Last week, the public agenda in Turkey has been busy with three main topics.
First was the parliamentary motion to extend the deployment of Turkish troops in Azerbaijan, following right after similar motions for Turkish military deployments in Iraq and Syria.
Second was the official visit by the Head of the State High Council of Libya Khalid al-Mishri to Turkey and his meetings with various politicians in Turkey, including President Erdogan.
Third topic was the anniversary of the passing away of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founding leader of Turkey, where various events were held and various politicians and ambassadors delivered messages.
Parliamentary motion to extend the troop deployment to Azerbaijan
The Turkish presidency on last Tuesday submitted a motion to parliament to extend the deployment of Turkish troops to Azerbaijan for one more year.
“Turkey, which has strongly supported Azerbaijan from the very beginning of the process so that it can defend all its rights including its territorial integrity on the basis of international law and legitimate sovereign rights, is taking important initiatives for the preservation and strengthening of peace and stability in the region and for the construction and restoration of the economic infrastructure to facilitate this,” the motion read.
It stated that the joint center in Karabakh formed by Turkish and Russian armed serforces to monitor the cease-fire between Azerbaijan and Armenia successfully continues its activities.
“Turkey also contributes to the security of the region and building trust between the parties through the joint center,” it added.
The motion will be debated in parliament on this Tuesday.
On last Thursday, Baku’s envoy in Ankara said that Turkey and Azerbaijan would continue to back each other and keep strengthening their bilateral ties.
Relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey cannot be compared to those of any other nations, as we see each other as brotherly countries and people of the same nation, Ambassador Rashad Mammadov said in an interview.
He said cooperation between Baku and Ankara significantly contributes to international security, peace, development and stability, as both countries are at the forefront of the global fight against terrorism.
Mammadov lauded Ankara for its steadfast support for Azerbaijan’s efforts to reclaim its territory that was occupied by Armenia.
He said Turkey viewed the issue as its own and brought up the matter at all forums, adding that a “3+3” platform was proposed to Armenia to ensure development in the region through peaceful cooperation.
On bilateral trade, Mammadov said Turkey and Azerbaijan have the potential and capability to achieve their objective of $15 billion.
Diversified and enhanced investments will be key to reach the goal, he added.
The ambassador said the opening of the Zangezur corridor, which connects Azerbaijan to its Nakhchivan exclave, will boost connectivity of all Turkic countries and provide new alternatives for global transport operations, particularly between Europe and Asia.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has also visited Istanbul as a part of the Turkic Council’s 8th summit.
During the summit, the name of the Council of Turkic Speaking States has been changed to the Organization of Turkic States, according to a joint declaration.
Also during this summit, Turkmenistan joined the Organization of Turkic States as an observer country and that would improve the solidarity and cooperation between the Turkic States and their peoples, the declaration emphasized.
It also praised Turkey for allocating its historical building in the Sultanahmet district in Istanbul to the council’s general secretariat office.
The declaration underlined that a fair, permanent, sustainable and mutually acceptable solution to the issue of Cyprus should be reached based on facts on the island.
Regarding violence that erupted April 28 between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, centered on control of a local water distribution network, the declaration welcomed dialogue between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
“I trust in your valuable support in easing the isolation and embargo against Turkish Cypriots, who are an inseparable part of the Turkic World,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the leaders of Turkic countries during the council’s eighth summit in Istanbul.
Stressing Turkey’s determination to fight against “all forms of terrorism,” such as that of the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which orchestrated a defeated coup in Turkey in 2016, as well as those of the PKK/YPG and DEASH/ISIS, Erdogan called on the leaders to increase cooperation on this issue.
Libyan State High Council Head’s visit to Turkey
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Khalid al-Mishri, the head of the Libyan High Council of State, on Wednesday at the Presidential Complex in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
The closed-door meeting lasted about two hours.
Libya’s presidential and parliamentary elections are set for December 24th under an agreement reached November 15th 2020, by Libyan political rivals.
Libyans hope upcoming elections will contribute to ending an armed conflict that has plagued the oil-rich country for years.
Later that day, the Turkish parliamentary speaker Mustafa Sentop said that Turkey would keep supporting efforts for peace and prosperity in Libya.
“Turkey will continue to stand by our Libyan brothers and their legitimate representatives for peace, prosperity and tranquility in Libya,” Sentop said in a meeting with al-Mishri, in the Turkish capital Ankara.
He said Turkey and Libya would further strengthen their bilateral ties and inter-parliamentary relations.
“As we have done so far, Turkey will continue to stand by Libya and our Libyan brothers in every matter,” said Sentop, adding that Ankara has declared its stance toward Libya at all international platforms.
Al-Mishri said Turkey is a second homeland for Libyans where they feel completely at home.
He said Turkey has been with Libya through every difficult time and the two enjoy strong relations.
“Turkey’s support is very important for us,” stressed al-Mishri, who also met Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara.
In September, al-Mishri was re-elected chairman of the Libyan High Council of State for a fourth one-year term. He paid a visit to Cavusoglu shortly afterwards.
Libya has witnessed positive developments following a February 5th breakthrough in which rival parties agreed on a unified new executive authority to govern in the run up to elections on December 24th.
Libyans hope the new authority will end years of civil war that have engulfed the country since the ouster and killing of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Later on, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also met the h al-Mishri in Ankara.
“Discussed current political situation and latest developments with Khaled al-Mishri, President of High Council of State of Libya,” Cavusoglu said on Twitter.
Cavusoglu expressed his wish that “stability, prosperity and peace” prevails in Libya, adding that Turkey “will continue to support our Libyan brothers and sisters to this end.”
Anniversary of Ataturk’s passing away
Turkey on Wednesday commorated the 83rd anniversary of the demise of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the leader of the country’s War of Independence and founder of the Republic of Turkey.
As is customary, daily life stopped at 9:05 a.m. local time, and sirens wailed to mark the exact moment of Ataturk’s death at the age of 57, and millions of people across the country observed two minutes of silence.
Many politicians and diplomats have given official commemoration speeches, from all political parties in Turkey.
“We will never allow attacks on the integrity of our country, the survival of our state, the unity, peace, and age-old values of our noble nation,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote in the memorial book of Anitkabir, Ataturk’s mausoleum in the capital Ankara.
Speaking at a commemoration event in the capital Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid tribute to Turkey’s founding father and commented on the development stages the country has gone through since its foundation.
“This vision of Gazi Mustafa Kemal is also the road map of today’s Turkey. Turkey is in Syria today, Turkey is in Libya today, Turkey is in the Caucasus today, and Turkey is still conducting pioneering diplomatic work in Europe and in the world. If there is anyone in this country who embraces the political, diplomatic, economic, and military legacy of Gazi that embraces our region and the world, it is us,” he said.
Vice President Fuat Oktay also posted a message of respect on Twitter, saying he commemorated Ataturk with “respect, gratitude, and mercy” on the 83rd anniversary of his passing.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is a leader who embodied the ideal of full independence of the Turkish nation, the Speaker of the Parliament Mustafa Sentop said in a message on Wednesday to mark the 83rd anniversary of the passing of Turkey’s founder.
“He Ataturk and his fellow fighters not only entrusted a homeland to their next generations, but also left a national ideal and a national will for which we are willing to lay down our lives,” Sentop said in a statement.
Leader of the main opposition party Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu has also commemorated the death of the leader of his party and the republic: “I commemorate all our heroes who were martyred for our country with our great leader Ataturk and his comrades in arms, and respectfully salute in their cherished memories; and would like to express my gratitude to all our respected veterans.”
Leader of the opposition Good (IYI) Party Meral Aksener said that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is a leader whom the Turkish nation remembers with gratitude and respect.
Leader of Vatan Party Dogu Perincek has also published an official commemoration of Ataturk, though his social media accounts. He stated:
“Ataturk is not a memory of the past. Today, entire Turkey is fighting alongside Ataturk. We are alongside him on the home front. And it is essential to keep the domestic front solid against the difficulties we are facing. Ataturk is also still fighting on the production lines. The peasant, the real producer will again be the true ruler of this country. Ataturk is also on the front lines against the terrorism of FETO and the PKK. He is in command of the Turkish Navy standing tall in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Cyprus, and in command of the ground operations in Syria and Iraq. In short, Ataturk is everywhere! The great challenges put up by the US imperialism over Turkey will only be overcome by Ataturk’s determination. His revolutionary style is a beacon for the Turkish nation. The Norwegians have the proverb ‘do it like Ataturk’ to get out of their difficult times. He is in a Norwegian proverb, in Chinese school textbooks, he is on the Cuban streets, in the hope of the Indians, and in the success of the Afghans. His revolutionary style is a light for all the oppressed peoples. We pay tribute to our Great Revolutionary Leader.”
Turkey’s embassies in Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Nigeria, Greece, Ukraine, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Austria, Czechia, Serbia, the UK, Ireland and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus held ceremonies in memory of the preeminent leader. Attendees observed a minute of silence at 9.05 a.m., the exact time of the leader’s death, and laid flowers on Ataturk’s monuments.
Many visitors laid flowers at the mausoleum and prayed.