President Erdogan to Finalize Bilateral Agreement with Azerbaijan

Turkey is expected to finalize a bilateral agreement with Azerbaijan today. Over the years, Ankara’s support for Baku has significantly

Erdogan Aliyev

Photo: Presidency Handout

Turkey is expected to finalize a bilateral agreement with Azerbaijan today.

Over the years, Ankara’s support for Baku has significantly increased militarily. Turkey has historically backed Azerbaijan because of shared cultural and geopolitical interests, with Erdogan invoking the slogan that the countries are “one nation, two states.” However, as Ankara has become more forceful in the region, its attitude toward the Nagorno-Karabakh territory has pushed Ankara closer to Baku, evidenced by the Second Karabakh War.

Energy has largely spurred this increased cooperation. As Turkey’s gas usage rose, Azerbaijan increasingly replaced Russia as the country’s primary gas supplier. The lower cost of gas imports through Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline, and hence, Turkey’s desire to protect the pipelines has increased its military assistance toward Baku. Turkey is willing to demonstrate that it will protect that supply network politically and, if necessary, with limited military action. More precisely, in the Second Karabakh War, the Turkish army provided, trained, and backed Azerbaijani forces. Some sources claim that Turkish officers had a crucial role in directing drone assaults, a key factor in Baku’s victory, though Ankara denies this. Nevertheless, the war in Karabakh demonstrated Ankara’s rising importance in the South Caucasus.

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