“This morning I saw photos of a rocket that hit a kindergarten,” reports Ailin Berdud-Merino. “Every second, the people in Stepanakert, the capital of the region, have to expect to be hit by a cluster bomb.”
Berdud-Merino is chairwoman of the Armenian community in Cologne “Silva Kaputikian”. She asks the international community for help across the street and criticizes the role of the Turkish president in the conflict: Recep Tayyip Erdogan identifies her as the main culprit for the escalation in the mountain region.
Is Erdogan complicit in the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh?
“In July, when the first fighting broke out, Erdogan said in front of ministers that he wanted to finish what his ancestors had started in 1915. That was an allusion to the genocide of the Armenians, ”she accuses the Turkish president. The world should not let Erdogan “get away with all these things,” said Berdud-Merino.
In fact, there are reports that foreign mercenaries and fighters from jihadist groups from the war zones in Syria and Libya are also believed to have taken part in the fighting over the territory of Turkey. However, there is no clear evidence of this.
War in Armenia: The roots of the conflict go back a long way
The roots of the conflict, however, go back well before Erdogan’s time. At the beginning of the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the region, which was predominantly populated by Armenians, broke away from Azerbaijan in a war. At that time there were 30,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of refugees. The leadership in Baku accuses the neighboring country to this day of keeping Azerbaijani territory in violation of international law.
In addition, geopolitical interests exacerbate the conflict. Russia maintains military ties with Armenia and fears for its influence in the region due to the conflict. Turkey, on the other hand, is an important ally of Azerbaijan and recently declared that Armenia must give up the “occupied territories”.
Turkey regards Azerbaijan as a Turkish-speaking brother state. In the past few years, agreements on military assistance have repeatedly been made between the two states. The Turkish government is pursuing an expansive geo-policy under the motto – “One people, two countries”. A behavior that fits in with Turkey’s increasingly radical foreign policy in the recent past.
Armenia: People have to fear for their lives every second
While the conflicting parties are fighting over a solution, the conditions for the local population are precarious, Ailin Berdud-Merino reports to the magazine. She received constant news from the front through acquaintances. Above all, the targeted attacks on the civilian population are bad.
On Monday afternoon, the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers will meet in Geneva to find a solution to the bloody conflict. But it seems a long way off. For example, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev told the Turkish broadcaster Haber Global that, for a ceasefire, Armenia must understand that it will never return to the recaptured areas. That is “completely impossible” and will not happen.