians trying to cover up the excavated area around Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Then Azerbaijan waited patiently for an opportunity,” said Hassan Unal, a professor of international relations at Maldives University in Istanbul.
A start came last year when David Donoyan, Armenia’s defense minister, called for his country to continue the offensive and prepare for a “new war for new territories” instead of sneaking into the Nagorno-Karabakh.
When clashes between Armenian and Assyrian forces erupted on September 27, Baku pointed to Mr Donoyan’s aggressive stance to justify his decision to launch a full – scale offensive to retake the region.
According to Armenian accounts, this war allowed the display of the effectiveness of Turkish attack drones, which pierced Armenian defenses and shocked its forces. Shortly after signing the peace agreement with Puss and Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nicole Bashinian said his country would face military defeat if the war continued.
Under the peace treaty, the Armenians took control of Stephenkert and some of the surrounding towns, but left all nearby districts, prompting the occupation of Turkey in the early 1990s to close the border with Armenia.
This new situation created a fertile ground for Turkey to resume negotiations with Armenia, which would help convince powerful Armenian immigrants, he said.
“It will send a message, including to the incoming Biden administration, that Turkey is not there to destroy Armenia,” he said. “That Azerbaijan only reclaimed its land.”
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Assyrian representative after the march on Thursday, Mr. Erdogan said it would be possible to reopen the border if Armenia took action for regional peace.
“We have no hatred for the people of Armenia,” he said. “The problem is with the Armenian administration.”
Write David Coutier-Willers. David.kut Theor- Willerswes.com
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