(MEMRI via JNS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a recent speech that Turkey stands with “brotherly country” Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia, and expressed his hope that the fighting would continue until Nagorno-Karabagh was “liberated.”
In an October 2, 2020 speech uploaded to the Turkish presidency’s official YouTube channel, Erdoğan addressed the “critical developments” in the Caucasus region.
“Though the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh [a disputed territory in the Southern Caucasus], which [Armenia] occupied with the vile massacres, has not yet been resolved, Armenia has again attacked Azeri territory,” he said.
“But this time, it met something it had not at all expected. The brotherly state of Azerbaijan started a big military operation to defend its land, and to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh, which is under occupation. Thus far, the Azeri army, which has been successfully advancing, has liberated many areas from occupation. As Turkey, with all our possibilities and with our whole hearts, we stand and will continue to stand with our dear friend and brother, Azerbaijan. Allah willing, this struggle will continue until Nagorno-Karabakh is liberated from occupation.”
The Turkish leader went on to claim that recent developments in the region were all part of an attempt to isolate Turkey and keep it from the world stage.
“The transformation that the world is experiencing with the effect of the coronavirus pandemic has become extraordinarily fast and visible. The struggle that our country has maintained, both at home and abroad, is not independent of this process of global change,” he said
“Just as it was a century ago, half a century ago, others want Turkey to be excluded from the world order that they seek to establish. If you notice, almost all the crises that today occupy the world are taking place near our country. When you connect these points of crisis, from Syria to the Mediterranean Sea and the Caucasus, the picture that appears is an attempt to bring Turkey under an open siege,” he added.
The reason for this, he said, was that Turkey’s “decisive, active and uncompromising stance” had forced the international community to make it part of the regional and global equations.
“Now, we are a country with an essential place in the field and at the [negotiating] table,” he said.
International pressure, terrorism and “economic traps” were all part of the price Turkey had had to pay for this, said Erdoğan.
“They have tried to make us turn back on our path. With the help of Allah and the support of our nation—praise be to Allah—we have not and shall not turn back on our path,” he said
Turkey had neutralized the threat from Syria-based terror groups by taking control over nearly 3,200 square miles of Syrian territory constituting the “epicenter of the attacks,” said Erdoğan, adding, “We did not do this arbitrarily. It was not for fun.”
The Turkish leader went on to say that any area that constituted a threat to Turkey was an “area of activity” for the country.
“They wanted to play a similar game in the Mediterranean Sea,” he said, referring to recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and its neighbors with regard to disputed energy resources.