Fresh tensions in the Karabakh region, which started with Armenia’s attacks on Azerbaijan's civilian targets in July, led to global surprise when Azerbaijan made an unexpected countermove for the first time in the history of the Armenian occupation, which has been ongoing for 28 years.
It appears that Armenia, whose aggressive attitude has become a habit, was not expecting this countermove; France and the other countries that provoked and supported it to a certain extent caught off guard too. Despite the fact that it is globally acknowledged that the Karabakh region belongs to Azerbaijan and that Armenia is there as occupying force, according to the law based on valid international agreements and UN decisions, neither these resolutions nor this law bind Armenia. Its invasion is almost treated with understanding, and no sanctions have been imposed against Yerevan.
Yet, Armenia's occupation of Karabakh took place exactly after Saddam Hussein attempted to invade Kuwait with a fait accompli and, upon this, drew reaction from the international community. A state's occupation of a country weaker than itself by trusting its armed forces during that time would be classified as a mistake that the so-called "new world order" could never accept. The new international order they are trying to establish under U.S. leadership would not tolerate such invasions, and would not let their perpetrators get away with it. The international war-sanction activated against Iraq had taught everybody a lesson about this said order.
However, the Armenian occupation and the Khojaly massacre that took place only a couple of years later, went down in records as an example that the new world order’s dominion had been suspended. Yet, this dominion remained suspended until the most ruthless genocide happened against the Muslims in Bosnia after World War II.
In both examples, Muslims were weak – perhaps not in population but in terms of weapons. When the Khojaly massacre was taking place in Azerbaijan, it is known that then-President Ebulfeyz Elçibey requested four helicopters from Turkey, which was its sole safe harbor; while the Armenians were superior with respect to weapons because they were getting support from all over the world. Turkey was not in a position to provide Azerbaijan with the aid Elçibey had requested back then, or it chose not to do so. Thus, the Azerbaijanis suffered a brutal massacre and a part of the country was invaded.
Since then, the Karabakh issue remains as a problem that cannot be overcome under Armenian occupation. However, an international group was even established to find a resolution to this problem. The members of the group named “Minsk” are primarily Azerbaijan and Armenia, the sides of the conflict, and Turkey, the U.S., Russia, France, Belarus, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Finland. The group is to today still officially in existence.
Its objective was to determine a suitable frame for the resolution of the dispute in aims to secure the negotiation process, to reach an agreement with respect to stopping the armed clashes in order to allow the Minsk Conference to assemble, and support the peace process by deploying the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the multinational peacekeeping force. Despite 28 years passing since its establishment, this group has failed to make any progress whatsoever. On the contrary, the Armenian occupation further deepened; and as efforts have been made to render the Armenian settlements there even more permanent over time, the matter has become almost impossible to solve.
Now, as the surprising operation Azerbaijan launched against Armenian attacks seems to be making headway in resolving the Karabakh matter, cries are reverberating across the globe. Peaceful calls are being made to solve the matter through diplomacy. The Western countries, from which we heard nothing against the occupation that has been ongoing for years, are now conveying that a diplomatic solution is the only way.
Which diplomatic solution?
Why and how will those who didn’t bother to lift a finger until now for the occupation that has been ongoing for 28 years suggest a solution after all this time?
The sole effect of a diplomatic solution so far has been to buy time to further consolidate the occupation and ensure that it becomes physically permanent.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan clearly revealed his attitude and approach regarding this matter. His words were clear enough to be understood by everyone in today’s world order: In order to achieve results diplomatically, one needs to be strong in the field as well. If you do not have the strength to defend yourself against the physical injustices faced on every front, nobody will bother to give you what is truly your right.
Therefore, the problems that have been ongoing years, or rather the power balances established over those problematic divisions, are now being overturned because Turkey showed its strength in Syria, in Libya, and in the Mediterranean. It is leading everybody to review their strategies.
And we repeat: Turkey does not demand more than its due right; it does not have its sights set on another’s rights or share. It respects everybody’s rights, but it is also against having its own rights trampled upon. This is the logic behind its actions.