Turkey ready to open military base in conquered Nagorno-Karabakh: Erdoğan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on June 17 that his nation may build a military base in Nagorno-Karabakh as part of what has been named the Shusha Declaration on cooperation – mainly military cooperation – between his country and his “one nation, two states” satrapy Azerbaijan.
His comments came the day after his leaving Nagorno-Karabakh land seized by Azerbaijan, with the active assistance of the Turkish armed forces, and two days after his lecturing fellow NATO leaders on the need to join him in his anti-Kurdish war in Syria.
He was quoted by Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper stating:
“This issue [of a new Turkish military base Nagorno-Karabakh; the Turkish daily has the location as Azerbaijan] is not outside the provisions of the Shusha agreement. Further consideration of the issue is possible….”
The same source quotes the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry as follows:
The 13th meeting of the Azerbaijani-Turkish High-Level Military Dialogue in the capital of Azerbaijan discussed “the current state of bilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey in the security, military, military-technical, military-medical, military-educational, defense industry, and in other spheres.”
The deliberations certainly addressed the prospect of a Turkish base in conquered Nagorno-Karabakh. Another NATO nation’s or NATO base in the former Soviet Union, along with those in Estonia, Georgia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Today’s Turkish press reports that the Russian government was “closely monitoring” the development and that it might view it as “a move that could require Russia to take steps to ensure its own security and interests.” That is as empty a statement as even the Russian government is capable of making.
The report said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was in touch with Russia’s close partner in Ankara, and that he stated: “The deployment of military infrastructure by the (NATO) alliance countries near our borders is cause for our special attention, as well as a reason for us to take steps to ensure our security and interests.”
A translation from Kremlinese: We will mention it – though the English-language Russian news media says nothing of the affair – we may even grumble a little. But we won’t do a thing about it. No more than we did about last year’s 44-day war against our Collective Security Treaty Organization partner Armenia, than we did about Azerbaijan shooting down a Russian military helicopter over Armenia and killing two crew members during that war, and about Azerbaijan sending troops onto the territory of Armenia in May.
A Turkish military base in conquered Nagorno-Karabakh will be an additional “lily pad” in the direction of Afghanistan and Central Asia. For Turkey and for NATO.