Turkey and Azerbaijan have entered a new era

Turkey and Azerbaijan have entered a new era

The recent victory parade demonstrated the strength of Turkey and Azerbaijan – but from now on we must be more careful and much stronger.

Last week was an important day in the history of Azerbaijan. We all witnessed a ceremony that captured the agenda not only of Azerbaijan, but also of brotherly Turkey: the Victory Parade held in Baku’s Freedom Square.

The parade, attended by more than 3,000 soldiers, showcased Azerbaijan’s modern weapons, military equipment and air defense systems. Military equipment and tanks captured by the Armenian army during the 44-day war were also brought to the parade.

What Armenians feared most was the possibility of Armenian hostages being shown at a military parade in Baku. Of course, this did not happen. Azerbaijan is a peace-loving country that respects international law and conventions and values the principles of humanism. We also treat prisoners of war within the framework of international conventions.

The most important aspect of the military parade in Baku was the participation of the soldiers of the Republic of Turkey in this holiday. The guest of honor at the parade was Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Azerbaijan in the evening the day before to take part in the Victory Parade to mark Azerbaijan’s victory over Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh. As a part of his itinerary in Azerbaijan, President Erdogan first visited the Alley of Honors, where the tomb of the late President Heydar Aliyev is located, and laid a wreath at the tomb of Heydar Aliyev.

The President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the grave of national leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, and then the Turkish and Azerbaijani martyrs.

Then began a spectacular military parade, which was watched with great interest by the whole world.

President Erdogan delivered a speech at the victory parade, which was full of important messages, saying that “the liberation of occupied Azerbaijani lands does not mean the end of the struggle.” The Turkish leader conveyed concrete messages to Armenia and its supporting countries.

In his speech at the military parade, President Aliyev once again defended the Azerbaijani-Turkish brotherhood and said that relations between the two countries would be further developed.

Unlike previous military parades, the participation of special forces, whose names are not disclosed anywhere, aroused great interest in Azerbaijan.

YARASA special forces of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Azerbaijan first appeared during the Victory Parade in Freedom Square. These special forces affiliated with the Azerbaijan Foreign Intelligence Organization are known as the most secretive and special group of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. They played an active role in the liberation of Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia.

The YARASA fighters demonstrated heroism in the war of Azerbaijan and took part in the liberation of towns and villages. In particular, they were the first to enter the Gubadli region.

President Aliyev has presented medals to YARASA fighters, who are considered the elite forces and pride of the Azerbaijani army.

After the victory parade, the leaders of the two countries held a press conference and delivered very important messages. Relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan have clearly entered a new era.

A document signed by the foreign ministers of the two countries last week completely abolished the visa regime between Azerbaijan and Turkey. From now on, citizens of the two countries will be able to travel with only ID cards.

In addition, various documents were signed to further develop bilateral cooperation.

Relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan will further develop. The common interests of these two countries are growing. At the same time, the enemies of two countries are converging: the forces targeting Turkey are today also hostile to Azerbaijan. Therefore, it is necessary to join forces and take joint steps in foreign policy

Ahmad Shahidov

Head of the Azerbaijan Institute for Democracy and Human Rights

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January 2023