Turkey's well-known strategy defendant: "There is nothing more natural than Azerbaijan's protection of its national interests”

In a recent interview with Turan News Agency, Ercan Çitlioğlu, President of the Center for Strategic Studies at Bashkent (Capital) University in Ankara, shared his insights on Turkey’s involvement in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the dynamics of Azerbaijani-Turkish relations, and broader geopolitical developments. Below is an excerpt from this thought-provoking conversation.

* * *

Turan: To what extent has Turkey been able to intervene in the new Palestinian-Israeli conflict that began on October 7? Could Azerbaijan's close relations with Israel negatively impact its relations with Turkey, despite some public discontent in Turkey?

Çitlioğlu: From the onset, Turkey has been at the forefront of international reactions to Israel's actions. Turkey’s stance has been evident through its proactive engagement in the UN and the European Union, alongside filing a complaint with the International Criminal Court and expanding sanctions against Israel. These actions highlight Turkey's strategic and planned approach. Furthermore, Turkey’s sharp response to the West’s double standards is notable. While states may form close alliances and strategic partnerships, their foreign policies need not always align seamlessly. Public sentiment can be emotional, but state actions must be guided by cold, strategic logic. Therefore, it is only natural for Azerbaijan, as an independent country, to defend its national interests, even if they occasionally diverge from Turkish public opinion.

Turan: After the U.S. Congress approved a $61 billion aid package to Ukraine, there has been an increase in Russian attacks. How do you interpret this development?

Çitlioğlu: Russia has long been preparing for a summer offensive. Given the reinforcements to the Ukrainian military and the ammunition supplies from the United States and the West, Russia's efforts to achieve strategic results are predictable and consistent with its broader goals. This escalation can be seen as part of Russia’s overarching strategy.

Turan: Do you believe Armenia's efforts to swiftly distance itself from Russia and integrate with the West and NATO will succeed?

Çitlioğlu: Considering that Armenia's borders are still guarded by Russian troops, the likelihood of integration into Western institutions, especially NATO, is slim, even if the West strongly desires it. The current conditions are not conducive to such a shift, as it would significantly alter the strategic balance in the Caucasus.

Turan: In the aftermath of the Forty-Four Day War, Azerbaijan and Armenia have yet to sign a peace treaty. Recently, the foreign ministers of both countries met on Kazakhstan’s initiative. What are your thoughts on this process? Why has a peace agreement not been signed yet?

Çitlioğlu: For a peace agreement to be viable, Armenia must unequivocally abandon its claims and objectives regarding Nagorno-Karabakh, and this must be accepted by its public. Given the lingering psychological effects of their defeat, this is a challenging prospect for Armenia. Additionally, countries that seek to pit Armenia against Azerbaijan must cease such activities and work towards fostering long-term peace.

Turan: With NATO completing its northern expansion following the accession of Sweden and Finland, how will this affect Russia's position in both the Baltic Sea and the Arctic?

Çitlioğlu: The inclusion of Sweden and Finland into NATO has heightened Russia’s concerns, potentially leading to future crises. The Arctic's strategic importance, due to its shipping routes and natural resources, has grown. Russia has already established a significant military presence in the Arctic region, reinforcing its strategic advantage. Moscow is unlikely to relinquish this advantage and will likely resist NATO's strengthening in the region, further entrenching its position.


Leave a review

Great East

Follow us on social networks

News Line