By Fuat Kabakci
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday presented his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev a landmark new Anadolu Agency book on last fall’s liberation of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Using the agency’s award-winning photography, the book recounts last year’s Second Karabakh War between Azerbaijan and Armenia and how the former was victorious.
The first part of the book explores the war’s historic roots, while the second part presents Anadolu Agency news and photos documenting the 44-day conflict.
The third part features articles on the repercussions of the Karabakh victory, both regionally and internationally.
The book's introduction was written by Erdogan and its preface by Serdar Karagoz, the agency’s chairman and director-general.
- 'Anadolu Agency leaves mark on future'
"The hallowed Karabakh Victory is a badge of honor that proves to the whole world that Turkey and Azerbaijan's understanding of ‘one nation, two states’ is still alive in the 21st century,” wrote Erdogan in his introduction.
“On Sept. 27, 2020, the Turkish nation and state stood by their Azerbaijani brothers and sisters against the attacks of the occupying forces of Armenia with all their means, and will continue to do so,” he continued.
The Turkish president also commemorated "all the martyrs who sacrificed their lives to liberate Karabakh and the occupied Azerbaijani lands" and wished recovery to veterans of the conflict.
"I once again congratulate the President of Azerbaijan, my brother Ilham Aliyev, for his military, political and diplomatic success, and sincerely congratulate the Azerbaijani people for their honorable stance," he added.
Congratulating Anadolu Agency on the book, he said it "leaves a mark on the future."
"I would like to express my gratitude to Anadolu Agency's management and employees who made this work possible," he wrote.
In the book’s preface, Karagoz stressed the agency’s hard work, with self-sacrifice, courage and professionalism, to tell the world about the Karabakh conflict day by day with unforgettable photos, even as many global news outlets neglected the war.
"We hope that this work will remain for future generations as a glorious document of the Azerbaijan-Turkey friendship and brotherhood. Karabakh is Azerbaijan," he noted.
Karagoz also commemorated Azerbaijani soldiers who lost their lives during the liberation of occupied lands.
Among the Turkish officials accompanying Erdogan on his one-day working visit to Azerbaijan at Aliyev's invitation were Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, and presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.
Erdogan also attended the inauguration of the Fuzuli International Airport and groundbreaking ceremony of a highway in the same city.
- Liberation of Karabakh
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
New clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, with the Armenian army launching repeated attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and also violating several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and some 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia for nearly three decades.
The fighting ended on Nov. 10, 2020, after the two countries signed an agreement brokered by Russia.