Azerbaijani MP urges Turkey to take drastic measures against its citizens over illegal visit to Karabakh
- 28 September 2017
The Turkish government has not taken any measures against a group of its citizens who illegally visited Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region occupied by Armenia, Hikmat Babaoghlu, Azerbaijani MP, editor-in-chief of the “Yeni AzÉ™rbaycan” newspaper, told APA.
He noted that such visits by Turkish citizens contradict the spirit of strategic relations and cooperation between the two countries.
The MP stressed that the Turkish citizens who illegally traveled to the Armenian-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan have spoken out against not only Azerbaijan, but their country too.
"Turkey is a powerful state and has to take measures against this illegal visit. Such actions are not nothing new. We know that several Turkish journalists had previously visited the occupied territories several times without Azerbaijan's permission. The continuation of this issue in this way has caused great public uproar in Azerbaijani society. The Azerbaijani people strongly condemn this visit,” he said urging the Turkish government to take drastic measures against these individuals.
According to Babaoglu, relations should first of all be based on mutual respect and international law.
"Azerbaijan is quite sensitive in this regard as its territories are under occupation. If Azerbaijanis take similar steps in an issue Turkey is similarly sensitive about, for example, if a group of renowned Azerbaijanis were to visit the Republic of Cyprus and hold meetings there, making anti-Turkey statements, what reaction would Turkey give? Turkey must ponder this issue and make a proper decision,” he said.
He went on to say that Azerbaijan has always supported Turkey in international organizations.
“During the coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev demonstrated his firm position. The Azerbaijani people always express support to Turkey. Therefore, the Azerbaijani people expect such determination from Turkey. Turkey will either punish those people itself or hand them over to our country because of their illegal visit to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in accordance with international law,” Babaoghlu said.
Vugar Rahimzade, a member of the Political Council of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party and the editor-in-chief of “Iki Sahil” newspaper, told APA that the visit of some Turkish citizens who think themselves as “intellectuals” to the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan has caused great anger and anxiety in the Azerbaijani public.
He expressed hope that the Turkish state will soon take necessary punitive measures against these individuals.
“Armenia demonstrates a hostile attitude towards Azerbaijan and Turkey. On the other hand, Armenia is a dangerous and terrorist state that poses a major threat to the region and the whole world,” Rahimzade said. “Against the backdrop of all this, such a visit to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan must be unequivocally condemned.”
He added that the illegal visit by the Turkish citizens to Nagorno-Karabakh is a betrayal of the Turkish-Azerbaijani brotherhood and a great blow to the friendship between the two countries.
“Azerbaijan has always been loyal to its friendly relations with Turkey. Unfortunately, this visit to the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is under Armenian occupation, undermines relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan,” Rahimzade said.
On September 22, Turkish intellectuals Ali Bayramoglu, Sait Cekinoglu, former MP Ufuk Uras, representing the Green Left Party, and writer and TV host Erol Katircioglu have paid an illegal visit to Nagorno-Karabakh on the initiative of an organization called “National Congress of Western Armenians”, making pro-Armenian statements against Azerbaijan and Turkey.