Latest big-scale clashes in Karabakh erupted last fall, on Sept. 27, 2020, when the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
The war showed who the true “friends and brothers” were and that they supported the just stance of Baku in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Rashad Mammadov, Azerbaijan’s newly appointed ambassador in Ankara, said at the event.
During a subsequent 44-day conflict which ended under a deal signed on Nov. 10, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from Armenia’s nearly three-decade occupation.
The cease-fire is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces withdrew in line with the agreement.
“The 83 million people of Turkey stood with the 10 million people of Azerbaijan. The flag of Azerbaijan was raised to the sky. It has been shown to the whole world that Azerbaijan is not alone,” Mammadov said, wishing Allah’s mercy on the fallen soldiers.
The envoy underlined that the foundation of the relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan dates back many years, noting that these relations, which “the two nations have been protecting with their lives,” will continue.
“We will … stand by each other in tough and hard times, strengthen our economy, army and politics, and will move forward,” he added.
‘Immortality achieved with martyrdom’
Aygun Attar, head of TADIV, said she commemorates the “martyrs” with respect and gratitude.
“We commemorate the heroic army of Azerbaijan, which crowned a tremendous, unprecedented 44-day war with victory, and the wonderful people who achieved immortality with martyrdom,” she said.
Speaking on the unity of the Turkic speaking nations, Attar said: “Today, we are linked with each other through our language, which unites us, brings this harmony, and which constitutes the essence of unity in words, ideas and deeds.”
“May the unity of Turkey and Azerbaijan last forever,” she said.
‘Turkey stands by Azerbaijan like a fist’
Samil Ayrim, a Turkish lawmaker who chairs the Turkey-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Friendship Group, also speaking at the event, highlighted that Turkey supported Azerbaijan during the war with its people, civil society and parliament.
“We stood by Azerbaijan like a fist with our parliament in Turkey,” he said.
Ayrim emphasized that the “heroic soldiers” of the Azerbaijani army liberated Shusha – also known as the pearl of Karabakh – after the international community “has been delaying” for 30 years.
He recalled that the Azerbaijani lands have been illegally occupied by the Armenian forces despite the UN General Assembly resolutions.
Four UN Security Council resolutions and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as many international organizations demanded the “immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territory since early 1990s.”
Prior to Azerbaijan’s last year victory, about 20% of its territory had been under illegal occupation for nearly 30 years.
On Sept. 27 last year, Mustafa Sentop, the speaker of Turkish parliament, was among the first Turkish officials who reacted to Armenian border attack on Azerbaijani settlements near the country’s western frontier, saying Ankara will always stand by Baku.
“The recent attacks on civilians have shown that Armenia is not only a threat to Azerbaijan but an established terror state in terms of regional peace,” Sentop said then on Twitter, adding that Armenia will solely be responsible for its consequences.