Speech by Recep Tayyip Erdogan

President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan then addressed the parade.

Speech by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

– Dear Mr. President, my dear Brother!

Heroic personnel of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan!

My Azerbaijani brothers!

I greet you with the most sincere feelings, love and respect.

We are very pleased to be with you on your Victory Day.

I express my gratitude to my brother Ilham Aliyev for the invitation and hospitality.

May Allah rest the souls of the heroes who became martyrs in this glorious struggle of Azerbaijan, which lasted 44 days. I wish our Ghazis a speedy recovery.

As poet Bakhtiyar Vahabzade said:

(recites a poem)

I congratulate the personnel of the Azerbaijani Army, who have returned Karabakh to their homeland after 30 years of waiting. I bow my head to the mothers who sent their children to the front and blessed them with their prayers.

Just as the carnations laid on the graves of the martyrs on 20 January remind us of independence, the Khari-Bulbul flower growing in the Nagorno-Karabakh region has become a symbol of freedom of the Azerbaijani lands today.

The biggest contribution to this success achieved by Azerbaijan in both the military and diplomatic spheres was undoubtedly made by my dear brother, Mr. President Ilham Aliyev. At the same time, my brother Ilham Aliyev made the dream bequeathed to him by the late Heydar Aliyev. Taking this opportunity, I want to pay tribute to the memory of the founder of strong Azerbaijan, national leader Heydar Aliyev. Inshallah, under the leadership of my brother Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan will write many more heroic pages.

My dear Brother, my dear Azerbaijani people. From the first days, Turkey supported the struggle of Azerbaijan with all its agencies and organizations. We were next to the Azerbaijani brothers with all our capabilities. Turkey has always been guided in relations with Azerbaijan by the slogan of great leader Heydar Aliyev “One nation, two states”. In the words of Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, we considered the sadness of Azerbaijan as our own, and its joy as our own. Therefore, Karabakh has been our pain for 30 years. Today we experience the joy of this wound finally healing. Today we are with you to share the joy of this wound healing and to celebrate this glorious victory.

The liberation of Azerbaijani lands from occupation does not mean the end of the struggle. The struggle that has been waged so far in the political and military spheres will henceforth be continued on other fronts. All of us together saw that during 30 years of occupation these regions were completely devastated. There was no stone left here. As my brother Ilham Aliyev said, there was no building in Fuzuli where a flag could be hoisted. All the cities were devastated, all villages were razed to the ground, even cemeteries were destroyed. Mosques and minarets were destroyed. The Armenians not only destroyed everything, but also plundered historical and cultural sites and natural resources. They must be held accountable for all this.

During the war, Azerbaijani lands such as Ganja, Tartar, Aghdam, Barda and Aghjabadi were also targeted. One hundred civilians became martyrs, mothers lost their children, children lost their parents. As a result of the attacks, 416 of our brothers were also wounded. The laws of war were flagrantly violated. Human dignity was violated. Those who supposedly do not see this have blinded not only their eyes but also their conscience. They have to answer for everything.

One million of our brothers – refugees and internally displaced persons who have been away from their homes for years, longing for their homeland – are now looking forward to returning to their lands. Inshallah, we believe that the wait of our brothers will come to an end very soon.

My dear brothers, those who brought Nagorno-Karabakh only disasters, genocide and tears should already come to their senses. The leaders of Armenia used the wealth of the people in order to keep the Azerbaijani lands under occupation. If this potential had not been wasted on meaningless defensive lines, on the emotions of leaders whose eyes were covered with hatred and blood, the picture could be completely different today. We hope Armenian politicians analyze this well and take bold steps to build a future based on peace and stability.

We also hope the Armenian people get rid of the shackles of the diaspora, which doomed them to poverty with their lies about the past. They must understand that it is impossible to achieve anything at the instigation of Western imperialists. Instead of enmity, they should think about ties based on good neighborliness. If the Armenian people learn a lesson from what they experienced in Karabakh, it will be the beginning of a new era in the region.

Despite so many tragedies the Azerbaijani people have endured, my brother Ilham Aliyev demonstrates a commendable stance towards sustainable development. We, too, support these well-willed aspirations of Mr. President and want them to be appreciated.

Glory to Allah, thanks to the dedication of our martyrs, Azerbaijan has again secured its territorial integrity. After many years, Azerbaijani lands were reunited with the waters of the Tartar River. The fog in Shusha mountains is no longer boring. The Khari-Bulbul flower, which was held in captivity, is free now and will become even more beautiful. The Kandalanchay River will become fuller. The Araz will sing its song even louder. The voices singing Karabakh Shikastasi will sound louder.

(recites a poem)

Lachin, whose beauty we admire, is free now. Just like Lachin, Shusha, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Gubadli, Aghdam and Kalbajar are free now.

Today the soul of Azerbaijan’s national poet, great fighter Ahmad Javad will rejoice. Today the soul of Nuri Pasha, Enver Pasha, brave soldiers of the Caucasian Islamic Army will rejoice. Today the soul of one of the first Azerbaijani martyrs, Mubariz Ibrahimov, will rejoice. Today is a day of victory and pride for all of us, for the entire Turkic world.

I am infinitely grateful to the Almighty for these days given to us. With all my heart, I want to repeat today: Karabakh is Azerbaijan! Karabakh has already reunited with the Motherland. The 30-year wait is over. The further goal of Turkey and Azerbaijan is to make these lands even more comfortable, to achieve their further development, to turn them into a space where our children will live even better. Walking hand in hand, Turkey and Azerbaijan, with the permission of Allah, will overcome the difficulties and achieve even greater success. May Allah help us!

Concluding my speech with these words, I cordially congratulate all the Azerbaijani people, my dear brother President Ilham Aliyev and the valiant Azerbaijani Army, the Turkish army. Once again, I pay tribute to the blessed memory of the martyrs and wish our Ghazis a speedy recovery. Thank you. God bless you!