The “Mustafa Kemal Atatürk 2023” military exercise, named after the founder of the Republic of Türkiye, is scheduled to be held between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry announced.
The armies of the two countries will showcase their skills in the military exercise, which will be held in the Azerbaijani capital Baku and the exclave of Nakhchivan. The ministry said the exercise would also be held in “territories liberated from the invasion,” in reference to Karabakh. Azerbaijan fought a 2020 war with Armenia to liberate Karabakh. Last September, it launched a counterterrorism operation in the region against Armenian separatists which gained a foothold in the region after the war. Leaders of the separatists were arrested while President Ilham Aliyev made a landmark visit to Karabakh over the weekend, to cement permanent Azerbaijani sovereignty in the region.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said the exercise will be held to honor the centenary of the Republic of Türkiye and Turkish troops and several aerial vehicles that will participate in the exercise already arrived in the country.
Türkiye is the main ally of Azerbaijan and was a staunch supporter of its efforts to liberate Karabakh from illegal Armenian occupation.
Nakhchivan borders Türkiye and Iran but is geographically separated from mainland Azerbaijan by Armenia.
Last month, Azerbaijani President Aliyev hosted talks with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Nakhchivan, less than a week after Azerbaijan’s counterterrorism operation in Karabakh. At the meeting, Aliyev received Erdoğan’s support for the prospect of creating a land corridor between western Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan via Armenia, which opposes the idea.