Turkey’s Plan For The Ethnic Cleansing Of The Armenians

Turkey’s plan for empire faces multiple fronts: there is North Africa, where Turkey wants to control Libya; the Middle East where Turkish troops are in Syria and Iraq; in the Mediterranean where it has a territorial dispute with Greece, and the south Caucasus where Turkey backs the aggressor nation Azerbaijan against Armenia. For over a decade we have been seeing Turkey being militarily active in Libya, Syria and Iraq. Right at the beginning of the decade of the 2020s — in September of 2020 — the world watched as Turkish drone technology — the Bayraktar — destroyed the Armenian army in the war over Nagorno-Karabakh. The question is, how will Turkey’s operations escalate further in its will to empire? While Turkey is definitely aggressive in its militarist ambitions, it nonetheless is partaking in diplomacy. Diplomacy has recently been seen between Turkey and its rival Egypt. The two countries have been in a proxy war for the last past decade wherein Egypt’s army toppled Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamad Morsi in 2013. Also within this proxy war, Turkey and Egypt have backed opposing factions in Libya’s civil war. However, since 2021 attempts have been made to better relations between Turkey and Egypt, but issues over Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean have hindered diplomacy. It doesn’t matter how much diplomacy is done on the part of Turkey, the Turks will be on the warpath in their aspiration for empire.

Supposedly Syria and Turkey will be having talks although the place and time for such a meeting has not been specified. The United States wants to get involved in such talks between Turkey and Syria. Why would the US have a desire to partake in talks to normalize relations between Turkey and Syria? It is for the obvious reason of competing with Russia which has been the main broker of normalization between the two countries. The United States wants to be at the center of these talks because it doesn’t want to see Russia has a major medium for peace, because this would mean that Russia has a serious role in world affairs, a position that the US wants only for itself. But, there have been some problems between the US and Turkey.

Erdogan has recently stated that Turkey paid over a billion dollars for F-35s but did not receive them because the US cancelled the purchase due to Turkey buying Russian S-400s (Turkey was removed from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program in 2019). Instead of getting a refund, Turkey demanded 40 Lockheed Martin F-16 jets, a deal reportedly valued at $20 billion. The Biden administration has approved of this deal, but still needs congressional approval. Officials of the Biden administration are hoping that this deal will get the Turks to approve of Sweden and Finland entering NATO. These same officials have said that Congress’s approval “is contingent on Turkey’s acquiescence” to Sweden’s and Finland’s admission into NATO. But there are congressmen who have said that they will refuse to approve the deal. Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey who is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has affirmed that he wouldn’t approve any F-16 sale to Turkey, expressing his concern for human rights.

In the meantime the Greeks want to purchase F-35s. If the Greeks get their fighter jets, and the Turks don’t, then Turkey will complain of unfairness and weaponize Sweden and Finland. The United States is now in a predicament where its going to try to please both sides.

The media has been lately talking negatively about Erdogan because he and his government have been the main hinderance for Sweden and Finland getting NATO membership, and also due to Erdogan refusing to sanction Russia. Is it possible that NATO wants the nationalists to replace him? The main opposition to Erdogan’s AKP is the People’s Republican Party, which is now in a coalition of other nationalist parties against Erdogan. But Erdogan’s party is still at the top, so a victory for the secular nationalists cannot be predicted with emphatic confidence. People will think that a victory for the nationalists CHP will be good because it would be better than the conservative AKP. But, even if the nationalists take over, they will still pursue empire in their nationalism. The policies in regards to controlling Syria, North Africa, Azerbaijan and Armenia, will still remain. Right now the sole road connecting Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh is being blocked by self-described Azeri “eco-activists” who have no history of environmentalism. Because of this blockade, baby formula, medicines and other vital supplies is becoming more and more scarce by the day. This is being done to force the Armenians out of Nagorno-Karabakh and to live in Armenia. Azeri president Ilham Aliyev made this clear:

“For whoever does not want to become our citizen, the road is not closed, but open. They can leave. They can go on their own, or they can ride with [Russian] peacekeepers, or they can go by bus. The road [to Armenia] is open.”
The International Crisis Group placed Nagorno-Karabakh second after Ukraine among the top 10 wars to watch in 2023, warning that “another war on Europe’s Eastern flank is real.”

Vahan Kostanyan, Armenia’s deputy foreign minister, told Al-Monitor: “Azerbaijan has three objectives: the ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh, to provoke large-scale military tension in the region and finally to push the Armenian side to give an extra-territorial corridor.” Kostanyan added, “Iran is an important partner. The border with Iran is of utmost importance to us. We have two closed borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan, thus Iran and Georgia are our only gates to the outside world.” Meanwhile there have been European observers in Armenia to make sure that Azerbaijan does not do anything aggressive. The Russians have reproved this as the EU’s move, combined with the United States, “to gain a foothold at all costs.” There has been criticism lodged against the EU is only trying to make itself look good as it has a deal to get Azeri energy to make up for the gas it lost from Russia.

Even after taking Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 that wasn’t enough for the Azeris, as they took 200 square kilometers (124 square miles) of Armenian territory in September of 2022, killing hundreds. Armenia was literally invaded; there is no doubt that war will resume in the south Caucasus. What’s amazing is that Armenia got invaded in 2022 and all of the rhetoric used to support Ukraine was not heard. All of the talk about the invasion of a sovereign country was not heard. In their attack on Armenia, Azeri soldiers committed war crimes; they did a mass execution of Armenian soldiers who had surrendered, they cut to pieces a female Armenian soldier.

And since Azerbaijan is a proxy of Turkey, this is ultimately Turkey’s war on the Armenians, a people that the Turks exterminated back in World War One and want to resume from where they left off. Armenia is an ally to Iran, hence why Israel backs Azerbaijan against an Iranian ally. With Nagorno-Karabakh taken, the Azeris wants to build a rail corridor connecting Azerbaijan with its enclave Nakhichevan. The railway would have to go through Armenia and would go into Nakhichevan and Turkey. Armenia would just be a speed bump, a pathway, for Turkey and Azerbaiijan. With this rail corridor, Turkey would have direct access through Armenia, in Azerbaijan and into the Caspian Sea. Aliyev has affirmed that this corridor will “definitely be opened whether Armenia wants it or not.” The Iranian are against it because it would bring NATO onto the northern border of Iran. Just as Russia’s war in Ukraine is against NATO expansion, Iran’s objections to the corridor are being expressed over the same fears of a further rising NATO. NATO, thus, wants to see the rise of Turkey and Azerbaijan in the south Caucasus because it would bring NATO to Iran’s northern border. Hence why Israel backs Azerbaijan, because it can be used as a proxy against Iran. Benyamin Poghosyan, a Yerevan-based pundit said, “Azerbaijan is becoming an Israeli outpost in the region. There are Israeli advisers permanently based in Baku”. Azerbaijan is one of Israel’s biggest suppliers of oil, and Israel gives large supplies of weapons to Azerbaijan. During the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh, cargo planes were spotted delivering Israel weapons to the Azeris. In the year 2020, before the outbreak of the war, Armenia decided to open its first diplomatic mission with Azerbaijan. But this didn’t matter. Israel full backed Azerbaijan against Armenia. In January of 2023, the Iranian ambassador to to Armenia, Abbas Badakhshan Zohouri, visited Iran’s mission in the capital of Syunik (a region of Armenia that borders with Azerbaijan and Iran), Kapan. He told the local press: “Armenia’s security is Iran’s security”. A giant Iranian flag was hoisted above the Iranian consulate, a warning to Azerbaijan.
Vardan Voskanyan, who runs the Iran department at Yerevan State University’s Faculty of Oriental Studies, told al-Monitor: “Iran is the only country that supported us economically when Turkey sealed the border… You can’t trust the West. They will only help Armenia when it becomes another Ukraine for Russia. They will help us only if Armenia becomes anti-Iran.”

Armenia has been devastated in its war with Azerbaijan. It is in desperate need of weapons. Armenia gets most of its weapons from Russia, and this is to ire of the United States which hopes to see Armenia no longer put its trust in Moscow. Armenia is a member of Russia’s own NATO like organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). In this treaty, the alliance is suppose to defend an attacked member. But the Armenians have been wondering why Russia did not do anything against Azerbaijan. The US is hoping that such a feeling to swell to the point that Armenia will cut itself off from Russia. It is possible that the Russians will use this war to essentially tell the Armenians, We can help you, but you need to join the Russian Federation. Since Russia has been so occupied with war in Ukraine, the Azeris have had more space to do what they want. Olesya Vartanyan, the International Crisis Group’s senior South Caucasus analyst, told Al-Monitor, “Since the Ukraine war, we are seeing an even more assertive Azerbaijan. Russian containment and deterrence has all but disappeared.” What’s quite telling is the fact that in 2022 Turkey was working with Armenia to have “normalization.” Is that not what Turkey has been in talks with Syria for? “Normalization”? In July of 2022, Turkey offered Armenia to host the first round of normalization talks in the Armenian capital Yerevan. In September of 2022, Turkey’s proxy, Azerbaijan, invaded Armenia. Does one thing that Turkey is going to have peaceful relations with Syria, when Turkey has had its military in northern Syria for years and has aspirations of empire?