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November 19, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 9046

Russian Journalist: In The Caucasus, 'Moscow Has Taken An Important Military Trophy From Right Under Erdoğan's Nose'; 'Turkey Will Retaliate'

November 19, 2020
Russia, Turkey | Special Dispatch No. 9046

On November 14, 2020, Russian media outlet Vzglyad journalist Dmitry Bavyrin published an article, titled "Turkey has not accepted the end of the war in the Caucasus," commenting on Turkey's attitude toward the Russia-brokered truce in Nagorno-Karabakh.[1]

According to Bavyrin, Turkey cannot accept the end of the war in Caucasus, since it realizes that Russia, has taken an important military trophy "from right under [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan's nose." According to Bavyrin, this means that Moscow needs to be ready for provocations, because Turkey will retaliate.

"Russia stopped [Erdoğan] one step away from achieving his cherished goal. This means that he will take revenge, that provocations will continue... And that the confrontation between Moscow and Ankara in the South Caucasus has not been stopped," Bavyrin wrote.

It is worth noting that on November 16, two Turkish Air Force aircraft – a C-130B military cargo plane coded 61-0963 and an A400M military cargo plane coded 18-0093 – landed in Iğdır, at the Armenia-Nakhchivan border.[2] Furthermore, on November 17, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey approved the presidential decree on sending troops to Azerbaijan.[3] Commenting on the decree, Ismet Yılmaz, AKP MP who heads the parliamentary defense committee, stated: "Turkey is Azerbaijan; Azerbaijan is Turkey."[4] It should be stressed that Russia reiterated several times that there is no agreement about the deployment of Turkish peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh.[5]


(Source: Facebook.com/KASSOUNY)


On November 16, two Turkish Air Force aircraft – a C-130B military cargo plane coded 61-0963 and an A400M military cargo plane coded 18-0093 – landed in Iğdır, at the Armenia-Nakhchivan border (source: Twitter.com/bedbolukbasi?lang=en).

Following is Bavyrin's article:[6]

"You Throw Ankara Out Of The Door, But It Climbs Back In Through The Window"

"Russian peacekeepers have begun their new duties in Nagorno-Karabakh. And, judging by the behavior of the Turkish side, one can conclude that [the Turks] are not very happy about it. It looks as though Moscow has taken an important military trophy from right under Erdoğan's nose, which means that [Moscow] needs to be ready for provocations: Turkey will retaliate.

"'The ambit of the mobility of Turkish observers will be limited to the premises of the monitoring center within the Azerbaijani territory... not on the territory of the former conflict... No peacekeeping units of the Republic of Turkey will be sent to Nagorno-Karabakh.'

"With these words, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov once again refuted claims that the new security structure in the South Caucasus will also be implemented by the Turkish military as peacekeepers.

"'Once again,' since this has been stated by Russian [officials] repeatedly and at various diplomatic levels. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has done this at least twice.

"This statement had to be repeated not because it was not clear the first time (the Turks will be observers, not peacekeepers, and not at the line of demarcation of the sides, but at the Azerbaijani monitoring center) but because they, [the Turks], insist on the opposite. Although Armenia, even in case of total despair, would not ever agree to such a scenario, because that would mean not just to accept the fact of the defeat in Artsakh, but also to make a mockery of all the Armenian tragedies at once, and with special cynicism.

"Just on Thursday [November 12, 2020], during a telephone conversation with the foreign ministers of Russia, France, and the United States (the so-called 'Troika' for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which was formed back in 1995), Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan ruled out any role for Ankara in the peacekeeping operation, 'despite the steps it has already taken in this direction.'[7]

"'This [deployment of Turkish peacekeepers] cannot be a topic for discussion only between Moscow and Ankara. Armenia and Azerbaijan must agree to this,' Peskov explained. In his opinion, the persistent circulation of rumors can be caused by 'differences in understanding.'

"Of course, this might be the case. But then one will have to admit that our conceptual mindset is fundamentally different from the one of the Turks.

"Thus, on Thursday morning, the Turkish news agency 'Anadolu' propagated the claims of Defense Minister Hulusi Akar about Ankara's direct participation in the peacekeeping mission. We can assume that he was referring to the same monitoring center, although he did not explain it well. But here is his own remark, quoted by 'Anadolu' on the evening of the very same day when Lavrov and Peskov made their refutations:

"Where is Turkey? Turkey is in [the settlement process], both at the negotiation table and on the field. Tomorrow a large delegation from Russia will arrive. We are going to discuss tactical and technical details, what are the sites and the duties.

"So the issue of the Turkish presence goes to the third round: You throw Ankara out of the door, but it climbs back in through the window. What does it mean 'we are going to discuss'? How should one understand the expression 'on the field'?"


Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev: "Karabakh." Russian President Vladmir Putin: "Is Ours" (Source: Facebook.com/KASSOUNY)

"Turkey Is A Full-Fledged Party In The Conflict, Not A Peacemaker"

"The first rumors appeared on the same night when Vladimir Putin, Ilham Aliyev and Nikol Pashinyan announced the end of the war and the new borders of Artsakh. The Turkish peacekeepers were mentioned by the President of Azerbaijan, as if by accident, but [thereafter] the rumors have to be refuted for several days in a row.

"It all looked as if Aliyev had agreed on something like this with Erdoğan, but his idea was not accepted by Moscow, and the president of Azerbaijan did not insist. In the end, he got everything he wanted, and the too-strong influence of Turkey on the Azerbaijani army is perceived by his generals ambiguously and causes a split in the ranks of the winner.

"Ankara was initially called the main instigator of the new war. In fact, [the war] was won by Turkish drones operated by Turkish generals. And since Azerbaijan had never reported on the purchase of such weapons, the hypothesis appeared that the Turkish army had rented them to its neighbors together with specialized personnel.

"The planning of the operation was also done by Turkey (or so Yerevan claims). The transfer of fighters from Syria to the conflict zone, which was confirmed by the intelligence services of Russia, France, and the United States, could also have been organized by Ankara through its bribed gangs of Turkomans.[8] In other words, Turkey is a full-fledged party to the conflict, and not a peacemaker.

"Moreover, Erdoğan has repeatedly called on the Azerbaijanis to go all the way and 'liberate all the occupied lands' (which is absolutely unacceptable from the point of view of Russia's interests). And when it became clear that this will not happen, he allegedly tried to persuade Moscow to resolve the conflict through the division of influence in the South Caucasus. At least, this is what sources in the Armenian media claim.

"This overlaps with a full-fledged conspiracy theory, according to which the Russian Mi-24 helicopter was actually shot down not by Azerbaijanis, but by Turkish militants.[9] And not out of thoughtlessness, but deliberately – they wanted to prevent the conclusion of an agreement on terms different from those of Ankara. This, again, is just a purely Armenian theory and a paranoid one in its own way. But the behavior of the Turkish side in recent days suggests that Erdoğan, to put it mildly, is dissatisfied with what is happening. If there are national celebrations in Azerbaijan, then Turkey, its most loyal 'fan', is in no hurry to show joy, despite the end of the bloodshed and Baku's unconditional victory.

"Instead, again and again, statements appear to feed the rumors about the Turkish presence in Karabakh and that 'nothing has been decided yet.' As if the Turks are trying to jump on the bandwagon of the departing train and are not ready to accept the fact that Russia intends to deal with the issue without them."

"Russia Stopped [Erdoğan] One Step Away From Achieving His Cherished Goal"

"If so, it is no longer a question of 'differences of understanding,' but of a real provocations and subversions. Armenians are now, to put it mildly, on the edge – the forced acceptance of painful and humiliating (for their national dignity) peace terms has already led to riots in Yerevan, to the storming of parliament and to the looting of the prime minister's office.

"Even if unsubstantiated, persistent rumors about Turkey taking a foothold in the conflict zone is adding fuel to the fire. In this regard, one cannot even say which is the most significant sentiments Armenians have with the Turks: either they are the architects of Baku's current victory or the organizers of the genocide (something that Ankara still refuses to recognize).

"Let Erdoğan knock on the locked door, one can gloat because the Sultan will not have a new military base in the South Caucasus, even if he bursts with anger. But at the same time, the intensity of passions and Turkish perseverance should be considered to be a potential threat.

"The Turkish leader has long demonstrated to the world his stubbornness and readiness to use the most radical methods. In some interpretations, he has matured to become a real mastermind who successfully chose the time to attack the Armenians (programmed [in parallel with] difficult elections in the United States) and weakened another pro-Armenian player, France, by setting the Islamic world against Macron.

"Combined with a pack of modern drones, a gang of maneuverable terrorists, and multi-stage intrigues, an image of an evil genius from the Marvel movies comes to mind.

"Russia stopped him one step away from achieving his cherished goal. This means that he will take revenge, that provocations will continue, that all these words about the Turkish peacekeepers are not without reason. And that the confrontation between Moscow and Ankara in the South Caucasus has not been stopped, but, at best, passes to a new level. A hot proxy war gives way to a cold one with its spies, propaganda, provoked crises, and created zones of instability.

"One should expect surprises from Erdoğan and extremely unpleasant ones."

 

[2] Twitter.com/bedbolukbasi?lang=en

[3] Tass.com/world/1224859, November 17, 2020; Hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/son-dakika-haberi-azerbaycana-asker-gonderilmesine-iliskin-tezkere-tbmmde-kabul-edildi-41665121, November 17, 2020.

[4] Aa.com.tr/tr/azerbaycan-cephe-hatti/azerbaycan-tezkeresi-tbmm-genel-kurulunda-kabul-edildi-/2047141, November 17, 2020.

[5] Tass.com/politics/1222931, November 12, 2020.

[6] Vz.ru, November 14, 2020.

[7] On November 17, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has signed a decree, relieving Zohrab Mnatsakanyan from the post of Foreign Minister. Mnatsakanyan submitted his resignation on the same day. En.armradio.am/2020/11/17/zohrab-mnatsakanyan-from-relieved-from-the-post-of-armenias-foreign-minister, November 17, 2020. On November 18, Armenian President Sarkissian appointed Ara Ayvazyan as foreign minister. En.armradio.am/2020/11/18/ara-ayvazyan-appointed-minister-of-foreign-affairs, November 18, 2020.

[9] Tass.com/russia/1223715, November 14, 2020.

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