Ankara, Baku to show off strong bilateral ties with grand gestures in 2015
AA PhotoThe year 2015 will provide more than one occasion for Turkey and neighboring Azerbaijan to show off the strength of their bilateral cooperation, not only in the global political arena but also in the global economic field.
Ankara, which assumed the rotating presidency of the G-20 on Dec. 1, 2014, didn’t waste time by using its position to have Baku represented at a G-20 summit as its “guest.”
While listing some key joint economic projects during a press conference in Ankara with Azerbaijan’s visiting President Ilham Aliyev on Jan. 15, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recalled that Turkey will host a G-20 summit later this year.
“As host of the G-20, we have used our mandate to favor Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan will take part in the G-20 this year as our guest,” Erdoğan said. “From preliminary preparations to G-20 negotiations, Azerbaijan will be with us,” he added.
Later at the press conference, during which both the guest and the host head of the state made statements but did not field questions, Erdoğan made another striking announcement, as he said he had extended an invitation to Aliyev to attend the ceremony marking the centennial of the Battle of Çanakkale, also known as the Battle of Gallipoli, in Çanakkale province in late April.
In an apparent response to a campaign by Armenians to attain greater recognition on the 100th anniversary of what many in the world term the Armenian Genocide, Turkey will commemorate the centennial of the Çanakkale campaign from April 23-25 this year, in a bid to counter the adverse effects of Armenian efforts.
Traditionally, Turkey marks the anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli on March 18, which is declared Martyrs’ Day. Armenians, meanwhile, commemorate their killed ancestors on April 24.
For his part, Aliyev welcomed the invitation extended by Ankara, while complaining of “provocative” moves by Armenia which torpedoed last year’s progress in talks over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Recalling that April 24 is remembrance day for the Armenian people, Aliyev also hailed Turkey’s decision to mark the Battle of Gallipoli on April 24 and said, “I thank you very much, both on behalf of myself and of the Azerbaijan people, for choosing this date. The choosing of this date is very meaningful.”