Analyst: Erdogan’s cancelled visit to Baku “respite” for Aliyev in Russo-Turkish standoff orientation

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has canceled his visit to Baku, after the terrorist attack in Ankara yesterday. According to the political scientist, this cancellation will give President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev some “respite” in his geopolitical orientation.

A powerful blast occurred in Turkish capital Ankara on Wednesday, killing 28 people and woundings dozens more. According to Turkish officials, the probable cause of the explosion is a mined car, which is regarded as terrorism.

The 5th meeting of the Strategic Cooperation Council between Turkey and Azerbaijan was scheduled for today in Baku. The Nagorno-Karabakh issue should have been one of the topics of discussion at the meeting, which was also expected to be attended by Erdogan.

“Azerbaijan faces a serious problem in the context of the Russian-Turkish conflict. In this situation both political and public affection is for the Turkish side, but Azerbaijan never forgets the Russian factor and avoids making a clear choice,” political analyst Sergey Minasyan, the Deputy Chairman of the Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute, told media on Thursday.

Referring to the Armenian side, Minasyan said that Armenia should stay away from military confrontation and try to prevent it by working with western partners.

“When global crises occur, it immediately creates serious dangers and threats, and in theory can also create new opportunities for each player. Turkey obviously conducts an adventurist policy with its Western partners, and this situation suggests that it will also try to get involved in the Karabakh issue,” he said.

The Russo-Turkish relations worsened dramatically last November after Turkish air forces shot down a Russian bomber at the Syrian border.

In remarks made in Ukraine earlier this week, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accused Russia of “jeopardizing Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity” by supporting Armenia.

Azerbaijan, which as an ethnic cousin of Turkey and its top ally in the South Caucasus region, has repeatedly accused the international mediators of their pro-Armenian bias, but has so far been careful not to put blame on Russia for the status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh.