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DECEMBER 2020

Turkish Parliament Approves Deployment Of Troops To Azerbaijan For Monitoring Center, MPs Claim Its For “Observation Posts” In Conflict Zone

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Turkish Parliament Approves Deployment Of Troops To Azerbaijan For Monitoring Center, MPs Claim Its For "Observation Posts" In Conflict Zone

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On November 17th, the Turkish Parliament approved the deployment of Turkish troops to Azerbaijan for a peacekeeping mission to Azerbaijan.

The vote passed with overwhelming approval.

The vote is advertised as a deployment of Turkish troops to take part in the Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but it is simply Turkish experts taking part in a monitoring center, alongside Russia.

The peacekeepers are from the Russian military, as it has been made clear.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Good Party (IP) accepted the bill, which will allow “Turkish peacekeeping efforts in the aftermath of the recent Nagorno-Karabakh deal.”

The agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan doesn’t include the deployment of any Turkish forces to Nagorno-Karabakh, regardless of what the claims are.

The mandate will allow Turkish troops to be stationed at a peacekeeping center for one year as part of an accord between Ankara and Moscow to monitor the implementation of the cease-fire, which locked in territorial gains by Azerbaijan.

In comparison, the mandate of the Russian deployment is 5 years.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government would determine the number of troops to be sent and it wasn’t immediately clear how many the country planned to deploy. The motion states that civilian personnel could also be deployed as part of the peacekeeping mission.

Russian and Turkish defense ministers signed a memorandum last week to create a joint monitoring center in Azerbaijan. This came as a result of several days of negotiations between the two sides.

The Turkish troops to be dispatched to Azerbaijan will work with their Russian counterparts to observe and report the ceasefire between the two rival parties, Azerbaijan and Armenia, which ended their six-week war.

Meaning that no actual troops will be deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh, but simply in Azerbaijan’s sovereign territory, where the monitoring center will be established.

In some internal propaganda, however, Turkish members of parliament appear to believe that there would be Turkish observation posts, similar to the 16 that Russia is establishing in Nagorno-Karabakh.

According to Ankara’s understanding, Turkey reiterates that the troops will be deployed in “the territories of Azerbaijan liberated from occupation.”

During the discussions in parliament, Turkish MP Abdul Ahat Andidjan said that “UAVs should be deployed in the observation posts created by Turkey, which will be guided and analyzed by Turkish Armed Forces officers. These observation posts should have a specific function.”

This is unlikely to happen, since, as mentioned numerous times, Turkish presence only relates to personnel in an monitoring center, which will not be part of any single or numerous observations posts, but at a distance from any potential frontline.

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