„With the growth of Turkey`s national defense industry, Ankara may be able to increase its share of Azerbaijan`s military equipment in the future,“ he said. The practical effects of close relations between Baku and Ankara were clearly observed after the recent border conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Partly because the clashes took place in an area close to Azerbaijan`s main transport and energy routes, and given the suspicion that Armenia`s attacks were supported from the outside, Ankara took a strong stance. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned the offensive against Azerbaijani military units, calling it „beyond the Armenian caliber,“ in an implicit criticism of Russia`s possible role. Hikmet Hajiyev`s visit was followed on 11 September. A parliamentary delegation led by Sahiba Gafarova, Speaker of Parliament, visited Parliament. In a meeting with Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, Gafarova expressed Azerbaijan`s interest in expanding bilateral trade between the two countries. The Turkish minister reiterated that the existing trade turnover of $4.4 billion „does not reflect the true potential of the two countries,“ adding that Turkey wants to sign a „free trade agreement with Azerbaijan“ that would build on the recently signed preferential trade agreement between the two sides. The two countries use very different military equipment. The Turkish armed forces have long used American and European equipment, while the Azerbaijani army still uses a lot of Russian equipment.
Analysts also do not believe that the deal increases the likelihood that Baku will allow Turkey to open a military base in Azerbaijan. Before the signing ceremony, President Aliyev awarded the Order of Karabakh, created on the occasion of the victory in the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020, to Haluk Bayraktar, CEO of Baykar Makina, which manufactures the Bayraktar TB2 military drones used by the Azerbaijani army. Aliyev had already given the same order to Erdoğan`s son-in-law, Selçuk Bayraktar, Baykar Makina`s chief technology officer and shareholder, in April, noting that Selçuk Bayraktar was at the forefront of victory and praising Baykar drones „by destroying the enemy`s equipment during the liberation of Azerbaijani countries from occupation.“ But to avoid irritating the Kremlin and putting the Kibosh on a Russian-brokered resolution for Nagorno-Karabakh, Baku has never formalized this relationship through a military pact. During a visit to the strategically important city of Shusha in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which Armenia and Azerbaijan claim to be historically their own, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a new protocol called „The Shusha Declaration“ on Azerbaijan`s National Day, in which military cooperation between the two countries, as well as Turkey`s commitment to territorialize integrity of Azerbaijan. The agreement would last 10 years and would be extended by default for another decade if neither side expresses a desire to end it. The Turkish parliament is expected to vote on ratifying the agreement by the end of January, the Trend news agency reported. The agreement was ratified by the National Assembly of Azerbaijan on 21 December 2010.  Turkish and Azerbaijani commandos on Thursday launched joint military exercises in accordance with a military cooperation agreement between the two countries, according to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense. Given Turkey`s long-standing partnership with Baku, it is not surprising that Azerbaijani politicians – from the opposition and government officials – enthusiastically welcomed the military cooperation pact. Unlike its neighbors, Azerbaijan has long avoided close partnerships with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or the Russian-dominated Collective Security Organization. However, a recent military pact with Turkey suggests that Baku may be preparing to change this strategic match plan. On November 10, 2020, the two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement to end the fighting and work towards a comprehensive solution.
„I think Azerbaijan has a lot to gain from working with Turkey when it comes to modernizing its military, both in terms of structure and equipment,“ Emily Hawthorne, senior middle east and North Africa analyst at RANE, told me. „Certainly, Azerbaijan is likely to increase its arms purchases and contribute to some Turkish R&D efforts.“ Dr. Ali Bakir, an analyst from Turkey and a research associate at Qatar University`s Ibn Khaldon Center, pointed out that there have already been several agreements on military and defense cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan in recent years. However, the agreement with Turkey has its limits. The Turkish army is not obliged to intervene automatically in the event of aggression against Azerbaijan; such an intervention would take place after „additional consultations“. These threats have existed since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but they were recently made after ruthless statements by Armenian leaders that military attacks (September 12 and 15). July) by the Armenian armed forces to the Tovuz district of Azerbaijan, where all transport and energy routes (such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway), which connect Azerbaijan and Turkey, and the increasing arms deliveries from Russia to Armenia following the escalation of Tovuz. She stressed that Turkey`s extensive military cooperation with Azerbaijan and Ukraine is driven by a Turkish imperative to expand their regional and global military relations and attract more buyers to their military equipment, especially their drones. Nevertheless, she stressed that Turkey and Azerbaijan „have actively cooperated in an increasing number of joint military exercises since the ceasefire signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan at the end of 2020, which will slowly improve their compatibility.“ Parallel to the expansion of the economic partnership (e.g. B, the appointment of Azerbaijan as the leading supplier of natural gas for the Turkish market this year), the two countries deepened their partnership in the supply of weapons and other military equipment. Azerbaijan has declared its interest in acquiring Turkish military drones, which have proven to be extremely effective in Ankara`s military operations in Libya and Syria. Baku and Ankara have reportedly reached an agreement on the delivery of these drones worth $200 million.
According to local experts, Turkey is likely to overtake Russia`s place as Azerbaijan`s second largest arms importer after Israel. The two Turkish states, which often praise their ties under the slogan „one nation, two states,“ face common security threats posed by Armenia`s territorial claims and Russia`s military presence and security interests in the South Caucasus. Armenia is home to the Russian military base in Gyumri, a town 10 kilometers from the Turkish border that, among other things, is designed to serve Russia`s goal of exerting pressure on Turkey from its eastern borders. It is widely believed that without Russian military support, Armenia would not have been able to maintain its control over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and the surrounding districts. Russia already has a defense pact with Armenia and a military base in that country. However, it would not necessarily provide Yerevan with more advanced weapons or significantly increase its military presence in that country in response to Turkey`s expansion of Turkish-Azerbaijani defense relations or the establishment of a base in Azerbaijan. This is because Moscow has long sought to maintain cordial and working relations with the two former Soviet republics. Armenia`s rejection of the Madrid Principles, a mechanism for resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict that has long been considered the most viable way to reach an agreement, and the implicit adoption of the articles of the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) as foreign policy objectives by the country`s leaders further complicated the regional situation and pushed it to the brink of war. „One of the aspects of this cooperation is military relations and improving the combat readiness of the Azerbaijani army and contributing to the creation of a modern and professional army and special forces,“ he added. A massive increase in military spending contributes to this prospect. In October 2010, the Azerbaijani parliament adopted a military budget that exceeded the total Armenian state budget – at 2.5 billion manats, or about $3.5 billion, it is considered the largest in the South Caucasus. Another point that attracts attention is that the two countries have reached an agreement on the production of military equipment that is not currently available to either of them.
The Azerbaijani press reported that the production of Turkish drones, which played a huge role in the victory of the recent war, will begin in Azerbaijan in the coming months. In the city of Shusha (Armenian Shushi), which was liberated following the Second Karabakh War, a declaration of alliance between Azerbaijan and Turkey was signed. The declaration contains agreements on Allied relations in almost all areas, including mutual military support […].