Turkey reiterated its steadfast support for Azerbaijan, one of its biggest allies, as the military confrontation between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the latter's illegal occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh continued Tuesday.
Border clashes broke out early Sunday when Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian and military positions, leading to several casualties.
As soon as the violations began, Ankara reiterated its support for Azerbaijan, with officials, mainstream political parties and the Turkish Foreign Ministry declaring unwavering backing of its brotherly Turkic nation.
Following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's remarks in support of Azerbaijan, his counterpart Ilham Aliyev issued a statement, thanking him for Turkey's offer of assistance.
Aliyev thanked Erdoğan for support against Armenia's border violations.
Hikmet Hajiyev, assistant to the president and foreign policy chief for Azerbaijan's Presidency, said Baku welcomed Erdoğan's remarks calling on Armenia to immediately end the occupation of Azerbaijani territories.
Turkey, especially President Erdoğan, has strongly condemned the attack and shown absolute support, Hajiyev said.
Azerbaijan always stands by Turkey based on the "two states, one nation" principle, he quoted Aliyev as saying.
Similar to other fields, Turkey continues to support Azerbaijan in diplomacy as President Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu held talks with foreign officials regarding the tense situation in the Caucasus.
Erdoğan spoke over the phone with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, with the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan topping the agenda.
Apart from tensions in the Mediterranean and trade ties, the Erdoğan-Johnson phone call focused on the conflict that erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Armenian-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu paid a visit to the Azerbaijani embassy in Ankara and held phone calls with his counterparts to defend Azerbaijan's right to its own territories occupied by Armenian forces.
Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) Deputy Chair Numan Kurtulmuş also visited the embassy to have a meeting with the Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim and other diplomats.
"Solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is Armenia's withdrawal from occupied territories. Just as we all support Georgia's territorial integrity, we should support Azerbaijan in the face of illegal Armenian occupation of its territories,"
Çavuşoğlu said during a press conference after the meeting.
"Turkey will continue to support Azerbaijan and perform its duties given our countries represent one nation, two states. Turkey will continue to stand by Azerbaijan and act as representative of Azerbaijan in countries in which Baku does not have diplomatic mission," he added.
Kurtulmuş also declared Turkey's full support to the brotherly nation.
"Any Armenian attack on an Azerbaijani village is equivalent to an attack on a Turkish village", he said.
In a previous statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry also said Armenia is staging yet another provocation.
"We condemn in the strongest terms the Armenian attack which is a blatant violation of international law and has caused civilian casualties. With these attacks, Armenia has shown once again that it is the biggest obstacle on the road to peace and stability in the region," it added.
"Azerbaijan will of course use its legitimate right of self-defense to protect its civilians and territorial integrity. In this process, Turkey's support for Azerbaijan is unwavering. However, if Azerbaijan wants us to support them, we will do so,"
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said in the statement.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar also condemned Armenia's "heinous" attack in a statement released later Sunday. "We are with our Azerbaijani brothers, who are fighting for their territorial integrity, to the end with all the means we have," he said.
"The occupier, Armenia, attacked Azerbaijan and showed that it is trying to stage a provocation with this violation of the cease-fire. Armenia's aggressive attitude is the biggest obstacle to peace and stability in the Caucasus. Armenia should immediately halt this aggression, which will add fire to the tensions in the region," Akar added.
Speaking after the AK Party's Central Decision and Executive Board meeting at party headquarters in the capital Ankara, spokesperson Ömer Çelik late Tuesday said that Armenia's attacks on civilian areas are a clear violation of international law and the international community should condemn Armenia.
Other politicians, Parliamentary Speaker Mustafa Şentop and the chairperson of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, also issued statements condemning Armenia's aggression.
"Armenia is an incorrigible terrorist state threatening peace," Şentop said, while Kılıçdaroğlu asserted that his party condemns "Armenian aggression, threats to regional peace."
Good Party (IP) Chairwoman Meral Akşener also condemned the Armenian aggression, saying that the IP fully stands with Azerbaijan.
In a statement on Twitter, Akşener said the Armenian attacks against Azerbaijan are unacceptable.
“I call on the government, the international community and the Minsk Group to end the Armenian occupation and take steps to immediately solve the matter,” Akşener said.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli condemned the Armenian aggression and highlighted that Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijanis.
“Karabakh belongs to the Turks. It is a Turkish homeland. Nobody will change this firm and exceptional truth. We stand with Azerbaijan with our blood, lives and presence,” Bahçeli said in a statement.
Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan have always been strong as both nations share a similar history, language and heritage.
Often called "one nation and two states" by both sides' leaders, the countries continue to enjoy tremendous progress in ties.
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