The preparations of the troops to be dispatched to Azerbaijan have been completed after a motion for the deployment was passed at the parliament, the Turkish Defense Ministry has said.
In a written statement on Nov. 22, the ministry said that talks about the technical details of the establishment and duty principles of the joint center to monitor the ceasefire in Nagorno Karabakh to be established with Russia was ongoing.
“In this context, Mehmetçik (Turkish soldiers) will work for one year in the joint center to be established with the Russian Federation and in all activities to be carried out by this center. The preparations of our troops to be dispatched to the region have been completed,” said the statement.
The ministry also reiterated that Turkey would continue to stand with Azerbaijan for its “rightful case.”
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of a joint mission to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in line with the Nov. 9 agreement between the two rival countries.
As a result of a six-week armed conflict, Armenia accepted the defeat and promised to withdraw from the Azerbaijani territories it had occupied since the early 1990s. Russia has brokered the deal and will play a crucial role in Nagorno-Karabakh with the deployment of a 2,000-strong peace force.
Article 5 of the deal stipulates the need to observe the ceasefire that will be carried out by Turkish and Russian forces.
Meanwhile, Turkey neutralized 80 terrorists in 31 operations in the past month, the ministry also said. Turkish authorities use the word “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
It added that a total of 348 terrorists have also been neutralized in the cross-border Claw operations to date.
“As a result, there has been a rise in the number of terrorists who surrendered and fled,” it said.
Turkey’s operations called Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle were launched in June to ensure the safety of the Turkish people and borders by neutralizing the threat of the PKK and other terrorist groups, which often use Northern Iraq to plan cross-border attacks.
About Turkey’s seismic activities in the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean, the ministry said vessels were being accompanied by the Turkish Armed Forces for their security.
It also said the Oruç Reis seismic research vessel would continue activities until Nov. 29. “As the country with the longest coastline in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] are in favor of equitable sharing of natural resources in the region.”
“The Turkish Armed Forces will continue to protect the rights and interests of our country and the TRNC in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean, and be the guarantor of peace and security in the island of Cyprus,” it added.
Hurriyet Daily News