Several Turkish commanders were in control of the Azerbaijani operation in Nagorno-Karabakh against Artsakh and Armenia, Russian newspaper Vzglyad said in an investigation on the matter.
About a week before the peace deal, in the midst of Azerbaijan’s offensive operation in Karabakh, several Russian and Azerbaijani publications at once reported about the dismissal of the First Deputy Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan – Chief of the General Staff, Colonel-General Najmeddin Sadigov, and even about his arrest.
Sadigov was allegedly accused of treason and cooperation with Russian military intelligence. At the same time, it was stated that the general was against the “Turkish dominance in the leadership of the armed forces of Azerbaijan.”
The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan has denied information on the arrest of the chief of the General Staff. However, since then he has not appeared in public, and his page suddenly disappeared from the official website of the military department.
In part, the fault line is generational. The army in Azerbaijan is cleared of those officers and generals who started serving in the Soviet Union, studied at Soviet military schools and therefore may have army friends in other post-Soviet states, including Russia and Armenia.
Those who have completed an internship or study in Turkey are put on key positions. Turkish advisers are placed above them.
“The group, headed by Major General Bakhtiyar Ersay, Chief of the Operations Directorate of the Ground Forces of Turkey, was directly involved in organizing hostilities against Nagorno-Karabakh,” an unnamed official close to the leadership of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry told Vzglyad newspaper.
“Ersay is located in Baku. After the removal of the Chief of the General Staff of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, Najmeddin Sadigov, he personally supervises the General Staff on the operation against Karabakh. He reports to the top military-political leadership of Turkey on the course of the operation,” the source continued.
Major General Bahtiyar Ersay
General Ersay is a closed and non-public figure.
In 2003, intelligence officer Ersay participated in an attempted military conspiracy against current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had just assumed the post of prime minister.
Information about the coup was disclosed only in 2010. Ersay was arrested and sentenced to 16 years, but immediately after the verdict he was pardoned. The reason for this softness of the Turkish authorities is not clear. According to some reports, Ersay made a deal and testified against other participants in the conspiracy.
One way or another, but instead of a term, he received the rank of brigadier general and was transferred to the “Kurdish front”: he headed the 2nd Commando brigade, which took an active part in hostilities against the armed formations of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Turkey.
Also, according to Hürriyet, Ersay participated in operations in Libya. In particular, he was responsible for the evacuation of Turkish citizens from the country after the fall of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. Participated in training seminars at the NATO Joint Military Center in Stavanger, Norway. In August 2019, the Haber media holding announced that the Supreme Military Council of Turkey had awarded Ersay the rank of Major General.
General Sheref Ongay
Public information about Lieutenant General Sheref Ongay is very sparse. He graduated from the military academy in Ankara in 1982 and served in various units of the ground forces. In 2014 he was appointed commander of the 9th Army Corps. For some time he was the head of the infantry school in Tuzla.
According to the unnamed sources, the work of Turkish generals in Azerbaijan is provided by about 200 military advisers.
They are not on the front line, but are engaged in organizational and staff work. For the needs of Turkish specialists, two special satellite communication stations have been deployed – in Baku and on the territory of the military airport in Gabala.
The Azerbaijani military is prohibited from using these stations. The Azerbaijani military was also ordered to follow all the instructions and wishes of the advisers, not to argue or contradict them. This is often frustrating.
Turkish Air Forces General Göksel Kahya
Another Turkish commander who took part in the leadership of the operation in Nagorno-Karabakh is Major General, Head of the 1st Supply and Maintenance Center of the Turkish Air Force, Göksel Kahya.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met in Baku with Turkish Foreign and Defense Ministers Hulusi Akar and Mevlut Cavusoglu. Details were not disclosed. Göksel Kahya also participated in the negotiations. Officially, this was not said, but the Telegram channel Razm.info identified him from photographs from the meeting.
Before coming to Azerbaijan, Kahya organized the work of the Global Center for Security and Operations (GСSO) in Libya last spring and summer last year. The center’s role was reduced to managing the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones to support the troops of the Government of National Accord (GNA), which opposed Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
Kahya’s involvement was revealed when Haftar’s army captured several Turkish advisers and obtained their correspondence, as well as copies of the passports of all Turkish specialists working for the GCSO. As a result of negotiations between Ankara and Haftar, the prisoners were released, but the scans of passports, including those of Kahya, were published by the Al Marsad edition.
The appearance of Kahya in Azerbaijan, where, just like in Libya, drones were used en masse, is another coincidence – too significant and hardly accidental.
“Undoubtedly, Heksel Kakhya manages all Bayraktar TB2 flights in the war zone in Nagorno-Karabakh. All operational intelligence information obtained with the help of Bayraktar TB2 is reported to him, and he, in turn, reports this information to Turkish President Recep Erdogan,” concluded Denis Korkodinov, director of the International Center for Political Analysis and Forecasting, an expert on Transcaucasian countries.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, Former US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly rebuked Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili for congratulating Baku and Yerevan on the signing of the peace agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh with the mediation of Moscow.
“How can the president of Georgia congratulate on an agreement that provides for another Russian occupation in the Caucasus and blocks the West?” the former ambassador was indignant.
A map was also released showing what observation posts had been established by November 12th.
And, finally, a video showing Armenians burning their houses in the village of Dadivank in the Karvachar region of Karabakh. By November 15th, 2020, the NKR Defense Army must withdraw its units from this area.
And as such the people are also planning to leave and relocate somewhere else in Armenia.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Russian Peacekeepers Entered Karabakh’s Capital Stepanakert
- Russian Troops Took Control Of Lachin Corridor, Other Key Areas In Nagorno-Karabakh