Turkey and Azerbaijan have raised their relations to a new level after the 2020 Karabakh war, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday.
“We have registered this new era by adopting the Shusha declaration, which is the title deed of our relations, through our assemblies at lightning speed,” Erdoğan said following a Cabinet meeting in the city. capital Ankara.
Referring to his one-day visit to Azerbaijan on October 20, Erdoğan said: “I, together with my brother (Azerbaijani President) Ilham Aliyev, inaugurated the Zangilan International Airport, built in the region saved from the occupation”.
“We consider Fuzuli and Zangilan airports, which were built on the liberated lands of Azerbaijan at record speed, as strategic milestones for the development of the region,” he added.
Elevating Turkey-Azerbaijan relations to the level of an alliance, the declaration was signed at a ceremony attended by the presidents of both countries in the Azerbaijani city of Shusha. The statement emphasizes defense cooperation and the establishment of new transport routes, affirming the joint efforts of the two armies in the face of foreign threats, as well as the restructuring and modernization of their armed forces.
“During our visit, we agreed to accelerate the demining project, which is another important step that will revitalize the region. With the participation of other brother countries, we are carrying out tripartite work with Azerbaijan, which will broaden our spirit of cooperation in the fields of trade, transport and energy.
Aliyev recently said that the demining that was laid by Armenia on the occupied Azerbaijani territories will take nearly 30 years and cost $25 billion.
Turkey was a key supporter of Azerbaijan during the 44-day Karabakh war between Azerbaijan and Armenia which broke out on September 27, 2020 and ended in a Russian-brokered ceasefire November 10.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been strained since 1991, when the Armenian army illegally occupied Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
Clashes erupted on September 27, 2020, with the Armenian military attacking civilians and Azerbaijani forces, violating several humanitarian ceasefire agreements.
During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several towns and around 300 settlements and villages that had been occupied by Armenia for nearly 30 years.
The fighting ended with a Russian-brokered deal on November 10, 2020, which was seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia.
However, the ceasefire has been broken several times since then.
After the end of the conflict, Azerbaijan launched a massive reconstruction initiative in the liberated region of Karabakh.
Centenary of the Republic
Domestically, Erdoğan said, “We are preparing for the centenary of our republic, which we will celebrate next year, with great enthusiasm and enthusiasm.”
“For us, this anniversary is much more significant than a change of calendar, it is the beginning of the second century of our new state. That is why we have named this leap forward the century of Türkiye, which will raise the third state that we have founded in the last 1,000 years on Anatolian lands at a level that we as a nation dream of in the political, economic, social and diplomatic fields.”
Erdoğan recently announced that the motto of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for the upcoming 2023 elections will be “Turkey’s Century”.
The next presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey are scheduled to take place in June 2023. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the ruling AK Party are partners under the People’s Alliance, with Erdoğan being the alliance’s candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.
The President also referred to recent accusations by the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have used chemical weapons against terrorists.
Commenting on the comments of TTB chief Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Erdoğan said: “The judiciary has taken action regarding the head of the Turkish Medical Association, who slandered the cross-border operations carried out by our Turkish Armed Forces.”
“We will also carry out our work on this name, and if necessary, we will ensure that this name is changed by legal regulation. I believe that the fact that such a person, who insults his country and his army by speaking in the language of terrorist organizations, being at the head of an institution whose name begins with “Turkish”, disturbs every member of our nation.
Erdoğan pointed out that according to the results of the investigation carried out by the Ankara General Prosecutor’s Office and the decisions of the courts, the necessary measures will be taken regarding both this person and this institution.