Erdoğan slams Minsk Group over Nagorno-Karabakh occupation
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has criticized the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which was formed to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, of neglecting problems in the region.
“Especially the so-called Minsk trio America, Russia, France and their seeking of a ceasefire in the face of this negative situation, which has been reflected these days because they have neglected this problem for nearly 30 years, is above all not acceptable,” Erdoğan said, addressing the Turkish Parliament, which started its fourth legislative session of the 27th term on Oct. 1.
“The crisis that started with the occupation of Crimea in the Black Sea can rise again any time. The clashes that started with the attack of Armenia, which occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, against Azerbaijan are the most concrete examples of this,” he added.
He also repeated that Armenia must withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh if there is to be lasting peace in the region where Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces have clashed for five days.
It was unacceptable that the United States, Russia and France were involved in a search for a ceasefire in a disputed Caucasus region given they neglected problems there for some 30 years, he said.
Erdoğan said he had discussions with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron, but those talks have not yielded any results.
“Our Azerbaijani brothers are now waiting for the day they will return to their land. Nobody approaches this [idea]. Let’s talk about this first,” he said.
Turkey will support Azerbaijan by all means in line with the “two states, one nation” principle, said Erdoğan.
The ceremony was held under COVID-19 measures and Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop did not host an opening reception this year. Members of foreign diplomatic missions in Turkey were not invited this year due to the same precautions, but Azerbaijani Ambassador to Ankara Khazar Ibrahim was present at the general assembly as an exception.
HDP lawmakers protest recent detentions
Outside the parliament building, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers held a sit-in protest instead of attending the opening ceremony over wide-scale detentions of party members.
“Today, we decided not to attend the opening ceremony of the assembly. This is not an attitude against parliament, it is not against the fact that we see parliament as one of the most important platforms of democratic politics. Parliament is important in democratic politics. We saw it as a more correct and appropriate method to announce the injustice to our people, not from the General Assembly of parliament, but from the garden of the assembly,” HDP Co-Chair Mithat Sancar said.
'Turkey shines as rising star’
On the fight against COVID-19, Erdoğan said Turkey has shunned like a rising star both in its region and in the world thanks to effective measures and a strong healthcare system and became the third least affected economy due to the coronavirus according to the OECD.
“Turkey would be fully defeated because of the coronavirus pandemic should we have not developed a strong healthcare system in the past 18 years,” Erdoğan said, recalling that Turkey added new hospital beds only since the start of the pandemic in March.
“Apart from serving our people in the fight against COVID-19, we also responded to the demands [of medical equipment] from 153 countries and eight international organizations,” he informed.
“Turkey will continue its determination in its fight against COVID-19 until the pandemic is fully avoided and an effective treatment is introduced. We will carry out this struggle together, hand in hand.”