Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s third visit to Azerbaijan received tense criticism in Turkey. Ahmet Davutoğlu, former foreign minister, warned about turning Azerbaijan to a new Syria for Ankara.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid his third visit to Baku since the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh territory from Armenian domination. Erdoğan had a meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart and took part at the Fuzuli International Airport’s opening.
The president Turkey had his most recent journey to Azerbaijan four months ago. Erdoğan paid a visit to Shusha, a cultural center under the Armenian grip for almost three decades. During the same visit, Erdoğan and Aliyev inked the Shusha Declaration, a deal focusing on security cooperation and the establishment of new transport facilities. The pact also states that the two countries boost cooperation facing a foreign potential threat.
Erdoğan’s open arms to Azerbaijan’s plans for Nagorno-Karabakh has been lambasted by some activists inside. Ahmet Davutoğlu, former Turkish foreign minister and an influential politician in Turkey criticized Erdoğan’s intervention in local affairs of other countries.
Davutoğlu, who recently established the new “Future” political party in Turkey made the comments as the Turkish president was on his Azerbaijan visit. He urged the Turkish president to avoid exacerbating the tension in Caucasus.
“We won’t let president Erdoğan to drown the Turkey in Azerbaijan swamp. Syrian tragedy will not occur again,” Davutoğlu expressed in a tweet. “Future” leader compared the developments in Azerbaijan to the early years of civil war in Syria.
In months following the Karabakh conflict, Erdoğan openly voiced support for Azerbaijan in ways instigating the Armenian neighbor. During the last year’s visit to Baku, for example, Erdoğan also attended a special march to commemorate Azerbaijan’s win in Nagorno-Karabakh. Erdoğan emphasized Ankara’s steadfast commitment for Baku’s trade and defense aspirations in his remarks at the event.
Ahmet Davutoğlu and Future Developments
During December 2020 visit, Erdoğan said that that the two nations will work together to turn the Caucasus to a better and safer home for the next generations. It was a big claim never believed by the critics inside the country.
By contrast, Davutoğlu and other opposition parties in Turkey believe that Erdoğan’s instigating policies intensifies the regional tensions. Siding with one side of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict instigates the other side and involves Turkey in yet another deep crisis.
Davutoğlu’s recent tweet signals the deepening rift between Erdoğan and the political apparatus in the country. Renowned political figures like Davutoğlu and Abdullah Gül, who were once allies for Erdogan, turned their back to his policies.
Having had role in Turkish intervention in Syrian conflict, these politicians now believe that the economic and political crises in Turkey could reach a resolution by containing Erdoğan’s thirst for yet another regional swamp. As such, Davutoğlu finds Azerbaijan a new Syria for Ankara and warns its threats for the future generations.
The discrepancy in Turkish political air occurs while the country is overwhelmed in a semi-dictatorship following 2016 Turkish coup d’état. The new independent political figures aspire to open the societal and political atmosphere and have a decisive role in the future developments in Turkey.
Erdoğan’s critics and opposition parties have an eye on the future presidential election. The main route to peaceful transition of power passes through 2023 elections in which Erdoğan still has the utmost chance. The gradual loss of key companions and allies, however, might change the scene in the coming election.
Davutoğlu removed his controversial tweet hours later, seemingly under the pressure from presidential media campaign. The critical wave against Erdoğan’s policies in Turkish society, however, can’t be subject to similar outcome.