Relationships between Azerbaijan and Turkey
Economic and Commercial Relations
Our export to Azerbaijan amounts to 1.9 billion US Dollars and our import amounts to 1.6 billion US Dollars to Azerbaijan in 2015. Continuous decrease in raw petroleum prices negatively affected the Azerbaijan economy. The economy has grown with a rate of 1.1% in 2015. Per capital income is calculated as 5559 US Dollars. The inflation reached to 5% in the same period, and the national currency Manat lost its value almost 100%. Turkey comes 1st in terms of the direct foreign investment stocks made in Azerbaijan. According to Azerbaijan Ministry of Economy data, approximately 2.700 Turkish companies are still operating in the country. The investments of Turkish companies located in Azerbaijan are predominantly concentrated in energy, telecommunication, banking/insurance, transportation, food trade, textile, education, furniture and construction materials sectors. The investments of the Turkish firm located in Azerbaijan made until today in Azerbaijan reached to 9 billion dollars, 6 billion dollars of which belong to energy sector. Our businessmen investing in Azerbaijan provide employment for 25 thousand people. Our contracting firms have undertaken some works amounting to 686 million US Dollars during 2015.
Turkey is the country mostly invested by Azerbaijan. Direct investments of Azerbaijan in Turkey was 339 million Dollars in 2012 and 191 million Dollars in 2013 according to Republic of Turkey Central Bank data. In addition, just SOCAR is expected to invest 17-20 billion dollars in Turkey during the period of 2013-2020. Moreover, tendency of directing towards joint investments in Turkey-Azerbaijan investors is also on the agenda in a way including the third countries. Azerbaijan has recently attached great important to developing non-petroleum sectors and received some positives consequences in this field. Accumulation and possibilities of Turkey are also appropriate to contribute in this process. Increasing the common efforts in non-petroleum sectors such as agriculture, food production, construction, chemical industry, textile, tourism and performance of greater investment in these areas under the foundation of strong partnerships by our businessmen will constitute a positive and significant development. There are efforts to be taken in many fields such as communication infrastructure, transportation, customs, social security and free circulations of commodities through people for further improvement and reinforcement of economic relations.
Mixed Economic Commission Meetings Mechanism
Economic and commercial relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan are addressed within the framework of Mixed Economic Commission (MEC) meetings.In this framework, a MEC Meeting was held lastly in Ankara by 2014 and a protocol was signed. MEC VII. The works for organizing the Period Meeting in Azerbaijan in the upcoming period are still ongoing.
Turkey-Azerbaijan Business Council
One of the business councils merged under the frame of Foreign Economic Relations Board (FERB) as a subsidiary institution affiliated to the Turkish Union of Chambers and Exchange Commodities is the Turkey-Azerbaijan Business Council.
FERB General Assembly meeting has been held in Istanbul recently and the Turkey side of the Turkey-Azerbaijan Business Council has been replaced by means of the said meeting.
Turkey - Azerbaijan Political Relations
Turkey and Azerbaijan have a brotherhood bond in an uncommon nature between these two countries. This brotherhood bond briefly described by Great Leader Atatürk as "Azerbaijan's happiness is our happiness, their sadness is our sadness" and the common national Leader Haydar Aliyev as "We are one nation but two states" is really greatly distinctive.
Political relations between Turkey and modern Azerbaijan have firstly started after the declaration of independence of People's Republic of Azerbaijan on May 28 of 1918. The fact that the Islamic Army of the Caucasus constituted by Turkish and Azeri soldiers under the command of Nuri Pasha saved Azerbaijan from the occupation of Armenian and Bolshevik Russians and strengthened the foundations of an independent Azerbaijan intensified the unshakable solidarity between two countries.
Our Anatolian and Azeri martyrs who died while battling side by side and are buried in the same cemetery are the proof of this unshakable link of brotherhood.
The fact that Memduh Şevket Esendal, whose letter of credentials was signed by TGNA President Mustafa Kemal Pasha was assigned as TGNA Representative to Baku in 1920 right after establishment of the Turkish Grand National Assembly was a historic development. Similarly, the Azerbaijan Government assigned İbrahim Abilov as the Representative to Ankara and Abilov presented his letter of credentials to TGNA President Mustafa Kemal Paşa on 14 October 1921. In his speech, Mustafa Kemal Paşa used these words: "We are delighted by the fact that Azerbaijan Turks fulfill their wishes and live independently in sovereignty as their grief and joy are ours”. Mustafa Kemal Paşa himself raised the Azerbaijan flag at establishment of Ankara Agency of Azerbaijan on 18 October 1921.
After proclamation of independency of Azerbaijan again on 18 October 1991, 25th anniversary of which we celebrate in 2016, the Republic of Turkey was the first state to officially recognize it and the “Treaty on Reestablishment of Diplomatic Relationships” was signed between two countries on 14 January 1992. Azerbaijan reconstructed itself in only 25 years and, after 71 years of challenges, reached its well deserved position in the international arena. These achievements are undoubtedly the results of the vision and will of the common national leader, deceased Heydar Aliyev and President İlham Aliyev.
Today, Turkey-Azerbaijan relationships have reached the level of “strategic partnership”. The “High Level Strategic Cooperation Council” meetings which have been held since 2011 provide contributions to deepening of the relations in every area.
Senior level visits and technical contacts in all areas between Azerbaijan and Turkey maintain their frequency and councils established between the Ministries of two countries exchange opinions in seasonal meetings.
The political, economic, commercial, cultural and military cooperation based on mutual trust and solidarity between our countries facilitate meeting the targets of both countries. Turkey and Azerbaijan have deployed their capacity and skills for a more prosperous and fair world. Our countries work in close cooperation with international and regional organizations, mainly the United Nations.
Two sister countries serve for regional and global wealth and peace by integrating economic and all other capabilities with human depth. The most beautiful example is our joint projects. Our “peace and welfare” corridor starting from Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and continuing with Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas pipeline will develop further with Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. The South Gas Corridor project which is called the "21st Century's Project" and will transfer Khazar natural gas to the Western Europe also carries the signatures of Turkey and Azerbaijan. Construction of TANAP project which is the backbone of the project continues rapidly.
Turkey and Azerbaijan do not confine themselves with these projects and actively support international efforts for peace. Our troops in Afghanistan under the command of NATO serve shoulder to shoulder under the same roof. Our countries provide contribution to stability in Afghanistan and global security. Turkey and Azerbaijan also play a prominent role in international efforts in anti-terrorism. Our social textures based on multicultural and tolerant perspectives are world examples in struggle with all kinds of radicalism. This tradition is strengthened day by day and is the most meaningful and respected stance against xenophobia, racism and discrimination movements. The fact that 2016 is declared the “multiculturalism year” in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan hosts the 7th Global Forum of Alliance of Civilizations and Turkey hosts the first International Humanitarian Summit in 2016 is meaningful in this respect.
The approach of Turkey and Azerbaijan which can be summarized as “partners in peace and welfare” aims for spreading cooperation based on mutual benefit and positively develop the destiny of our region.
The Upper Karabakh conflict unfortunately prevents fully realization of this vision. Undoubtedly, in order to ensure stability, peace and tranquility in Caucasia, the Upper Karabakh conflict needs to be solved amicably based on the principles of full sovereignty, territorial integrity and immunity of the borders of Azerbaijan. The Republic of Turkey wishes for realization of this expectation which is also deemed as required by the international law. Turkey puts an active effort for peaceful, fair and permanent solution to the conflict in both AGİT Minsk Group and other international platforms.
Turkey will not allow for forgetting this problem which blocks stability in Caucasia at the center of energy and transport lines and continue with bringing up the challenges caused by occupation of the lands of Azerbaijan. This problem will be solved within the integrity of land of Azerbaijan. Our common expectation is immediately starting the dynamics which would realize this end and serve for interests of all regional communities.
Today, Turkey and Azerbaijan are two fully independent and sovereign states, rapidly developing and being richer. Our countries see through a common window and shape our today and tomorrow hand in hand.
Baku has sister city treaties with Ardahan, Bursa, İzmir, Ankara, Kırklareli, Sakarya, Sivas, Ordu cities of Turkey.