Erdogan's new Ottoman empire advances in the Caucasus and Central Asia
by Vladimir Rozanskij

Ankara mediates between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan over border problems. Turkish influence is equal to Russian in the Caucasus. The Turkish role in Azerbaijan’s military victory against Armenia. Azerbaijani army in fact under the control of Erdogan's generals. The dream of the Turkish-Azerbaijani union.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Turkish Foreign Minister Khulusi Akar began a tour of Central Asia on 1 July, departing from Kyrgyzstan to continue in Tajikistan. The main reason for the trip is to favor agreements between the two countries, to prevent a repeat of the recent border clashes. Khulusi, however, illustrated more ambitious goals, speaking of "expanding collaboration in the military, security and arms industry". He recalled that Dushanbe and Bishkek are "important partners for Turkey".

The military victory of Azerbaijan over Armenia last November changed the balance of power not only in the Caucasus, but throughout the region around the "new Turkish empire", up to Central Asia.

Russia has only obtained a fragile armistice in Nagorno Karabakh, and was forced to cede the role of main protagonist of the Caucasian games on the border between Europe and Asia. The influence of Turkey, which explicitly supported the Azeris in word and deed, has instead expanded: at the very least, now in the Caucasus it is equal to that of the Russians.

The Turkish military continues the intense "Mustafa Kemal Ataturk 2021 sessions", used to train the Azerbaijani army, effectively controlled by Ankara.

The Turkish news agency Anadolu spoke of relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan according to the concept of "two states, one nation". This is in fact the emphatic expression contained in the "declaration of Shuša" of 16 June, signed by the Turkish president Recep Tayyp Erdogan and by his Azerbaijani colleague Ilham Aliev.

For Baku, the signing of the document is a "step of historic significance". Šuša is the symbolic city of Nagorno Karabakh, which from its 1,368 meters of altitude allows you to extend your gaze on the vast expanses of the new Turkish-Ottoman empire.

The collaboration agreement signed in Šuša does not oblige the two parties to take any concrete action. As Aliev pointed out, however, "it shows that in the future we will always support each other even in terms of security, as was the case in the past, when Azerbaijan and Turkey were united on the most important issues". The declaration states above all that "every war action against one of the two countries means automatically declaring war on the other".

Mutual war aid between Turkey and Azerbaijan dates back to even before the conflict with Armenia, when in 2017 the two sides signed the first agreements in the field of the war industry, also starting Turkish training in Baku. Since then, the Azerbaijani army has started to be referred to as a "minor copy" of the Turkish one. The young Azerbaijani officers (almost 20,000 effective) are all graduates from Turkish military academies and have ousted the "Soviet old guard" most closely linked to the Russians.

On 27 October 2020, in the wake of the euphoria after the Azerbaijani victory in Nagorno Karabakh, the Turkiye newspaper released a special issue with the appeal to the "Decision of the Turanian Army": it imagines a pan-Turkish army formed from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (the Tajiks, however, are of Iranian origin, ed).

The Azerbaijani singer Talib Tale has had a viral hit this year with the song "Bir Millət İki Dövlət", dedicated to the mutual love between Turkey and Azerbaijan, which begins with the words: "Long ago we were divided, now we are united, one nation, two states ". According to polls, 91% of Azeris support union with the Turks.

In a recent interview with the pro-government newspaper Eny Musavat, Azerbaijani billionaire Ilham Rahimov, very close to Aliev, went even further. He stated that in his opinion it is time to move directly to the “one nation, one state” model.

These pro-Turkish sentiments are shared even by the political opposition in Azerbaijan. Gultekyn Gadjbeyly, a leader of the National Council Party, said that "the ideal of a Turkish Confederation would be the most realistic way to resolve the conflicts and contradictions of the contemporary world, especially in our geopolitical region, where our own nation it is often endangered ”.

The idea of ​​the Azerbaijani-Turkish union is a dream that they have cultivated in Baku since the end of the Soviet Union.