Erdoğan urges Armenia to 'end occupation in Upper Karabakh'
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sept. 28 called on Armenia to put an end to its occupation of Upper Karabakh, for peace to reign in the region again.
"The time has come for the crisis in the region that started with the occupation of Nagorny Karabakh to be put to an end," Erdoğan said during a symposium on international maritime law and Eastern Mediterranean at the Dolmabahçe Office in Istanbul.
"Once Armenia immediately leaves the territory it is occupying, the region will return to peace and harmony," he said.
Erdoğan also accused Armenia of starting the latest escalation, also accusing the United States, Russia, and France of failing to properly address the conflict in so-called "Minsk Group" talks.
"They basically did everything they could not resolve the issue," Erdoğan said. "Now Azerbaijan must take matters into its own hands."
Turkey urges Armenia to send back mercenaries, terrorists it brought from abroad
Armenia should send back all the mercenaries and terrorists it brought from abroad to fight against Azerbaijan, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said, reiterating Ankara’s support to Baku in its armed conflict with Yerevan.
“Armenia should cease its attacks immediately and send back the mercenaries and terrorists it brought from abroad,” Akar said, according to state-run Anadolu Agency on Sept. 28.
There are claims that Armenia has dispatched mercenaries from Syria into Nagorno-Karabakh to be used in fighting the Azerbaijani army.
“Armenia should withdraw from the Azerbaijan lands under its occupation. Ceasefire, peace and stability shall prevail accordingly, ” Akar said.
Armenia continues to occupy the Azeri territories in Nagorno-Karabakh since 1993 despite numerous resolutions issued by the U.N. Security Council. Turkey had sealed its borders with Armenia and did not establish diplomatic ties with Armenia due to its occupation of Azeri lands.
Turkey has openly expressed support to Azerbaijan as it accuses Armenia of launching military offensive into residential areas in the region.
“Ties between Turkey and Azerbaijan are based on ‘two states one nation’ principle. We are always together in the good and bad day. We are on the side of our Azerbaijani brothers in their defense of homeland,” Akar stated.
The minister also criticized international powers, who are now calling for peaceful resolution of the problem, for remaining silent on the Armenian occupation of the Azerbaijani lands in the past 30 years.
“Where were they in the past 30 years those who now remember dialogue and call for peaceful resolution while 20 percent of the Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh were under the occupation, thousands of people, children, women and elderly were being massacred and displaced from home?” he asked.