Azerbaijan's Ombudsman Office talks illegal Karabakh visit by Turkish citizens

  16 October 2017    Read: 1119
Azerbaijan's Ombudsman Office talks illegal Karabakh visit by Turkish citizens

Turkish law enforcement bodies have not provided a legal assessment until today to the actions of Turkish citizens, who illegally visited Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh, occupied by the Armenian armed forces, Aydin Safikhanli, head of Azerbaijan’s Ombudsman Office, told Trend Oct. 16.

According to him, this does not correspond to the spirit of strategic partnership, the relations of friendship and brotherhood between Azerbaijan and Turkey, and also contradicts the requirements of bilateral and international treaties, to which both countries are parties.

Safikhanli noted that these obligations are envisaged by the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, to which Azerbaijan and Turkey are parties, as well as the bilateral agreement on mutual legal assistance in civil, commercial and criminal matters signed between the two countries.

The Azerbaijani Prosecutor General’s Office has already appealed to the Turkish law enforcement bodies for arresting and bringing to the investigation the Turkish citizens who committed a crime in the form of illegally crossing the state border of Azerbaijan.

Safikhanli expressed hope that the Turkish state will soon take the necessary legal steps to punish these individuals and prevent similar incidents in the future.

On September 22, Turkish citizens Ufuk Uras, Ali Bayramoglu, Said Cekinoglu and Erol Katircioglu illegally visited Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, occupied by the Armenian armed forces.

Earlier, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the illegal visit of Turkish citizens to the occupied Azerbaijani territories did not reflect Ankara’s official policy.

Grave Crimes Investigation Department of the Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office filed a criminal case under the Criminal Code’s Article 318.2 (illegally crossing Azerbaijan’s state borders). All four individuals are accused under the abovementioned article. A measure of restraint in the form of arrest was chosen against them. They were declared internationally wanted.

An appeal was sent to the Turkish law enforcement to detain the four individuals.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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