Erdogan Targets Minsk Group, As Turkey Ramps Up Support to Baku

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

President Armen Sarkissian Warns of “Ghosts of Ottoman Empire”

After throwing his unequivocal support to Azerbaijan in its latest brutal attack against the frontlines of Artsakh, and later calling on Armenians to topple their government, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday went after the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the countries they represent.

Commenting on the numerous calls by different countries that Turkey, as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, should show restraint over the Artsakh issue, Erdogan stated that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be solved “once and for all,” adding that the Minsk Co-Chairing countries should not give advice to him on that matter.

“US, Russia and France, for nearly 30 years, have not managed to solve this problem. And now they all are giving advice,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan on Sunday invoked the “one nation, two states” slogan in throwing his and Ankara’s unequivocal support to Azerbaijan and its leader, President Ilham Aliyev. He also called on the people of Armenia to topple the Nikol Pashinyan government.

“While I call on the Armenian people to take hold of their future against their leadership that is dragging them to catastrophe and those using it like puppets, we also call on the world to stand with Azerbaijan in their battle against invasion and cruelty,” Erdogan said on Twitter, adding that Turkey will “increasingly continue” its solidarity with Baku.

“By attacking Azerbaijan yet again, Armenia has once more demonstrated that it is the largest threat to peace and tranquility in the region. The Turkish nation with all its capabilities is today, as always, stands with its Azerbaijani brothers,” Erdogan said on Twitter.

“In our phone conversation today, as I once again witnessed the acumen and decisiveness of Azerbajian’s president Ilham Aliyev, I told him Turkey, with the understanding “one nation, two states,” will continue strengthening its solidarity with its Azerbaijani brothers,” added Erdogan.

In a speech delivered on Tuesday, Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian warned the international community of Turkey’s brazen interference in the Karabakh conflict and the active military operations underway on the Artsakh border.
“Armenia is facing a cyber threat every day and not only from our neighbor Azerbaijan, but also from Turkey, which is NATO member” said Sarkissian in his opening remarks to the CYBERSEC2020 international cybersecurity conference which is taking place in partnership with NATO.

“Unfortunately, this virtual threat is becoming more and more real. You have probably heard that there are tensions mounting on the borders of Nagorno Karabakh instigated by Azerbaijan on Sunday. Unfortunately I have to declare that NATO member Turkey currently is fully supporting Azerbaijan through its electronic drones – through cyber-attacks. But it’s not only that: Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan also through their personnel, advisers, mercenaries and also with their F-16s,” said Sarkissian, referencing reports that Turkey is supplying Azerbaijan with hard-grade military equipment that is being deployed against the civilian population of Artsakh.

“For every Armenian living around the world that’s sort of a return of the ghost,” said Sarkissian. “I ghost, because that’s the ghost of the Ottoman Empire, that 105 years ago masterminded the Armenian Genocide. There’s no way that we can allow that this genocide takes place again.”

Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan during a press briefing Sunday said that Azerbaijani forces are actively using Turkish military equipment and weapons in their attacks on the entire border of Artsakh and Azerbaijan.

”Turkey is also fighting us. Turkish modern weapons and ammunitions are being used – UAVs and airplanes,” said President Harutyunyan. “I am not speaking about mercenaries or volunteers from other countries.”

Harutyunyan told journalists that Turkish F-16 jets and UAVs, stationed in Azerbaijan from last month’s joint drills, were used in Sunday’s operation against Artsakh.

“Artsakh is fighting relying only on the Defense Army of Artsakh and there can be volunteers only from Armenia,’’ added Harutyunyan said, emphasizing an earlier decision by Yerevan and Stepanakert to declare martial law and being mobilization of volunteers and forces.

In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson said that the Kremlin was in touch with Ankara over the current developments around Karabakh, adding that “If necessary, Putin will also contact the Azerbaijani leadership.”
The current situation around Nagorno Karabakh is a matter of serious concern for Russia, the presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Sputnik News on Monday.

“The escalation of the situation is not connected with the attempt to create new difficulties for Russia from outside. The military operations should be immediately stopped. The settlement of the conflict should move to the political and diplomatic field,” added Peskov.

Turkey’s blatant interference is being witnessed by the entire world, as more and more reporters are shining a light on Ankara’s disregard for regional security.

“The drone strike footage shared by the Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense in September showed something different—an interface which appears identical to the TB2 Bayraktar UCAV drone employed by Turkey,” reported Forbes in its recent coverage of the Azerbaijani attack on Artsakh.

This has also been compounded by reports that Ankara, through an opaque Turkish security company, is deploying Syrian rebels—mercenaries—to fight alongside Azerbaijanis.

“Syrian rebel fighters have signed up to work for a private Turkish security company as border guards in Azerbaijan, several volunteers in Syria’s last rebel stronghold have said, at a time when the long-running conflict between Baku and neighboring Armenia is showing dangerous signs of escalation,” reported the Guardian on Monday.

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