Anadolu Agency
May 17, 2022

Ankara, Baku hail close ties as Azerbaijan marks 104th Republic Day

Turkish officials reiterated their willingness to further strengthen the close ties between Ankara and Baku as many dignitaries visited Azerbaijan on Saturday on the occasion of the 104th Republic Day of the southern Caucasus nation.

Speaking at the first foreign edition of the leading Turkish aviation, space and technology festival Teknofest, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the Turkish people consider Azerbaijan as their homeland, just like Anatolia or Turkey proper.

Turkey and Azerbaijan first became strategic partners, then strategic allies with the historic Shusha Declaration signed last year,” Erdoğan said. [Shusha/Shushi is in conquered Nagorno-Karabakh.]

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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev welcomed Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar at the Presidential Palace ahead of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s arrival in Azerbaijan later Saturday.

Akar was accompanied by several top Turkish commanders, including Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, Land Forces Commander Gen. Musa Avsever, Naval Forces Commander Adm. Adnan Özbal, and Air Forces Commander Gen. Hasan Küçükakyüz. Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov and Turkey’s Ambassador to Baku Cahit Bağcı were also present at the meeting.

Akar extended best wishes to Azerbaijan on its Independence Day and briefed Aliyev about developments and ongoing work on military cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan and defense industry cooperation.

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“I wholeheartedly believe that the excellent relations between our parliaments will rise to the highest level under the guidance of the understanding of ‘One nation, two states,’” wrote [Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa] Şentop.

“Our current close cooperation is strengthened not only with bilateral but also with tripartite [e.g., with Pakistan] and multiple formats, and gives new impetus to parliamentary diplomacy.”

‘Turkey considers Azerbaijan’s fate as its own’

Separately in Ankara, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Saturday that Turkey will never consider its fate to be separate from that of its longtime ally Azerbaijan.

Speaking at an event in the Turkish capital marking the 104th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s Republic Day (May 28) and June 26 Armed Forces Day, Oktay said that Turkey and Azerbaijan are two “brotherly countries” that share a common history, culture, sorrow, and joys.

“May Allah always preserve our fellowship, unity, and solidarity,” he said.

Stressing that Turkey and Azerbaijan share the same spirit today as they did a century ago, Oktay dipped into history, saying: “The spirit we carry is of brotherhood of the Caucasus Islamic Army, which did not ignore the calls for independence of our Azerbaijani brothers even while the Ottoman Empire was fighting its own national struggle at various fronts of World War I.”

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Near the end of World War I, on Sept. 15, 1918, an elite Ottoman force led by Nuri Pasha (Killigil) called the Caucasus Islamic Army was sent to Azerbaijan…and liberated Baku from Armenian and Bolshevik occupation, paying the price in the lives of 1,132 people.

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On Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region, which was liberated from Armenia’s nearly 30 year-occupation in fall 2020, Oktay stressed that they see it as their primary duty to…hoist the Azerbaijani flag everywhere like it did in its glory years.

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Noting that Turkey and Azerbaijan support and make each other stronger, Mammadov said: “Turkey played an exceptional role in the establishment of the current victorious Azerbaijan Army, and our heroic soldiers and officers received high-level education and training together with their Turkish brothers.”

“Therefore, our victory in the 44-day (Karabakh) war can be considered a joint victory of Azerbaijan and Turkey,” he added.

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Enver Pasha, then Ottoman minister of war – also an elder brother of Ottoman Gen. Nuri Pasha – personally conveyed the message to the Ottoman Empire that Baku had been liberated from Armenian gangs.

In December 1918, the first decision of the newly established Azerbaijani parliament was to place a monument for the “martyred Ottoman soldiers and officers” at the highest spot in Baku.

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Turkey was the first country to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence, and Baku opened its embassy in Turkey in 1992.