Turkey says Azerbaijan should ask compensation from Armenia for “destroying” Nagorno-Karabakh

Turkey says Azerbaijan should ask compensation from Armenia for “destroying” Nagorno-Karabakh
Update: 21 October 2022 20:20
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Turkish President Erdogan said Armenia should be brought to the International Court of Justice, and accused the West for supporting Yerevan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed Armenia of “destroying” Nagorno-Karabakh and said it should be taken to the International Court of Justice for compensation. 

"It is necessary to corner them by asking for compensation,” Erdogan said during a joint press briefing with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Jabrayil district of Karabakh on Thursday.

Accusing the West of not coming and seeing what had happened to the region during Armenian governance, “Why they didn't come? Because they will see their own disgrace. They will see what the West did here to Jabrayil and whole Karabakh by giving support [to Armenia]”, Erdogan said, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Erdogan on Thursday paid a visit to Azerbaijan, attending a series of ceremonies held in Nagorno-Karabakh, including the opening of the Zangilan International Airport.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed region between Azerbaijan and Armenia since 1990s, where the two Caucasian countries embroiled in a six-week long war in 2020, also known as the Second Karabakh War. The fighting ended by a truce brokered by Russia in November 2020 and Armenia handed back territories in the Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan as part of the ceasefire agreement. Turkey backed Baku during the conflict and supported military assistance. 

However in September, Azerbaijan escalated military tensions with Armenia, violating the ceasefire deal. Armenia accused Azerbaijan for shelling Armenian positions on the border, using large-caliber weapons, artillery, missile systems, and UAVs and occupying ten square kilometers of Armenian sovereign territory, while Azerbaijan said it has taken “retaliatory” measures against Armenia’s “provocations.” As a result of Azerbaijani aggression, 207 Armenian soldiers have been killed, according to Armenian official figures. Azerbaijan announced 71 military casualties. 

During his speech at the briefing, Erdogan also commented on the Zangezur corridor, a transportation link that Aliyev calls on Armenia to open, which would connect Azerbaijan to Turkey via the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, passing through Armenia's Syunik Province.

The opening of the transportation link would result in the closing of the Armenian-Iranian border along that corridor, eliminating Armenian checkpoints.

Erdogan said "there is no need to fear."

The normalisation process between Azerbaijan and Armenia and Turkey and Armenia are progressing in a way that supports each other, Erdogan also said.

Ankara wants to improve ties between the three countries and resolve outstanding issues, he said. 

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said “winning” the Second Karabakh War is the "common victory" of Turkey and Azerbaijan.

"Following the Second Karabakh War, Türkiye-Azerbaijan brotherhood gained even greater momentum," he said.

The Azerbaijani leader said that the reconstruction works are underway in the region, thanking Turkish companies for “rapid construction and renovation works.”

Claiming that all Azerbaijani buildings and constructions were destroyed by Armenia, Aliyev said all internally displaced people of Azerbaijan will be back once the reconstruction work is completed.