Europäische Institut für Menschenrechte - Prof. Dr. Dr. Ümit Yazıcıoğlu -
      Europäische Institut für Menschenrechte - Prof. Dr. Dr. Ümit Yazıcıoğlu -

 Strategy, Diplomacy, and Turkey's Role in Nagorno-Karabakh

Strategy, Diplomacy, and Turkey's Role in Nagorno-Karabakh


Prof. Dr. Ümit Yazıcıoğlu


1. Introduction

Nagorno-Karabakh has consistently been a tension point due to its geopolitical significance. Recent events have once again highlighted the intricacies of the region and the fragility of peace therein. Throughout history, the Caucasus has positioned itself at the intersection of major powers, attaining crucial geopolitical importance. The issue of Nagorno-Karabakh reflects the complex historical, cultural, and political dynamics of this geography. This paper aims to delve into the latest developments surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and their implications on regional power balances. Specifically, Azerbaijan's international strategy, Russia's regional policies, and Turkey's role in the process constitute the core focus of the article. Within this context, the study aspires to provide crucial insights on the required diplomacy and strategy in regional matters. An analysis will be conducted on the attack against Russian peacekeeping forces and its regional repercussions, coupled with an assessment from the perspective of international human rights and the preservation of peace.


2. Complexity of the Region and International Diplomacy

Recent events in the Caucasus have once again highlighted the region's complexity and the importance of international diplomacy. The Nagorno-Karabakh issue, with its historical and cultural dimensions, shapes regional power balances and dictates the political moves of major powers. Azerbaijan, moving with a strategic vision in the international political arena, has established robust alliances by leveraging its energy resources and geographical advantages. While Russia stands at the forefront of these alliances, Turkey also provides Azerbaijan with historical and strategic support.


Russia's calculated and deliberate steps have been decisive in its relationships with both Azerbaijan and Armenia. However, Armenia's recent disagreements with Russia should be seen as a sign that Armenia needs to tread more cautiously on the international stage. While Armenia's diplomatic efforts regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh issue are commendable, a lack of strategic planning and vision has posed challenges in securing international support. Turkey's stance in this region reflects its deep ties with Azerbaijan and its strategic interests. The "One nation, two states" slogan symbolizes the historical connection between the two countries, and energy collaborations and defense agreements further emphasize the strength of this bond.


3. The Fragility of Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh and Human Rights

The tragic incident on September 20th in the Nagorno-Karabakh region once again underscored the delicate balance of peace in the area. The attack on the Russian peacekeeping unit while returning from an observation point, resulting in the loss of military personnel, emphasizes how critical regional balances and inter-state relations are at this moment.


The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense confirmed this tragic incident and conveyed its condolences to the Russian Ministry of Defense. However, no concrete information was provided regarding the measures to be taken to prevent such events in the future. Azerbaijan's call for "patience," even as it announced that all circumstances of the event would be examined and an investigation launched, does not offer a clear perspective on how the international response should be to such tragedies.


On the other hand, similar tragedies have occurred in the region before, and these incidents were overshadowed. The incident where a helicopter in Russia was shot down, leading to the death of two Russian soldiers, raises questions about the measures taken to prevent the recurrence of this tragedy.


It's essential to remember that peacekeeping missions aim to ensure the safety of the local population. However, in an environment where these peacekeepers cannot even secure their safety, how permanent peace will be established in the region remains a significant question mark. Regional countries should call on the international community and human rights organizations to take the necessary measures to prevent such tragedies from recurring and to bring those responsible to justice. This is one of the most crucial steps to be taken towards building lasting peace in the region and safeguarding human rights.


4. Recent Developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh Issue

The recent developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue offer significant lessons for understanding regional balances and the strategic actions of states. Although the topic is complex with its deep historical, cultural, and societal roots, it is possible to assess how successful each country is based on its political and diplomatic maneuvers. Azerbaijan, with strategic long-term planning, has managed to forge strong alliances on the international stage. Its energy resources and geographical location have enhanced Azerbaijan's ability to strengthen relationships with Russia and other key players. These alliances have enabled Azerbaijan to take bolder steps in the Karabakh issue.


Russia's role is pivotal. Moscow has managed to maintain its influence in the region by carefully managing its relations with both Azerbaijan and Armenia. However, recent discrepancies observed between Yerevan and Moscow indicate that Armenia should tread more cautiously on the international stage. Despite Armenia's diplomatic efforts on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue being commendable, its lack of strategic planning and vision has hampered its ability to garner international support. Turkey's stance in the region, favoring Azerbaijan, reflects the historical, cultural, and strategic ties between the two brotherly nations. The phrase "One nation, two states" symbolizes the profound connection between Turkey and Azerbaijan, while collaborations in energy and defense agreements demonstrate the strength of this bond.


Turkey, aligning with Azerbaijan on issues such as Nagorno-Karabakh, underscores its commitment to international law and principles of justice. Simultaneously, cooperation in defense and security assists Azerbaijan in enhancing its regional security, while the continuous deepening of economic relations reaffirms the mutual trust and shared economic interests between the two countries. All these factors highlight that Turkey's support for Azerbaijan is not solely based on sentiment but has strategic and pragmatic foundations.


On both national and international stages, Nagorno-Karabakh has been the focal point of numerous diplomatic negotiations. Its significance, due to historical and cultural roots and its geopolitical dimensions, is undeniable. Each day as a global diplomat, I increasingly recognize the importance of sustainable peace and mutual respect in the region.


Acknowledging the geopolitical importance of the region, it's essential for international actors to serve as bridges between parties. International institutions, such as the UN or OSCE, need to mediate in the region, acting as a bridge between the two sides. However, international mediation alone won't suffice. Economic collaboration is pivotal in identifying shared interests between the parties. By promoting regional economic projects, the mutual dependency between the two sides can be enhanced, contributing to an increase in mutual understanding and trust.


Diplomacy should encompass not just inter-state relations but also relations between the people. In this context, actively involving civil society and media in the process will help societies understand each other better. Lastly, the most critical element in this process is determination and a long-term vision. This vision should advocate for an environment where parties can coexist in the future, based on mutual respect. Diplomacy is a process that requires patience and determination. Yet, with the right steps and a visionary approach, the foundations for sustainable peace in Nagorno-Karabakh can be laid. Such an achievement would not only benefit the region but the entire world.


5. Deepening Echoes of Tension in Nagorno-Karabakh

The Nagorno-Karabakh issue has long been a complex problem in the Caucasus with historical roots. The events of the past month have once again demonstrated the intense and deeply felt tension in the region. From Armenia's perspective, the recent incidents have brought historical traumas, national identity issues, and international dynamics back to the forefront for many Armenians.


Azerbaijan's actions, coupled with Turkey's support for these actions, have been contextualized historically for the Armenian community. This context is especially significant as it coincides roughly with the 31st anniversary of Artsakh's declaration of independence. Additionally, the stances of the international community, particularly major powers in the region, seem to have been a source of disappointment for Armenia. The lack of support from countries often referred to as Armenia's strategic partners indicates the determining role of international dynamics in this matter.


The recent events in Nagorno-Karabakh serve as an example of how a nation's historical identity, national sentiments, and international dynamics intersect. To ensure lasting peace and stability in the region, it's crucial for all parties to consider these sensitivities and adopt a path of dialogue and collaboration. The incidents in Nagorno-Karabakh have highlighted the deep-rooted historical tensions in the area. This situation notably displays the regional positioning and influence of Azerbaijan and Turkey. Subsequently, Russia's policies in this region, coupled with certain disappointments in its relationship with Armenia, are being highlighted. The approach of Western nations, particularly the United States and the European Union, suggests that the international response to this crisis has been inadequate.


The Armenian community, considering the deep marks in its history and its quest for independence, underscores an expectation for a more just and sensitive approach from the international community in light of recent events. However, it's paramount to remember the primary need to ensure the safety and well-being of the civilian population amidst all these developments. The happenings in this region underscore the necessity for the international community to find a solution that is respectful and considerate of the sensitivities of all sides.


6. Summary

The attack on the Russian peacekeeping force in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 20th highlighted the fragility of peace in the region. Despite Azerbaijan's confirmation of the incident and expressions of condolences, the absence of specific details regarding measures to prevent such incidents in the future raises concerns. Previous similar tragedies and the perceived insufficient address of these incidents bring up questions about how lasting peace can be achieved in the region. The international community needs to take more proactive steps to ensure peace and protect human rights in the area.


The issue of Nagorno-Karabakh underscores the significance of international diplomacy and regional strategic planning. Azerbaijan's strategic moves and Turkey's supportive role during this process provide lessons on how states should operate on the international stage. The challenges Armenia faces further emphasize the importance of international diplomacy and strategy. The countries in the region can lay the foundations for a more peaceful and stable future by drawing lessons from these developments.


Recent events in Nagorno-Karabakh have brought the historical tensions of the region back to the forefront. The roles of Azerbaijan and Turkey, the disappointment in Russia's policies towards Armenia, and the perceived inadequate response from Western nations constitute the main dynamics of this tension. The international community should prioritize the safety and well-being of the civilian population in its pursuit of a fair solution.



September 29, 2023, Cologne.




Empfehlen Sie diese Seite auf:

Druckversion | Sitemap