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Turkey-Azerbaijan relations have advanced to the level of strategic partnership

Turkey-Azerbaijan relations have advanced to the level of strategic partnership
Strengthening of relations will serve to ensure stability in the Caucasus region

Azerbaijan and Turkey relations have a long history. Common roots, language and religion unity, similar cultures, traditions and customs are among factors necessitating these ties. Turkey and Azerbaijan have shown support for each other in the most complicated periods of their history. In 1918, under Nuru Pasha’s command, Turkish Caucasian Islam Army saved Baku after long struggle and wars which was an important turning point for Azerbaijan. As the national leader Heydar Aliyev said: "Turkish army’s visit to Baku, Azerbaijan and saving Azerbaijan from the Dashnak aggression lives in the hearts of all Azerbaijanis.  Azerbaijani people will never forget the help of Turkish people at such a difficult time”. Azerbaijanis also lent material and spiritual support to the national struggle waged by Gazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in Anatolia. Two republics maintained diplomatic relations when Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union as well. The then prime minister Suleyman Demirel’s visit to Baku in 1967 followed by the Baku visit of then prime minister Jovdat Sunay in 1969 played a big role in shaping the character of these relations. 

After Azerbaijan restored its independence in 1991, Turkey was the first country to recognize it on November 9. Azerbaijan and Turkey established diplomatic relations on January 14, 1992. Following this, Turkish diplomatic mission was launched in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani diplomatic mission began operating in Turkey on August, 1992. Establishment of diplomatic relations has opened great prospects in the development of mutual ties. Both countries started taking a series of actions based on the principles of mutual beneficial cooperation. Turkey has supported the efforts of Azerbaijan which had chosen the path of independent state building, and greatly helped the expansion of comprehensive relations.  

Ilham Aliyev, who was elected president of Azerbaijan in 2003, has taken great care to improve the relations with Turkey. President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly visited Turkey on business and official trips. Likewise, Turkish state officials, heads of states including president and prime ministers have regularly visited Azerbaijan. 

Turkey and Azerbaijan share very similar or same positions on various international and regional issues at international organization. Both sides consult at the regional and international organizations and support each other. Azerbaijan cooperates with Turkey as part of the UN, OIC, NATO, Council of Europe, Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, Economic Cooperation Organization and Turkic Council. 
Turkey and Azerbaijan relations have currently advanced to the level of strategic partnership, and are developing in an environment of comprehensive close mutual cooperation. To reflect these close ties, Turkey-Azerbaijan High Level Strategic Cooperation Council was established in 2010. The VII congress of Turkey-Azerbaijan High Level Strategic Cooperation Council was held on April 25 with the participation of Ilham Aliyev and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After the congress, both presidents signed several documents. There is no doubt that, Ilham Aliyev making his first official trip to Turkey after being re-elected the president and attending the congress will further strengthen the strategic partnership between two countries. Strengthening of these relations will serve to insure stability in the Caucasus region. 

MP and political commentator Sahib Aliyev focused on the fact that Ilham Aliyev had visited Turkey on his first official trip after being re-elected. He said that it was particularly noteworthy since the visit took place on the anniversary of the so called genocide: "Why Turkey and why specifically on this day? Most of us know why but I want to remind one fact. When Serzh Sargsyan slandered Turkey on the 5th anniversary of "Eastern Partnership” held in Prague on April 24, 2014, exactly four years ago, Azerbaijani president had responded to him by saying "Turkish representatives aren’t here but I am here”.  He not only shut him up but also displayed that we are but one nation and two states. They understood that they could never again set the people who have the same genes, language and religion against each other like they did to the Safavids and Ottomants! We will not act according to the insidious "Zurich protocols” but according to what our blood running in our veins dictate. May God make this unity eternal!” 

MP Azer Badamov also noted that it was remarkable that Ilham Aliyev made his first official trip to Turkey after being re-elected. He stated that this was a sign of friendship and fraternity between Turkey and Azerbaijan: "National leader Heydar Aliyev had declared that Azerbaijan and turkey was one nation and two states. Mister Erdogan had also visited Azerbaijan on his first presidential trip after being elected. This shows that Turkey shows the same attitude towards us.  Turkey always supports Azerbaijan in the international arena and likewise, Azerbaijan speaks on behalf of Turkey where Turkey is not present. The stronger our friendship, the stronger our countries. Everyone would know that there is a country who shares the same language and roots as us and they will see this strong country besides us whenever they view us. The strength is in unity. I think Mister president’s visit will further strengthen Azerbaijan-Turkey unity”.

Alper TURAN



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