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November 20, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 9049

Turkish MP On Azerbaijan-Armenia Agreement: 'Russia Is The Big Winner From The Process... Turkey Was Not At The [Negotiating] Table'

November 20, 2020
Russia, Turkey | Special Dispatch No. 9049

In a November 12, 2020 column in the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet,[1] Mustafa Ali Balbay, a journalist and MP representing İzmir on behalf of the opposition CHP, said of the recent agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia: "Russia is the big winner from the process." Balbay criticized what he viewed as the ruling AKP's mismanagement of the situation: "Whether it be in the previous ceasefire agreement, or in the most recent agreement, Turkey was not at the [negotiating] table. We are experiencing a new result of postponing diplomacy for many years." He closed his column with a joke: "The AKP got the first syllable of 'diplomacy' and stopped there!" The first syllable of the Turkish word diplomasi ("diplomacy") is dip, meaning: "the very bottom."


Turkish journalist and MP Mustafa Ali Balbay (source: Sozcu.com.tr)

Following is a translation of Balbay's column.

"Russia Is The Big Winner From The Process"

"The agreement that Azerbaijan and Armenia reached, under the arbitration of Russia, raised Moscow's weight in the Caucasus another amount. It brought Azerbaijan to a stronger position against Armenia. Armenia began the attack against Azerbaijan first on July 12 and then on September 27. This situation created the moment for which Baku had been waiting. On the weekend, with the capture of Shusha, total domination of Nagorno Karabagh was only a matter of time. Then Russia said: 'That much is enough.'

"The views from the two sides were as follows: Azeri President Ilham Aliyev is experiencing the pleasure of having won a victory that will satisfy his people to a great degree. The battle against a 30-year occupation raised the confidence of Azerbaijan as an independent state. But after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russian soldiers withdrew from Azerbaijan in 1992. Now, they are coming back, though the central base is in Karabagh!

"Russia is the big winner from the process. Yerevan was in the palm of its hand anyway. There were Russian soldiers everywhere, including on Armenia's borders. The Armenian government's stance close to the West was annoying from Moscow's perspective. When it is noticed that the government of [Armenian Prime Minister Nikol] Pashinyan will be gone as soon as possible, Russia is the winning side in Armenia as well as Azerbaijan."

"Whether It Be In The Previous Ceasefire Agreement Or In The Most Recent Agreement, Turkey Was Not At The [Negotiating] Table"

"Only Russia will be in Karabagh as a peace force. The statement made in Moscow yesterday described how this force would be extremely well-equipped. This means: 'I am the only ruler, take note!' Russia enters the territory of which it will take control in this manner, with everyone's consent! It has applied this method from Crimea to Ossetia. No one should be surprised if in the near future, a state will be established in Nagorno Karabagh, if only Russia recognizes it, and if Moscow forms a structure with total control under the name of [being an] 'embassy.'

"If there are not changes later, a corridor from Nagorno Karabagh to Armenia, a corridor to Nahchivan will be opened. This way Armenia will not have broken off all of its connections with Karabagh, and Azerbaijan will have established the land connection with Nahchivan, and Turkey will be connected to Central Asia by highways. Russia will be on the corridor of both sides. It will tighten and loosten as it wants!...

"Armenia is boiling. Pashinyan summarized everything by saying: 'I signed an embarrassing agreement.' We hope that in Armenia, reason will prevail, that the governors of that country will look at the map, scratch their heads over why their populations have fallen and think of why five of every 100 people living in Armenia have come to Turkey illegally in search of their future! Azerbaijan moved sensing every kind of support from Turkey. It was experienced that the saying 'two states, one nation' was not only a slogan. Whether it be in the previous ceasefire agreement or in the most recent agreement, Turkey was not at the [negotiating] table. We are experiencing a new result of postponing diplomacy for many years."

"Putin Protected Assad And Became Our Southern Neighbor – Meanwhile Turkey Shut Down Its Embassy In Damascus!"

"Turkey supported [Fayez] Al-Sarraj against Russia in Libya. Al-Sarraj made an agreement with Haftar, who is supported by Russia! In Syria, [Turkey] pursued a policy of overthrowing [Syrian President Bashar Al-]Assad. Putin protected Assad and became our southern neighbor. Meanwhile Turkey shut down its embassy in Damascus! Nothing else could happen in an environment in which ambassadors are used politically. A Turkey that could think big could, as a result of the picture today, separate Armenia from the Armenian diaspora. The AKP got the first syllable of 'diplomacy' and stopped there!"

 

[1] Cumhuriyet.com.tr/yazarlar/mustafa-balbay/kafkaslarda-rus-dengesi-1790333, November 12, 2020.

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