Recent 30 years of century-long diplomatic relations – keep marching towards strong future

Recent 30 years of century-long diplomatic relations – keep marching towards strong future Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey were severed on April 28, 1920, following the Bolshevik occupation. Relations between the two countries were restored after about 72 years - on January 14, 1992. Turkey is the first country to recognize A
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January 14, 2022 16:29
Recent 30 years of century-long diplomatic relations – keep marching towards strong future

Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey were severed as a result of the Bolshevik occupation on April 28, 1920. Relations between the two countries were restored after about 72 years - on January 14, 1992. Turkey is the first country to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence on November 9, 1991.

Let us look at some facts about diplomatic relations between the two countries: The Azerbaijani embassy in Turkey was opened in August 1992. Azerbaijan’s Consulates-General were established in Istanbul in January 1993 and in Kars in April 2004. The Turkish Embassy operates in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and the Consulates General in Nakhchivan and Ganja. After the restoration of Azerbaijan's independence, the activities between the two countries, which were left unfinished almost 72 years ago, are continuing. The above all related to Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity problem.

In 1918, the Armenian-Bolshevik alliance occupied Azerbaijan, and in March of the same year, civilians across the country were subjected to genocide. The Caucasus Islamic Army, established by the order of Ottoman Minister of War Enver Pasha, under the leadership of Nuri Pasha, came to the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic's assistance. The Caucasus Islamic Army, made up of 12,000-14,000 Ottoman soldiers, totaled nearly 20,000 with the involvement of Azerbaijani Turks and Dagestani Muslim volunteers. After the Baku massacre, the Caucasus Islamic Army, a military structure set up by the Ottoman state to prevent massacres against the Turkish-Muslim population of Azerbaijan and assist the Muslims of Dagestan, operated from the proclamation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic until November 1918.

After regaining its independence, Azerbaijan again faced the occupation of Armenia and its supporters. Turkey again rushed to help it. After the occupation of Kalbajar in April 1993, Turkey sealed off its border with Armenia, and this gate still remains closed for Armenians. Turkey defends its rightful position on Azerbaijan's territorial integrity in all international events and organizations. The joint celebration of the Victory Day by Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey Ilham Aliyev and Recep Tayyip Erdogan respectively on December 10, 2020, was an indication of the completion of the mission that the Caucasus Islamic Army left unfinished 102 years ago. In his congratulatory letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, President Ilham Aliyev stressed the support and assistance of the brotherly state: “Your firm and unequivocal position on ensuring the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, your unwavering support for our cause have always inspired us and empowered us. The people of Azerbaijan will never forget the moral support and solidarity shown by you, the Republic of Turkey and the fraternal Turkish people from the first hours to the last minutes of the 44-day Patriotic War.”

For its part, Azerbaijan similarly defends Turkey in all international events and organizations. Thus, it contributes to Turkey's territorial integrity, its fight against terrorism. President Ilham Aliyev also underscored this in his congratulatory letter: “Today, we are immensely pleased to work side by side with Turkey in the work of major reconstruction and restoration of the liberated lands. In our turn, we will always stand by brotherly Turkey in all matters.” The adoption of the Shusha Declaration on June 16, 2021, is a logical consequence of the joint celebration of Victory Day by Azerbaijan and Turkey. This document also laid the foundation for cooperation and relations between the two countries in the new world order. The declaration is also a guarantor of regional and international security. The reason for this is that alliance between Azerbaijan and Turkey is not against third parties, but based on cooperation, peace, development, security in the region, against those who threaten the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states: "Guided by the principles of independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability of internationally recognized borders, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Turkey determine the political and legal mechanisms for building allied relations."

The Azerbaijani-Turkish relations also contribute to the establishment of relations between different countries through the implementation of international economic and transport projects. The Azerbaijani-Turkish economic relations have been developing since the first years of Azerbaijan’s independence. “The Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation”, signed between the two countries on November 1, 1992, in Ankara, entered into force on January 23, 1993. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas, TANAP, TAP, and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway projects ()an important part of the New Silk Road transport corridor), are indicators of the contribution of relations between the two countries in all areas. With such cooperation, Azerbaijan and Turkey also contribute to international energy security.

The fraternal and friendly relations between the two countries have given impetus to cooperation with the Central Asian Turkic states. As a result of these contacts and relations, the Organization of Turkic States has been established. The current relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey have given impetus to the rapprochement and confidence-building among the Turkic states.

The two countries also prefer regional cooperation. The trilateral cooperation of the two countries with Georgia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia in a separate tripartite format is also conducive to regional security, stability, and prosperity. The new realities in the South Caucasus after the liberation by Azerbaijan of its own lands pave the way for a more fertile ground for cooperation. An example of this is the 3+3 cooperation initiative put forward by Turkey and Azerbaijan. Turkey's support for Azerbaijan’s initiative on the opening of the Zangazur corridor is also an important step in this direction.

Thus, the establishment of diplomatic relations and the development of all-out ties between Azerbaijan and Turkey is a more comprehensive implementation of plans and projects that remained incomplete 72 years ago. The relations established between the Ottoman state and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in August 1918 were restored 30 years ago. The heirs of the Ottoman Empire and the People's Republic of Azerbaijan are successfully progressing along the holiest path.

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