ANKARA, September 29. /TASS/. An attack on Azerbaijan is equal to aggression against Ankara, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party Deputy Chairman Numan Kurtulmus said Tuesday.
"Any attack by Armenia on an Azerbaijani settlement is equal to an attack on a Turkish settlement. Turkey expects that the international community will not act hypocritically, will put an end to Armenia’s provocative outbursts and will support the just actions of Azerbaijan," he said, according to Sabah newspaper.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier in the day that his country is ready to support Azerbaijan in the conflict both at the negotiating table and on the battlefield. "There is only one solution [to this problem]. Armenia will withdraw from Azerbaijani territories that it has occupied. This problem will not be resolved unless the withdrawal," Anadolu news agency quoted him as saying.
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27; battles continue on the disputed territory. Both Azerbaijan and Armenia enacted martial law and declared mobilization. Baku claims control of several Karabakh settlements and strategic heights. Yerevan says territories beyond the disputed regions are being shelled as well.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.