By David Matevosian
Since world leaders are busy with the desperate struggle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkey rushes to extend its influence over the East Mediterranean, the South Caucasus and Middle East. Neither indignation of neighbor countries, nor the sanctions of the USA annoyed not only with Turkey’s purchases of Russian weapons, but also with excessive aggressive activity of Ankara.
A ‘Mavi vatan’ or ‘Blue Homeland’ term which symbolizes Turkish military ambitions concerning Greece, Cyprus and Egypt hardly leaves pages of Turkish tabloids. Iraqi parliament has raised the issue on the Turkey’s illegal military presence in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqis are afraid of another ‘Peace Corridor’ established by Turks, similar to the Northern Syria Buffer Zone. At the same time, constant movement of Syrian fighters in the Idlib region has been happening with involvement of Turkish militaries. Although Turkey has been transporting part of them into Libya to support the Government of National Accord.
In addition, Ankara participates actively in the periodically erupting Armenian Azeri conflict in Nagorno Karabakh. During each aggravation of relations, Turkey persistently takes the side of Baku. This time Turkish parliament urged the global community to react against Armenia’s ‘unlawful acts’ and recalled the principle ‘one nation, two states.’ A statement also highlights the interest in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh issue through peaceful means.
Turks also drew attention to two oil pipelines and a railway branch passing through the Tovuz region to Turkey. It was stated that Yerevan is trying to cut two strategic lines at once. After expressing a convenient casus belli, Ankara started transporting well-trained mercenaries who had seen significant combat in Middle East and North Africa military conflicts.
Azeri Russian-language forums and social networks gleefully write about it.
Translation: I’ve heard rumors from more than one person that in Aralik district formation of the Turkish forces from Libya for deployment in the Nakhichivan Autonomous Republic began. No one knows any specific purpose. Has anyone heard about that?
Translation: I’m sure that owing to Turkey, we will be able to restore the integrity of Azerbaijan. Especially since transportation of the militaries from Libya to Armenian borders has begun. I really hope that that strike force get to Nagorny Karabakh and help Azerbaijan to solve this problem within the foreseeable future.
Translation: Armenia can say goodbye to a peaceful life. Turkey has been forming squads of volunteers and groups of well-trained fighters battle-hardened during warfare vs. Haftar’s army in Libya. They will wipe Armenians off the map.
Armenian forums have been buzzing with rumors either:
Translation: What do you think of this news?
Erdogan and Aliyev both have gone f*ing nuts. They feel free to transporting forces for the Nagorny Karabakh invasion. Why our [media] keeps silence? Isn’t our government aware of that? I can’t believe that.
Translation: Besides, Turkey decided to help their “ally.” Completely insolent Erdogan is to send his “friend” Aliyev volunteers with excellent military training and combat experience in the fighting against Haftar’s army in Libya. The purpose of those groups formation is no secret. Well, Armenia won’t give Nagorny Karabakh without a fight. We have a new round of fights ahead!
There is no smoke without fire, they say. Turkey made its position in the dispute of Azerbaijan with Armenian concerning Nagorny Karabakh. Ankara’s current intense interference into the conflict will gain Erdogan popularity in view of future presidential election 2023. It also will be beneficial to Turkish and US relations. Turkey has far-reaching plans regarding them. Economic relations between Washington and Beijin were catastrophically damaged by continuous trade wars over recent years. It is for this reason Ankara has a chance to replace China as a market for liquefied natural gas and industrial platform for the USA.
Up till now the South Caucasus was the only direction Turkey didn’t wage war in over the last century. Now, it can be proudly called an aggressor country.
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