President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke with reporters covering his day trip to Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan, where he attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Iğdır-Nakhchivan Natural Gas Pipeline with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. His main remarks included the following:
Azerbaijan’s most recent military operation consolidated its sovereignty over Karabakh. More importantly, a new window of opportunity has emerged in the region in the wake of the 44-day defense of the Azerbaijani homeland to promote lasting peace and stability. It goes without saying that this opportunity needs to be seized. We expect Armenia to take a firm stance instead of delaying the process. There are no problems without solutions as long as Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and rights as a neighbor receive due respect.
F-16, Menendez issues
About the F-16 fighter jets, one of our main problems is related to U.S. Senator Bob Menendez’s anti-Turkish stance. It might be possible to expedite that process. Menendez and people who share his worldview take steps to hinder our efforts across the board – not just the F16 deal. Menendez being sidelined gives us an advantage, but the F-16 issue is not exclusively linked to Menendez. We expect a clear answer from the U.S. on that topic.
The Zangezur Corridor
Directly bonding with Nakhchivan and other parts of Azerbaijan by land and rail will further strengthen our relations. The creation of that corridor represents a strategic issue for Türkiye and Azerbaijan and must be completed. Once the corridor opens, vehicles or trains can travel directly from Baku to Kars. The fraternity between Türkiye and Azerbaijan will further strengthen. It is also a welcome development that Iran sent some positive signals (regarding the project). We aim to transform it into a peace corridor because one cannot imagine a corridor where threats of war loom. If we are to imagine the Zangezur and Lachin corridors as peace corridors, we have to sort this issue out without fighting. In particular, in terms of railroads, trains from Türkiye will go to Azerbaijan via Nakhchivan and Armenia.
Regarding the transit through Armenia – where will trains cross unless Armenia gets on board? They will go through Iran as Iran currently views that plan favorably and, therefore, it might be possible to reach Azerbaijan via Iran.
Armenia will continue to pay the price for the Khojaly Massacre. That is because 1 million Azerbaijanis were forced to leave Khojaly and other towns. They went to Azerbaijan. Decades later, Azerbaijan has held (Armenia) to account. It reclaimed its territory. Obviously, the so-called Minsk Group – the U.S., Russia and France – failed to recognize Azerbaijan’s rights for years. Ultimately, Azerbaijan took care of its own business and finished the job. Who is in Khojaly today? The rightful owners of Khojaly. The time has come for Khojaly and Karabakh to enjoy lasting peace and peace of mind under Azerbaijan’s sovereignty. Armenia has a responsibility to support peace to promote and preserve people’s peace of mind.
Recognition of TRNC
The international recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) represents the best option for any country that wants lasting peace in Cyprus. For years, those folks who attempted to deny the Turkish presence on the island have tried everything. Undoubtedly, the only remaining option is a two-state solution for Cyprus. No party should expect us to disregard the rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and not let anyone infringe on them. We shall raise our voices so that other countries, too, recognize the TRNC. The time has come to take the right steps to rectify mistakes. The TRNC’s recognition would undo the missteps of various parties, including the European Union.
Ties with Israel
Türkiye and Israel cooperate in a broad range of areas. It is a fact that additional areas of cooperation exist. In particular, Europe seeks sustainable energy sources partly due to the Russia-Ukraine war. It goes without saying that Israel, too, looks for ways to deliver its energy reserves to Europe. The most rational option would be to send those resources to Europe via Türkiye. We discussed that issue in our most recent meetings and began taking steps in that regard. At the same time, there is a possibility to cooperate on drilling. I have instructed my team to complete the technical work on that front. We plan to clarify all the details, including the path, the timeline and the drilling sites during our meetings in Türkiye and Israel soon.
In this article
- Azerbaijani President
- Bob Menendez
- F-16 Fighter Jet
- F-35 Fighter Jet Program
- Iğdır-Nakhchivan Natural Gas Pipeline
- Ilham Aliyev
- Lachin Corridor
- Natural Gas Pipeline (NGP)
- Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
- Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)
- Turkish-Israeli Relations
- Türkiye-Azerbaijan Relations
- Türkiye-Israel Relations
- Zangezur Corridor