Azerbaijan comes out in support of Turkish military operation in Syria
In a statement dated October 11, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry unconditionally supported Turkey’s decision to start operations on the border territory in northern Syria.
According to the Turkish authorities, the operation, code-named “Spring of Peace”, is directed against Kurdish terrorist groups.
Statement from the ministry
“Azerbaijan strongly condemns all forms and manifestations of terrorism and supports the efforts of the international community in the fight against terrorism. In this sense, we are confident that the ‘Spring of Peace’ operation will serve to prevent terrorist [acts], return refugees to their homes, solve humanitarian problems, ensure peace and stability”, says the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
Many in Azerbaijan, regardless of their political views, approved of the operation.
For example, the Republican Alternative opposition party has officially stated that it agrees with the statement by the Foreign Ministry.
“We are confident that the quality of this operation will not give reason to launch any new campaigns against Turkey or put forward claims,” the party’s chairman Ilgar Mammadov wrote on his Facebook page.
Director of the Atlas Center for Political Studies Elkhan Sаhinoglu believes that:
“Turkey had no other alternative, otherwise the forces of the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party, which in many countries of the world is recognized as a terrorist organization) could take control of the entire length of the northern border.”
A political observer for the Minval.az website, Tofig Abbasov, believes that:
“Even if Operation goes smoothly, a peace conference will still have to be held to finally overcome the Syrian crisis. It’s not possible to decide anything by force of arms. We’ll have to arm ourselves with the tools of subtle diplomacy.”
Meanwhile, more than a thousand young Azerbaijanis filed applications to become volunteers in the Turkish army, the chairman of the public association of reserve officers for youth education Emin Hasanli. He expressed hope the “Turkish army would be victorious in a short period of time.”
The few voices against
However, there are few critics of this position of Azerbaijan. For example, journalist Rahim Shaliev, who writes:
“The truth is that Turkey is strangling the freedom of the Kurds. Today’s attacks on civilians are proof of this. Erdogan is trying to combine Turkish nationalism and radical Islam and achieve something this way. Naturally, this will lead to the isolation of Turkey and even greater casualties.”