Aliyev Criticizes Ciller on Armenia Policy

ANKARA (Marmara)–On the second day of his official visit to Turkey Tuesday–Azeri President Gaidar Aliyev did not mince words and openly criticized Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller for a so-called "soft" approach toward Armenia.

During a meeting with Turkey press corps–Aliyev said that by opening the airway to Armenia–Ciller did not realize her intentions of forcing Armenia to soften its position.

"Has Armenia’softened its position? Did your strategy actually work?" demanded Aliyev.

Aliyev told reporters that he came to Turkey to express his dismay on Turkey’s economic assistance to Azerbaijan–adding that Azerbaijan had asked Turkey for $117 million but Turkey had refused that aid.

Aliyev angrily told reporters that while large Turkish corporations were investing in all other Turkic republics of the former Soviet Union–they have neglected Azerbaijan.

He also added that the military cooperation accord–signed Monday–did not stipulate a clause for one country assisting the other in combat during war.

"Such a provision must be sealed through an official military agreement. Armenia and Russia have signed a similar agreement. We–also–could sign one with Turkey," commented Aliyev.

In his speech in the Turkish parliament–Aliyev was similarly critical of certain Turkish policy measures. In his address–which was received with standing ovations by Turkish parliamentarians–often contained severe criticism of Turkish policies.

However–Turkish parliamentarians walked away from the address generally satisfied–since each member rationalized Aliyev’s speech in his/her own manner.

When Aliyev discussed Turkey’s secular status–members of Ciller’s True Path party would applaud; on the other hand when the Azeri leader emphasized the strengthening of religious ideals in society–members of Turkish prime minister Necmettin Erbakan’s Welfare party would applaud.

During his parliament address–Aliyev–for the first announced–with dismay–that high-level Turkish politicians had a role in the March 17 coup d’tat attempt in Azerbaijan–explaining that he was publicizing this matter for the first time since he did not want schism between the two countries.

Aliyev explained–however–that his request for extradition of those Turkish individuals involved in the coup was also rejected.

The Azeri leader stated that during the second attempt against his rule in Azerbaijan–certain Turkish political parties and figures were also involved–adding that those individuals later escaped to Turkey and criticized him on Turkish national television.

He also stated that Turkish secular form of government–served as a model for all other Turkic states.

The Radikal newspaper in Turkey reported that Aliyev did not originally want to visit Turkey–and only did so after the mediation of Turkish President Suleyman Demirel. The newspaper also stated that since Russia would carefully monitor Aliyev’s visit to Turkey–thus forcing him be careful on his commen’s regarding Russian relations.

The newspaper also pointed out that Aliyev neglected to address the proposed Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline.


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