Turkish Assistance to Azerbaijan and the Foreign Mercenaries During the Karabagh War - 2008

How many Armenians know that Turkey was getting ready to invade Armenia in 1993? This came at a time when Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh were on the verge of defeating Azeris and the Russian Federation was in serious political turmoil. And how many Armenians know that it was the Commander-in-Chief of the United Armed Forces of the CIS, Marshal Shaposhnikov, that averted the Turkish invasion?
 

Arevordi

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Turkish Assistance to Azerbaijan and the Foreign Mercenaries During the Karabagh War


Intriguing facts in the book of Hayk DEMOYAN

The book by the Armenian historian Hayk Demoyan titled “Karabakh drama - hidden Acts” (Yerevan, Caucasian Center for Iranian Studies, 2003) presents and analyzes documents and evidence concerning Turkish military assistance to Azerbaijan, as well as revealing the recruitment of Chechen and Afghan mercenaries by Azerbaijan during the 1991-1994 Karabagh war. Based on Armenian, Russian, Turkish, French, Azeri and American sources, as well as the archives of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic’s State Department of National Security, Demoyan’s book reveals certain intriguing facts.

By 1991-92, Turkey had organized a number of secret air operations in order to transfer military equipment and ammunition to Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, Turkey embarked on a program of training for Azerbaijani officers and soldiers in military schools located in the territories of both Turkey and Azerbaijan. However, Ankara showed a certain degree of caution regarding the issue of directly supplying the Azerbaijani forces with military hardware and logistics, caution bred from the fear that Turkey’s clandestine action, namely, supplying the Azerbaijani armed forces with armaments, produced in Turkey or via NATO depots, could be exposed. Thus, Ankara provided the Azeri’s mainly with Soviet made weapons captured from the Iraqi Army after the Gulf War, as well as weapons imported from the former German Democratic Republic's army stores.

Concurrently, the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT), in close cooperation with the Azerbaijani branch of the ultra-nationalistic Turkish organization “Grey Wolves” -which numbered over 15 thousand members-, began to implement meticulously planned activities. The Turkish branch of the organization started to recruit and post volunteers to special military bases of the Third Turkish field army, and then complete their further transfer to Azerbaijan.

In the summer of 1992, when the situation along the Nakhichevan section of the Armenian-Azeri border became strained again, the Commander-in-Chief of the Turkish ground forces Muhittin Fisunogli declared that, “all necessary preparations are made and the army is waiting for the order to proceed to action.” As a response to that declaration the Commander-in-Chief of the United Armed Forces of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), Marshal Shaposhnikov, warned that the intervention of a third party in the conflict would lead to the outbreak of the Third World War.

1993 was a very decisive year for the Karabagh conflict. Turkey did its best to exert some influence on the resolution of the conflict in favor of Azerbaijan. Besides the fact that Turkey officially closed its border with Armenia on April 3, 1993, it also signed an agreement with Azerbaijan on the supply of light weaponry and the training of Azeri military specialists, blatantly violating the OSCE decision (February 1993) which prohibited any military supply to the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Thanks to the revelations of former Ambassador of Greece to Armenia, Leonidas Chrisantopoulos, it became known that in October 1993 Turkey tried to use the parliamentary crisis in Russia in order to make incursions into Armenia. According to information from French intelligence sources, corroborated by the US Ambassador to Armenia, there was an agreement reached between the then speaker of the Russian parliament Ruslan Khasbulatov and Turkish PM Tansu Ciller that, in the case of an anti-Yeltsin fraction success, Khasbulatov would allow Turkey to execute a small-scale incursion into Armenia.

Curiously, the territory of the non-recognized Turkish republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was also used for the recruitment of foreign mercenaries and military instructors. Through the initiative of English Lord Erskin and Turkish businessman Mustafa Mutlu, foreign and Turkish mercenaries were transferred to Azerbaijan. According to the Turkish and European press, in return for this service, the Azeris were obliged to deliver oil to Great Britain for 150 thousands US dollars per year. The territory of the TRNC was not chosen coincidentally, in so far as the jurisdictional scope of resolutions of international organizations does not extend to the territory of the non-recognized republic. Also, Demoyan re-established the hidden links between the Azerbaijani government, Chechen and Afghan authorities, as well as revealing the agreements concluded between them concerning the supply of mercenaries to the Azeri armed forces.

In early June 1992 the number of Chechen mercenaries in Karabakh totaled approximately 300. They had been recruited on the basis of a military agreement signed between Azeri and Chechen authorities regarding the supply of human resources from Chechnya in exchange for military supply from Azerbaijan. After heavy losses Chechen fighters left Karabakh battlefields, partially in connection with Inter-Chechen and Chechen-Russian problems. A Chechen representative from Grozny arrived in Stepanakert, the capital of NKR, and reached an agreement on the repatriation of Chechen prisoners of war. The Chechens amongst the bodyguards of the then Azeri President were also recalled. By a strange coincidence, this occurred precisely on the eve of Colonel Huseynov’s armed mutiny and attempted march on Baku in June 1993.

Following the defeats suffered by the Azerbaijani army at the Karabakh frontline in mid 1993, Baku turned to the Afghan authorities for the supply of Mujaheddins to fight against the Armenian self-defence force of Nagorno-Karabakh. Demoyan refers to a report by American journalist Thomas Golz, while describing how US citizens, who were involved in the Iran-Contra affair whilst serving in the US Special Forces, brought mujaheddins to Azerbaijan while also training Azeri pilots in Texas for this mission. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm of the Americans faded away when a possible Azerbaijani connection was discovered in the attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania far before September 11. After those attacks the FBI traced about 60 phone calls made from the satellite phone used by bin Laden to his Islamic Jihad associates in Baku, and from there to partners in Africa.

Source: http://www.panarmenian.net/library/eng/?nid=42&cid=10

In related news:


‘Talks’ before Talks: Russia buoys up Armenia stand ahead of first Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting


Russia reaffirmed late last week that it wants to see a resumed Karabakh peace process based on direct negotiations between the parties and proceeding within a Minsk Group-supported format. “There is no military solution to the Karabakh problem,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following a meeting with his Armenian counterpart Eduard Nalbandyan in Moscow late last week. “It is possible to reach agreement only in direct negotiations between the parties with the support of the OSCE Minsk Group cochairmen.” “It is important to make the region stable and secure,” Nalbandyan said for his part. “Armenia is ready to continue negotiations with Azerbaijan on the basis of proposals of the Minsk Group cochairmen.” Another meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan is expected to be held on the sidelines of an international economic forum in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, at the end of this week.

While the presidents of the two states have met more than 20 times since 1998, the upcoming meeting tentatively scheduled for June 6 will be the first one between Serzh Sargsyan, who was sworn in as Armenia’s new president less than two months ago, and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev. “We wait for Azerbaijani proposals, which may help resolve the Karabakh conflict,” Nalbandyan reportedly said, voicing optimism ahead of the planned meeting of the two countries’ leaders. “Proposals of Russia, the United States and France [the countries co-chairing the Minsk Group] must not be ignored.” Few analysts, however, expect the meeting to produce any fundamentally new results. In particular, Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakyan recently said in Yerevan that he did not consider the upcoming meeting to be “a great achievement”.

And Baku’s fundamental position of seeking “to restore control over the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh” was recently reaffirmed by Azerbaijan’s deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov. He said that Azerbaijan’s compromise might be “providing the communities that will live in Nagorno-Karabakh with a self-governing status.” Meanwhile, representatives of third countries and structures have shown far greater activity on the threshold of the Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting. Thus, Council of Europe Secretary-General Terry Davis reiterated that when acceding to the Council of Europe both Armenia and Azerbaijan pledged to resolve the conflict peacefully. “I feel very alarmed when I hear that peaceful means of settlement have been exhausted,” Davis said, adding that the obligations to the CE will be broken if hostilities resume.

Source: http://www.armenianow.com/?action=vi...g=eng&IID=1189


Russian-Armenian strategic partnership will develop


Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow to discuss the Armenian-Russian cooperation, joint activities within the CIS and CSTO and coordination of positions in international organizations, the RA MFA press office reported. Expressing satisfaction with the level of bilateral relations between Armenia and Russia, the Ministers pointed out to successful political, economic and cultural cooperation. “Strategic partnership between our states will develop,” Minister Nalbandian said. The officials also referred to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement and security issues in South Caucasus.

Source: http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=26199


South Caucasus security to be in focus of Moscow talks with RA Foreign Minister


The rapid development of relations between Moscow and Yerevan is conditioned by rich political dialog which creates favorable atmosphere for perfection of cooperation in various fields, said a Russian Foreign Ministry official. “The visit of Armenia’s Foreign Minister will take place during a period when both Russia and Armenia confirmed their determination to preserve the line taken up previous leaders,” said Andrey Nesterenko. “We are confident that the visit will help to cement the Armenian-Russian cooperation on the world arena,” he added, the RF MFA press office reported. Commenting on the agenda of the talks, Mr Nesterenko said, “We plan to coordinate Russia and Armenia’s approaches to urgent international issues. We also count for further close cooperation within the CIS, CSTO, UN, CoE and OSCE,” he said. Security and stability in the South Caucasus will also be in focus. Moscow supposes that business contacts facilitate to resolution of conflicts in the region, according to him. Touching upon the Karabakh problem, the diplomat said, “Russia’s stance on the issue is unchangeable. We intend to assist the sides in reaching a mutually acceptable decision and stand as guarantor.”

Source: http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=26158


Russia-Turkey relations represent no danger for Armenia

Alan Kasayev, the head of RIA Novosti division for Baltic States and the CIS is confident that Armenia is really Russia’s strategic ally. “It’s quite obvious that with Armenia’s help, Russia keeps control over the entire region. This is strategic partnership. However, being less attractive for investors, Armenia’s doesn’t have enough weight in the region,” he said in an interview with PanARMENIAN.Net. According to Kasayev, the Russian leadership builds up relations with Armenia’s neighbors on the principle of mutually beneficial cooperation. “As to Azerbaijan, both Russia and Azerbaijan are both sources of raw materials and business rivals. From this standpoint, relations with Azerbaijan are very important. It’s one the reasons why Moscow doesn’t press on Baku in the Karabakh issue. Russia has to assist Armenia in normalizing relations with neighbors. It tries to perform this mission without pressing either on Yerevan, the ally, or on reliable partners in Baku and Ankara,” he said. “Russia-Turkey relations represent no danger for Armenia. They do not develop to the prejudice of thirds states, specifically Armenia. I can even say that current Russia-Turkey relations are better than relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan. The euphoria is over. Istanbul doesn’t eye Baku as a ‘younger brother’ any longer. As to transport projects bypassing Armenia, being mere political projects, they lack an economic constituent,” Kasayev said.

Source: http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=26155

Kosovo phantom hovering over Caucasus

The South Caucasus states have always been in focus of Russian politicians. However, position of official Moscow on the unsettled conflicts in Nagorno Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia sometimes arouses astonishment, specifically in Armenia. The “outpost” stereotype yields to pragmatism. Head of the interethnic relations department at the institute of political and military analysis Sergei Markedonov comments to PanARMENIAN.Net on regional developments.

What’s Russia’s real stand on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict?

Russia’s role is weakening. Unlike the United States, Moscow doesn’t render financial assistance to NKR. Satisfied with contacts with Armenia, Russia doesn’t demonstrate any intention to engage Nagorno Karabakh as a full-fledged participant in the talks. After proclamation of Kosovo’s independence and its recognition by a number of states, Russia outlined its stand on Abkhazia and Ossetia but prefers to avoid Nagorno Karabakh. Meanwhile, strategy should never be restricted to recognition or silence. There are lots of approaches. I should also mention that the position of official Yerevan and unrecognized Stepanakert do not always coincide. Undoubtedly, Russia needs sustainable relations with Azerbaijan. But recognition of NKR as a party in talks is recognition of political reality but not recognition of de facto state.

Despite international community’s statements on inadmissibility of Karabakh conflict resolution by use of force, Baku doesn’t give up its warlike rhetoric and anti-Armenian hysteria…

Official Baku’s conduct should be viewed from various angles. First, it’s the forthcoming presidential election. Second, Azerbaijan is trying to insinuate itself into the international community not only as an energy supplier but also as a dynamically developing state. Be attentive to notice that oil is not mentioned in ads about Azerbaijan. As to bellicose statements, they won’t stop. The Kosovo phantom is hovering over Caucasus. Recognition of the breakaway province’s independence was a part of realpolitik and there is no guarantee that Karabakh will not have the same fate. So, Azerbaijan’s concerns are grounded.

There is an impression that Russia doesn’t have any exact program in Caucasus. Is it really so?

Russia has failed to develop a common and distinct policy in Caucasus so far. It’s always late to react to processes in the South and North Caucasus. Relations with Georgia can serve as a vivid example. Russia is interested in ‘frozen conflicts’. However, conflicts are not frozen but lingering. These two notions are different. Russia supports territorial integrity but it stands against the methods this principle is being pushed forth. As for relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan, I can say that Armenia is Russia’s strategic ally while Azerbaijan is a strategic partner. With its military and economic parameters, Russia is closer to Armenia but in case of resumption of military operations our country will face a hard choice. Unfortunately, the Kosovo precedent can provoke hostilities in Karabakh.

How can you comment on Azerbaijan-Iran relations?

There is some progress, what was almost impossible under Heydar Aliyev’s rule. Iran has recently changed its position on Karabakh in Baku’s favor and relations between the countries grew warmer. They have a number of common problems: the Caspian Sea, Southern Azerbaijan. Although, politicians know that unification of Southern and Northern Azerbaijan is unreal.

The Armenian-Turkish relations leave much to be desired. Do you think normalization of relations is possible?

In early 1990-ies Armenia was ready to normalize relations. However, the process was uncoordinated. When the Karabakh war broke out Turkey closed the border with Armenia, thus nullifying all possibilities of reconciliation. Fearing that Armenian forces can enter Nakhijevan, Ankara has taken up the policy of late President Turgut Ozal, who said that Turkey is responsible for the Ottoman heritage. True, there are politicians in Turkey who wish to normalize relations with Armenia but the strong Azeri lobby hampers the process. I should also mention that the key problem is Nagorno Karabakh but not recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Source: http://www.panarmenian.net/interviews/eng/?nid=106

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