Turkic states' joint armed forces important, expert says

By Aynur Karimova

Establishment of joint Armed Forces of Turkic states in such a complicated world is of significant importance, military expert Uzeyir Jafarov believes.

Commenting on works being conducted by Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan towards improving the joint Armed Forces in the framework of TAKM project, he told Azernews that such an army is necessary for resolving problems in the Turkic world.

"I said this is a great idea and it is important to realize it [establish Joint Armed Forces]," he said. "The Turkic-Muslim world, in particular Azerbaijan and Turkey, has a lot of artificial problems. In this regard, establishment of a Turkic Armed Forces - a mini model of NATO can become beneficial for resolving these problems," he said.

Last week Ismet Yilmaz, Turkish National Defense Minister, told Trend in an interview that Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan are conducting works towards improving the joint Armed Forces in the framework of TAKM project.

Jafarov believes that these Armed Forces could play a stabilizing role in the Turkic world.

"It is necessary to achieve this goal," the expert said. "Participation of fraternal Turkey - a member of NATO - in the establishment of this army is of significant importance. Turkey has a huge experience in this field. It enjoys both theoretical and practical knowledge."

The joint Armed Forces of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia - TAKM were established in January 2013 to strengthen the cooperation among the law enforcement organizations of military status located in Eurasia.

Jafarov believes that being near Turkey in achieving these goals is important for Azerbaijan.

Touching upon the affect of establishment of such an army to Azerbaijan's army training, Jafarov said that it will have only a positive affect.

"Azerbaijani army has achieved significant success in recent years thanks to the support provided by the Turkish army. Today, the Azerbaijani army is represented in the world scale at a high level both in Iraq and Kosovo. Over 90 members of the Azerbaijani army are attending operations in Afghanistan. I believe that establishment of joint army will become a good practice for Azerbaijan and it will have only a positive affect on us," Jafarov concluded.

Military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey - the two neighboring nations - dates back to 1992 when they signed an agreement on military education. Since then, the Azerbaijani and Turkish governments have been closely cooperating in both defense and security fields.

In December 2010, both countries signed a range of treaties provisioning for military assistance should any of the party be attacked by third party. Based on numerous agreements on joint military exercises as part of bilateral progressive efforts towards military cooperation, the Azerbaijani and Turkish armed forces have held regular drills, featuring various tactical and combat tasks so far.

Azerbaijan's defense ministry told local media that Baku and Ankara have started preparations for next joint military drills. On January 18, a meeting on basic planning of the "TurAz Şahini - 2016" exercises began in the Turkish city of Konya. Representatives of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are attending the drills that will last until January 20.

The joint tactical exercises entitled "TurAz Qartali-2015" of the Azerbaijani and Turkish Armies were held in Azerbaijan in September. The exercises, which were conducted as part of an annual joint military plan, lasted until September 18. The joint military exercises TurAz Qartalı, TurAz Shahini and drills of the Land Forces represents the level of cooperation between the armies of both countries.

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Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova

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