Turkey has strongly condemned and reacted to Armenia’s military offensive against civilian targets on Azerbaijani territories, pledging full support with all its means to its regional ally in using its right to self-defense.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed Ankara’s full support to Baku in a phone conversation with Azeri President İlham Aliyev.
All senior Turkish officials issued statements on Sept. 27 in support of Azerbaijan while slamming Armenian attacks as a clear violation of international law and crime against humanity.
“Launching a new attack against Azerbaijan, Armenia has once again shown that it constitutes the biggest threat against peace and comfort in the region. The Turkish people stand with their Azeri brothers with all its means as it has always been,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Twitter on Sept. 27.
Slamming the international community for “double standards and insufficient reaction” against the Armenian attacks, Erdoğan expressed disappointment with Minsk group’s efforts to find a resolution to the problem in the past 30 years.
Erdoğan said Turkey will boost its solidarity to Azerbaijan with the understanding of “two states one nation,” as he spoke to Aliyev on the phone.
Defense ministers speak by phone
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar communicated with his Azeri counterpart, Zakir Hasanov, in the wake of the Armenian attacks against Azeri lands.
“The occupying state Armenia has attacked Azerbaijan by violating the ceasefire and has shown that it’s seeking yet another provocation. The biggest obstacle in front of peace and stability in the Caucasus is Armenia’s aggression. It should immediately quit this aggression that can throw the entire region into fire,” Akar said on Twitter.
Condemning Armenia’s attack, Akar vowed that Turkey will continue to stand with Azerbaijan with all its means in its struggle to protect its territorial integrity.
Turkey and Azerbaijan held joint military exercises in the past two months in a show of unity and solidarity after the Armenian military attacked the Azeri military positions in Tovuk region in the north of Azeri lands.
Akar paid visits to Azerbaijan and coordinated defense and security cooperation between the two countries, which have developed a strong alliance under the motto of “two states one nation.”
Armenia biggest obstacle before peace
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy issued a statement and expressed Turkey’s reaction on the attacks.
“We strongly condemn the Armenian attack which is a clear violation of international law and causing civilian casualties. With these attacks, Armenia has once again shown that it’s the biggest obstacle before regional peace and stability,” read a statement issued by Aksoy on Sept 27.
“Azerbaijan will definitely use its right to self-defense in order to protect its people and territorial integrity,” Aksoy said, adding that Turkey’s support to Azerbaijan in this process is full and will be displayed in any way Baku wishes.
Aksoy also called on the international community to stand with the Azeri people in light of Armenia’s attacks.
Çavuşoğlu speaks to Lavrov
In the meantime, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu held a phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the escalation after the Armenian attacks. The two ministers have discussed ways to de-escalate tension in the region.
In a strongly worded statement, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop has slammed Armenia for launching attacks against Azerbaijan, including civilian targets.
“Armenia has proven that it’s a terror state; not only a threat to Azerbaijan but to the entire regional peace,” Şentop said, adding that Armenia will be the responsible for the consequences of its attacks.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief foreign policy adviser and Spokesman İbrahim Kalın voiced his condemnation of the attacks on Twitter.
“We strongly condemn Armenia’s attack on Azerbaijan. Armenia has once again violated international law and shown that it has no interest in peace and stability. Turkey stands in full solidarity with Azerbaijan and unreservedly supports its right to self-defense,” he said.
Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Spokesperson Ömer Çelik also took to Twitter, condemning Armenia’s attack. “We vehemently condemn Armenia’s attack on Azerbaijan. Armenia has once against committed a provocation, ignoring law,” Çelik said in a tweet.
CHP voices support to Azerbaijani people
Ünal Çeviköz, the chief foreign policy adviser to main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, has expressed the social democrat party’s support to Azerbaijan against the latest Armenian attacks.
Expressing deep concerns and condemnation over the Armenian attacks, Çeviköz stressed that the CHP stands with the Azerbaijani people while calling on the government to actively engage in diplomacy for a peaceful resolution to the decades-old conflict.
“It’s not possible to resolve the years-long Nagorno Karabakh problem through war. For peace, it’s essential that Armenia withdraws its troops from Azerbaijan lands that it occupies,” he stated.
Those trying to intimidate Azerbaijan will regret it: Aliyev
Those trying to intimidate Azerbaijan will regret it, Azerbaijani leader İlham Aliyev said on Sept. 27, referring to the Armenian army’s large-scale military provocations on the frontline early in the morning.
Aliyev in his address to the nation said Armenian armed forces fired on Azerbaijani settlements and military positions from several directions, using various types of weaponry, including heavy artillery.
“As a result of the enemy fire, there are casualties among the civilian population and our servicemen. Some people have been wounded. May Allah rest our martyrs in peace,” he said, without mentioning any specific numbers on casualties.
Aliyev vowed to avenge the blood of martyrs, saying the Azerbaijani army continues retaliation on Armenian military positions, and that many units of its military equipment have been destroyed.
“This is another manifestation of Armenian fascism,” he said.
The Azerbaijani leader added that besides the attacks, Armenia continues its illegal settlements in Azerbaijani territories.
“Azerbaijan defends its lands, [Upper] Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan,” Aliyev asserted.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on Sept. 27 it launched a “counteroffensive to suppress Armenia’s combat activity and ensure the safety of the population,” using tanks, artillery missiles, combat aviation, and drones.
It said Armenia had attacked civilian settlements and military positions along the “contact line,” a heavily-mined no-man’s-land that separates the Armenian-backed forces from Azeri troops in the region.
It said some civilians had been killed “as a result of the intensive shelling” by Armenia, and that Azerbaijan had taken retaliatory measures.
Hikmet Hajiyev, the senior adviser to Aliyev, accused Armenian forces of launching “deliberate and targeted” attacks along the front line.
Armenia declares martial law, military mobilization
In the meantime, Armenia on Sept. 27 declared martial law and a military mobilization over the heavy clashes.
“The government has decided to declare martial law and a total mobilization,” Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote on Facebook.
Hurriyet Daily News