Bilateral relations in other areas
The militray cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Azerbaijan was established in 1992. In the subsequent years, as in other areas, military relations between the two countries have been steadily developing.
Military Attaché Office of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan within the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Republic of Türkiye was opened in 1997 with the main objective of maintaining continuous efforts for the development of military relations between the two countries. The Military Attaché of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Türkiye is Colonel Mushfig Mammadov (since 2015). The Military Attaché of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Türkiye to the Republic of Azerbaijan is Brigadier-general Zekeriya Yalchin (since 2021).
Military relations between Türkiye and Azerbaijan are based on a numerous normative legal acts enabling Azerbaijani servicemen to be trained and educated in Türkiye, conducting joint exercises, upholding military-technical and military-educational cooperation and the Azerbaijan-Türkiye High-Level Military Dialogue. Annually, Azerbaijan and Türkiye have been alternately hosting High Level Military Dialogue since 2007. Within the framework of the dialogue, there are subsidiary working groups on cooperation in the field of the defense industry, the military-political affairs and logistical support.
Türkiye and Azerbaijan cooperate in the field of military education within the framework of the “Cooperation on military education” and “Agreement on educational, technical and scientific cooperation in the military field” signed respectively on August 11, 1992 and June 10, 1996.
The Republic of Türkiye has been providing unconditional assistance to meet the needs of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces since 1996. Various types of military equipment were delivered to the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan within the framework of military assistance.
Since the establishment of military ties between the two countries, more than 10,000 servicemen of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces have participated in numerous training courses held in Türkiye. Currently, a large group of Azerbaijani military servicemen continue their military education in Türkiye. Hundred Azerbaijani servicemen are annually treated free of charge in Türkiye on the basis of the Agreement on Military medical education and cooperation signed between Azerbaijan and Türkiye on December 19, 2018,
Joint exercises conducted by the two brotherly countries are one of the essential pillars to further enhancing bilateral military ties. In this vein, “EFES”, “Anatolian Phoenix”, “Winter Exercise”, “Anatolian Star”, “Erciyes-2019”, “Anatolian Eagle”, “Mustafa Kamal Ataturk”, “The Unwavering Brotherhood”, “TurAz Eagle - 2019” and “Haydar Aliyev” are the remarkable patterns of close military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Türkiye. These joint exercises do not only strengthen the Azerbaijan Armed Forces but also considerably contribute to the regional peace and security. Furthermore, servicemen of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces are invited to the multiple exercises of Turkish Armed Forces as observers.
Another important aspect of military cooperation between the parties is the expansion of cooperation in the field of defense industry. “ADEX-2018” and “İDEF-2019” in Istanbul, “İDEF-2021” international defense industry exhibitions and for the first time outside Türkiye, this year, on 26-29 May, 2022 “TEKNOFEST” held in Baku gave an impetus to the enhancement of military-technical cooperation between the two countries. In addition, Azerbaijan has set up a reliable cooperation network with a number of military industry companies of Türkiye such as “ASELSAN”, “HAVELSAN”, “AYESAŞ”, “MATEKSAN”, “MilSOFT”, “Netaş”, “Turkish Aerospace Industry”.
The Turkish Armed Forces has also contributed to the development of Azerbaijan’s cooperation with NATO. Thus, as part of the Turkish military contingent, Azerbaijani peacekeepers took part in the UN authorized NATO missions in Kosovo in 1998-2008 (KFOR) and in Afghanistan in 2002-2014 (ISAF) and in 2015-2021 (Resolute Support Mission). Azerbaijan and Turkish military contingent was one of the last forces to leave Afghanistan within the framework of Resolute Support Mission. Moreover, multiple training and professional development courses are held for Azerbaijani specialists within the framework of the NATO’s different partnership programmes with close involvement of relevant Turkish authorities.
One of the most important areas of Azerbaijan-Turkish relations with tangible outcomes is the cooperation in the field of education. Over the last 30 years, the two brotherly countries have formed the necessary legal framework for multifaceted and advanced cooperation in this field. Protocol of Intent signed between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, National Education and State of the Republic of Türkiye (Baku, February 28, 1992), Protocol on cooperation in scientific, technical, social, cultural and economic fields between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Türkiye (Ankara, February 9) 1994), Protocol of Intent on cooperation in the field of higher education between the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Council of Higher Education of the Republic of Türkiye (Ankara, November 30, 1995), Protocol on cooperation in education and science signed between the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of National Education of the Republic of Türkiye March 1, 1997), Protocol of Intent on cooperation in the field of higher education between the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Council of Higher Education of the Republic of Türkiye (Ankara, May 30, 1997) laid ground for the cooperation in various fields of education, including mutual student exchange.
One of the important pages of educational cooperation with Türkiye is the Agreement on Cooperation in Education and Science signed between the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of National Education of the Republic of Türkiye on December 1, 2000. Notable progress has been achieved for the recognition of relevant specialties of Azerbaijani universities in Türkiye as a result of the activities of the Joint Commission formed under this Agreement.
The friendly and brotherly relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Türkiye have further enhanced constantly evolving educational ties between two countries since early 2000. Given the importance of vocational education for training of skilled cadres meeting the requirements of the contemporary labor market, significant efforts were taken to learn the experience of Türkiye in this field in order to meet the objectives set by “the State Strategy for the Development of Education in the Republic of Azerbaijan”. Further expansion of the cooperation in the field of general and vocational education between two countries were one of the main subjects agreed within the framework of the visit of the delegation of the Minister of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mikayil Jabbarov to the Republic of Türkiye on February 22, 2017.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Higher Education between the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Higher Education Council of the Republic of Türkiye was signed by Mikayil Jabbarov, the Minister of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Yekta Sarac, the Head of the Higher Education Council of the Republic of Türkiye in the course of the Sixth Meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council on October 31, 2017.
Another important agreement reached between the Parties is Protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Vocational Education between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the Republic of Türkiye, which was signed by the Minister of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan Emin Amrullayev and the Minister of National Education of the Republic of Türkiye Ziya Selcuk during the 9th Meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation on February 19, 2021. This Protocol envisages the further development of the cooperation between the two countries in the field of vocational education, the establishment of two new vocational education institutions in Azerbaijan on basis of the experience of Türkiye and the study of Turkish knowledge in this area.
Currently, more than 24,000 citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan are studying at various levels of higher education (bachelor's, master's, doctoral, residency) in the Republic of Türkiye.
After restoring independence and re-establishing diplomatic relations with Türkiye, Azerbaijan started to lay ground of cultural ties with brotherly Türkiye apace. For this end, relevant legal foundations were formed and important agreements were signed. In this regard, following international legal frameworks are worth to mention:
- Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Tourism between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the Republic of Türkiye signed on November 2, 1992, an in Ankara;
- Cooperation Protocol in the Field of Culture and Art between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Türkiye signed on February 9, 1994, in Ankara;
- Cultural Cooperation Protocol between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Türkiye signed on April 13, 2004, in Ankara;
- Agreement on the Establishment, Working Mechanism and Activities of the Cultural Centers between the Government of Azerbaijan and the Government of Türkiye signed on April 25, 2018 in Ankara.
Along with sharing the same culture, Azerbaijan and Türkiye have some special cultural peculiarities that is unique to each of the two countries. These peculiarities is worth to reciprocally promote and raise awareness thereof among the population. For this, Culture Days are respectively held in both countries, works of well-known artists of both countries are taught in higher education institutions, regularly presented to the public and highly appreciated by the population. Such cases certainly connect two brotherly peoples even much closer.
The cultural ties between the two brotherly nations, who share common values and heritage, are not limited to cooperation within government agencies only. In this regard, close affection among the people of two brotherly countries are of special importance. People get in touch with each other on daily basis and enrich their knowledge on their brothers’ culture and traditions living far beyond their territorial boundaries.
Azerbaijani artists who came to Türkiye after 1991 not only contributed to the culture of brotherly Türkiye, but also managed to better promote our own culture here. Today, thousands of cultural monuments in different parts of Türkiye have been designed and crafted by prominent Azerbaijani artists or their students. Many Azerbaijani professors working in Turkish universities have played an exceptional role in the establishment or development of different faculties of culture in the relevant universities.
"Twin city" institutions are noteworthy to mention in promoting mutual cultural ties. Currently, "twin city" relations set up between different regions of the two states are nearly 100. Consequently, not only people living in big cities, but those located in the regions beyond the administrative centres get acquainted with each other's culture. The cultural events organized in accordance with the traditions, art and folk customs of the respective regions receive riveting acclaims by the people living there.
Cultural cooperation between Azerbaijan and Türkiye is not limited to the mutual promotion of the cultures of the two countries. The two brotherly states also closely cooperate for the promotion and recognition of a common Turkish culture in the world. The International Organization of Turkish Culture (TURKSOY) presents an exceptional platform to this end.
Shusha, the cultural cradle of Azerbaijan, was declared the cultural capital of the Turkish world in 2023 at the extraordinary meeting of the Permanent Council of TURKSOY held on March 31, 2022, in Bursa.
There is no other area of interstate relations between Azerbaijan and Türkiye that high level cooperation are not established therein. In addition to the aforesaid areas, two brotherly states closely cooperate in the fields of health, social protection, environment, space, high techs, agriculture, food security, natural resources, rehabilitation of war veterans and so forth. All of these areas are daily dealt by the relevant state intuitions of Azerbaijan and Türkiye and important steps are taken to further deepen relations in those and other possible fields.