Turkish Foreign Ministry: "The visit of Turkish citizens to Nagorno-Karabakh was not coordinated with state bodies"
- 30 September 2017
“The visit of four Turkish citizens to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan was not coordinated with state bodies,” said official representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Huseyin Muftuoglu, APA reports quoting Anadolu.
“Turkey will continue to support friendly and fraternal Azerbaijan's fair position on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," the diplomat said.
G.Muftuoglu stressed that the visit of Turkish citizens to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan does not reflect the official policy of the country.
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.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in December 1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.