The Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan in interview for Turkish NTV channel made some interesting admissions on Armenian-Turkish relations and Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The most eloquent of them is Erdogan's confession that foreign policy of Turkey to a large extent determined by the conditions (read - requirements) of Azerbaijan. Thus, on the question of NTV channel journalist "Is Karabakh - Turkish condition?”, Erdogan replied: "This is not our condition. This is Azerbaijan’s condition. This issue is not in our direct interests. However, indirectly, we are in a close connection to this topic”.
Indeed, Ankara is "indirectly” connected to "this topic”. Primarily, it’s connected since Azerbaijan has undeniable opportunity to influence Turkish internal politics. The concealed opposition between Azerbaijan and Turkish leaders doesn’t pass into open conflict only because of the rather precarious situation of Turkish ruling party, fulfilling Baku’s requirements over and over again. But, whatever the prime cause of present Turkish intervention in Nagorno-Karabakh problem is, still the fact should be stated: today Ankara is a major, if not the only Baku’s ally in Azerbaijan claims on the land of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. In this case, notice that this ally is not quite voluntary.
Artificial retraction of Turkey to the Karabakh - Azerbaijan opposition; confirmed by the lack consistency of the claims to Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in both of Turkic capitals. Thus, Azerbaijan considers under "occupied land” both the territory of the former Armenian autonomy within Azerbaijan SSR borders and adjacent to the autonomy seven historic Armenian regions. Meanwhile on the NTV question about number of "occupied” regions Erdogan answered: "Naturally, 5 plus 2, and explained, more to himself, than to interlocutress, these two are Lachin and Kalbajar (Berdzor and Karvachar - L.M. -Sh.), them, I indented to mention”.
Erdogan lamented that the Armenian countries "discuss it (regulating of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict -L.M.-Sh.) between them”, he also complained, that in US he was told do not confuse the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic with the Armenian-Turkish borders. Then he begins to assert that Turkey is faithful to the undertaken obligations. This part of the interview is one of the most interesting. Here’s how, Prime Minister of Turkey commented the "faithfulness” of Ankara to the undertaken obligations: "We are faithful to our obligations. We won’t violate the given word. We rely on the same what had been signed in Switzerland. However, in the text of protocols there is an expression "to ensure the peace in the region”. Currently, there is a problem in peace-keeping between Azerbaijan and Armenia. We should attempt to promote the peace, because this is a reason of border closure. We must solve this problem”.
Let’s not cavil to the wiredrawn phrase pulled out of the context of protocols "to ensure the peace in the region”. Let’s just notice that Erdogan clung to that phrase only in recent days and it points to the fake nature of "argument” that jogtrotted for more than eight months without any references. Here the interesting fact: in the region there are two more countries got separated from the former Soviet republic. Quite clear that we mention South-Ossetian Republic and the Republic of Abkhazia, as well as Nagorno-Karabakh Republic got self-determination in the process of USSR collapse and got engaged in the war with their former metropolitan country - Georgia. In Tbilisi’s opinion, these conflicts are far from being completed, and with the aim to "unsure the peace in the region” this problem is no less important, than the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It turns out that Turkey’s "faithful to the obligations” requires the solution of these problems too. Otherwise term "region” in Turkish understanding takes truncated nature.
In fact, Transcaucasia or the South Caucasus is a historical and political region, i.e., the united geographical area, integrated and interrelated with its elements. In case, if Turkish parliamentarians are really concerned about the fate of this region, then this concern definitely has one-sided nature. If to follow Erdogan’s logic then Turkey should close its border with Russia. Here, the brief explanations of border closure reason with Armenia that were given to the reporter: "Azerbaijan lands were occupied”.
Hard to say what Erdogan understands under the "occupation”, in our case it doesn’t even matter. Prime Minister of Turkey, "faithful to the undertaken obligations” can’t ignore the fact that in recognition of ensuring the peace in the region there is a problem between Georgia and its former autonomies, as well as between Georgia and Russia. Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Republic of Abkhazia, South-Ossetian Republic and Azerbaijan, are located in Transcaucasian region. Tbilisi, as well as Baku, approves that its territory "occupied”. And, if you follow Erdogan’s logic, Turkey, in the name of "peace in the region” has to close its border with Russia and Republic of Abkhazia and to stop any diplomatic relations with above-mentioned countries. It’s even more logical, because of the fact that Turkey has borders both with Georgia and it also has borders with Abkhazia and Russia on the Black Sea. À propos, Turkey does not have border with Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. However, Turkey closed its border only with Armenia; it doesn’t actually fit in the actions of state, which desires to establish the peace in the region. Note also that Ankara abstaining official recognition of Abkhazia’s Republic, already long ago established commercial and diplomatic relations with Sukhumi. However, despite Tbilisi’s assertion that part of Georgia occupied by Russia, Turkey has stormy political and economical romance with it.
It’s possible; of course, that this application of double standards reflects Ankara’s position toward the Republic of Abkhazia and the South-Ossetian Republic, and Turkey recognizes the legal validity of these states proclamation. In this case Turkey simply obliged to recognize the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Until then, the border closure with Armenia should be considered as hostility with all its consequences. Turkey is not the supporter of "peace in the region”. Contrary, Turkish foreign policy is an example of double standards, the policy of confrontation and war. The explanation of its aggressive policy by Armenia’s mythical occupation of Armenian lands is one of the political techniques from the arsenal of Ottoman Empire’s unkind memory; now, its legal successor is modern Turkish Republic.
Today, Erdogan openly admits that Turkish attempts to connect the ratification of Armenian-Turkish protocols with regulating of Nagorno-Karabakh’s problem are Azerbaijani conditions. It means that Turkey trailing in the fairway of Azerbaijani policy does not have its own opinion on this issue and performs the will of official Baku. In that case Armenia has a right and obligation to question clearly: what kind of Turkish peacemaking activities in the region could be discussed, if Turkey blindly executes installations of one of the conflict sides?
If Ankara desires to acquire the image of country concerned about the peace in the region, then it has a choice: a) to recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Republic of Abkhazia and South Ossetian Republic, along with simultaneous border opening with Armenia; b) to close borders with Russia and Abkhazia along with suspension of diplomatic relations with these states. There is no third. Anything else would demonstrate Turkey’s aggressive policy directed toward the new warmongering, in the region where Turkish Republic took responsibility for the contribution in the process of peace establishment.