ANKARA — Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay confirmed on Wednesday that Ankara was ready to deploy its troops to support Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh if requested. Oktay added that at the moment, no such request had been made.
“Our president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] announced it on the very first day [of a renewed escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh]. Turkey does not hesitate and our president does not hesitate,” Oktay said in a televised interview with CNN Turk answering a question from the TV host.
Since clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 27th, Turkey has been outspoken in its support for Baku. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called for Armenia to end its “occupation” of Azeri territory.
Turkey has been supporting Baku militarily through weapons sales. Turkish arms exports surged just before the fighting began. Sales rose from $278,880 in July to $36 million in August and jumped to $77 million in September.
Turkey has been accused of sending mercenaries from northern Syria to help Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh. Multiple media outlets spoke with sources who detailed being recruited by a Turkish security company to fight in the South Caucasus. Ankara also has a history of sending mercenaries from Syria to conflict zones in Libya.