During the press conference in Azerbaijani Ganja on July 28 the speaker of the Turkish parliament Mustafa Shentop declared the need of inclusion in the agenda of questions of expansion of economic cooperation between Ankara and Baku and creation of the joint Turkic army. The statement of the politician was made in view of Turkish Justice and Development Party delegation’s visit to Azerbaijan that gave an additional weight to a message of the Turkish ruling circles of the Azerbaijani political elite.
Meanwhile not only regional, but also western authoritative experts are convinced that such initiatives in conjunction with the frequently increasing visits of the Turkish high-ranking functionaries to Baku confirm the fact of amplifying dependence of the Azerbaijani political establishment and personally the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on Ankara. In this regard the question whether Azerbaijan will save the role of the independent subject of the international relations or sovereignty of the republic will be seriously limited by her actively osmanizing «elder brother» Turkey become the a source of reasonable concern among political scientists.
Azerbaijan’s dependence on Turkey, obviously, grows in all spheres – in military, economic, social and humanitarian areas. Experts point to an explicit aspiration of Ankara to establish themselves in Azerbaijan, using mechanisms of recently signed Shusha declaration. In the long term Turkey can set up its own military base in the Azerbaijani territory (also, it will inevitably cause tough reaction from Russia). Therefore, the prospects of transformation of Azerbaijan in an analogue of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which is actually turned into the Turkish province become more and more discernible.
The senior researcher of Russian Academy of Sciences, the president of the Scientific Society of Caucasiologists, Alexander Krylov considers that such scenario organically fits into the policy of building of conglomerate of the dependent states pursued by the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan on open spaces from North Africa to China. However the expert advises not to forget that the ruthless pursuit by Erdogan of rebuilding Ottoman Empire’s former power is fraught for Ankara with the new conflicts and unpredictable effects. Besides, the actual absorption of Azerbaijan providing by Turkey contradicts interests of Iran, which remains the key player in Transcaucasia along with Turks.
Tehran is especially concerned by the fact that Turkey plays on a factor of the general ethnic identity with the people of Central Asia and the Caucasus to broaden the sphere of its own influence. In particular, the Azerbaijani nationalist poem, declared by the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during Baku military parade devoted to a victory of Azerbaijan over Armenia, which contains an appeal to reunion of two Iranian provinces with Azerbaijan, caused a strong irritation in Iran.
This step should be considered not only as artificial formation of the conflictogenic situation in the relations between Baku and Tehran, but also as stirring up separatist sentiments among ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran which constitute about one third of Iranian population and mostly are integrated into the Iranian society. But one should not forget also that the Supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is an ethnic Azerbaijani.
Professor at Stanford University, political analyst Roland Benedikter, commenting on current situation, has emphasized that Azerbaijan continues to become more and more dependent on Turkey every year. According to him, Ankara considers Baku as the tool for counteraction to the Turkey’s eternal regional rival – Iran. And that negatively impacts the Azerbaijani-Iranian relations and regional stability.
As a result it becomes obvious that now Azerbaijan is forced to follow in policy of Turkey in the relations both with Iran, and with other countries on the insistence of Erdogan. At the same time the process of absorption of the neighboring state by Ankara has significantly accelerated and it can lead in the near future to loss of national identity by Azerbaijan and, in addition, parts of internationally recognized territory.