Opinion from Baku: Will Turkey open a military base in Azerbaijan?
Azerbaijani-Turkish military alliance
Aerobatics of Turkish pilots flying their F-16 fighters in the sky over Baku during various holidays and festivals has become a common occurrence for Azerbaijanis. Recently, the latest Turkish UAV Akıncı arrived in Baku from Edirne. An agreement on mutual military assistance has been signed between Turkey and Azerbaijan. Can Turkey create a military base in Azerbaijan? According to political observer Agshin Karimov, it is not that simple.
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Last week Baku hosted the aviation, aerospace, and technology festival Teknofest-2022, which was attended by the presidents of Turkey and Azerbaijan.
As part of the festival, Turkish pilots on F-16 fighters demonstrated aerobatics in the sky over Baku.
In order to participate in the festival the latest Turkish drone Akıncı (“Akincı”) flew to Baku from the Turkish city of Edirne, at a distance of almost 2,000 kilometers.
Exercises of Turkish military aircraft over Baku have already become a common occurrence for Azerbaijanis. Military ties between the two fraternal countries are developing, the military personnel of Turkey and Azerbaijan annually conduct several joint exercises. In 2021, an agreement on mutual military assistance between the two states was signed in Shusha.
In this regard, the question arises: can Turkey open a military base in Azerbaijan?
There is no place for conflict now, but the presence of contentious issues creates risks for peace in the region.
The existence of such risks, in turn, creates a challenge to strengthen defense immunity, and Azerbaijan is taking military-political steps in this direction”, political observer Agshin Kerimov notes.
According to him, Baku is expanding the scale of bilateral and multilateral relations within the framework of a strategic allied relationship with Turkey:
“One of the steps that will ensure Azerbaijan’s strong defense capability could be the creation of a Turkish military base in the country.
Many experts point out that it is legally impossible. In fact, the situation is not so categorical. I’ll try to explain.
According to the 29th article of the current military doctrine of Azerbaijan, Baku does not allow the creation of foreign military bases on its territory, except in cases stipulated by international agreements to which the country is a party.
However, one should also keep in mind the exclusive right of Azerbaijan:
“At the same time, in the event of fundamental changes in the military-political conditions, the Republic of Azerbaijan retains the right to temporarily permit the deployment of foreign military bases in its territory, or the presence of foreign military forces in other forms”.
The question arises: have there been fundamental changes in the military-political situation? Of course, everyone knows that. We are talking about new realities in the South Caucasus.
Azerbaijan turns to the army model of Turkey in order to plan military-political measures, as well as for their comprehensive support and prompt implementation.
This model is already being applied and in the near future, the armed forces of the country will completely switch to this model.
From this point of view, in order to accelerate the process of integration into the army system of the fraternal country, there may be a need for a Turkish military base in the territory of Azerbaijan. This may become a new page in the strategic alliance of the two states.
It is worth recalling that now the command of the service group of Turkey is located in Azerbaijan”.