BAKU: Turkish envoy smoothes Turkish-Azeri relations post-CoE

Turkish envoy smoothes Turkish-Azeri relations post-Council of Europe

ANS TV, Baku
3 May 04

[Presenter] Good evening. Today is the Day of Turks [as heard]. Our
guest is Turkish ambassador to Azerbaijan Ahmet Unal Cevikoz and we
will speak about the region of the Turkic-speaking countries and their
problems. Mr Ambassador, you are welcome. Happy Holiday!

[Cevikoz, in Turkish] Good evening. Happy Holiday!

[Presenter] How do you mark this day?

[Cevikoz ] Naturally, I am very happy to mark this day once in
Azerbaijan, in a state of Turkic nation. I congratulate all the Turkic
world. The Day of Turks is being marked in Azerbaijan and Turkey
today. As a guest on your programme, I wish Happy Day of Turks to all
onlookers both in Azerbaijan and in the whole Turkic world.

[Passage omitted: details of mutual relations between Turkey and
Turkic-speaking countries, the policy to reach the unity between these
countries, the outcome of the voting over the unification of Cyprus]

[Presenter] Mr Ambassador, the Turkish mass media focused for a few
days on the absence of the Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation,
except one person, in the Council of Europe discussions in Strasbourg
over Cyprus. Did you meet some [Azerbaijani] officials and did you
discuss the incident?

[Cevikoz] No. I didn’t. Of course, this was the session of
MPs. Naturally, I do not know who attended the session or what
consequences produced the absence of Azerbaijani MPs. However, the
Azerbaijani ambassador to the Council of Europe, Aqsin Mehdiyev, made
a statement in this regard and I learnt about the incident after
this. If Azerbaijani MPs are concerned over this issue, then I think
that the [Turkish] media will behave in a way that will not give cause
for concern in the future.

[Presenter] The Turkish newspapers wrote that the issue gave serious
offence to Turkey. Is it really the case?

[Cevikoz] In fact, reporters sometimes write such things. In any case
I hope that Turkey and Azerbaijan might not resent each other. If
there is something which caused offence, then I think necessary
measures will be taken so that such behaviour causing offence can be

[Presenter] Mr Ambassador, does Turkey understand Azerbaijan’s
sensitivity to the Nagornyy Karabakh problem?

[Cevikoz] I think, wrong parallels are drawn here. Because the Cyprus
and the Nagornyy Karabakh problems are incomparably different.

[Presenter] No, I do not speak about parallels. I mean that Azerbaijan
has a very serious problem. I mean Azerbaijan’s concern that tomorrow
the international public might increase pressure on Azerbaijan
[presumably if it recognizes the Northern Cyprus]. Azerbaijan has a
serious and unresolved problem. I said this not in terms of parallels.

[Cevikoz] Azerbaijan’s problem needs a solution [word indistinct]. Of
course, many mechanisms exist for the Karabakh resolution. They are
being carried out. The Minsk Group co-chairmen have certain activities
in this sphere. There is a direct process of dialogue between
Azerbaijan and Armenia. As Turkey, we are doing our best for the
resolution of the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict. As you know, Turkey has
been a member of the OSCE Minsk Group from the day of its creation and
is actively joining the Minsk Group activities. After or before their
visit to the region, the co-chairmen certainly are informing Turkey of
their meetings.

[Passage omitted: plans about the meeting of the Azerbaijani, Turkish
and Armenian foreign ministers in Turkey, views over the Georgian