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We will support Azerbaijan till the end.

Abdülkadir ERKAHRAMAN

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan answered reporters’ question after performing Friday prayer in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul.

“HAGIA SOPHIA A MATTER OF TURKEY'S SOVEREIGNTY”

On foreign reactions to Hagia Sophia’s opening for worship, President Erdoğan said: “None of the reactions coming from abroad bind us. There are positive reactions as well as negative ones. Some of them talked with me. And I gave them the necessary answers. This process regarding Hagia Sophia is a matter of our sovereignty. It is out of the question that someone intervene in any way in a matter of our sovereignty. Hagia Sophia’s conversion into mosque after 86 years is the most natural right of our nation. We exercised our right, which was of significance not only to Turkey but also to the entire Islamic world.”

“WE WILL SUPPORT AZERBAIJAN TILL THE END”

Regarding Armenian attacks on Azerbaijan, President Erdoğan said: “As you know, Armenia has been occupying Upper Karabakh for decades. The Minsk trio has left the issue on the table for 25-30 years. They still haven’t resolved the issue. It was obvious that the issue would lead up to this point. As you know, Armenia constantly attacks and fires on civilian areas in Azerbaijan. As a result of these attacks, Azerbaijan has taken steps to defend its lands and its own people. We will never leave our brother, Azerbaijan, alone. 74282ca7-f845-466e-a666-3fbf79da9033.jpeg

“I held talks with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan. A delegation from Azerbaijan came Turkey and met with Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar and force commander. I also talked to them,” President Erdoğan said.

“Just like we did during the Caucasian struggle, we stand with Azerbaijan and our Azerbaijani brothers and sisters today,” President Erdoğan underscored.

“TURKEY WILL CONTINUE TO FULFIL ITS RESPONSIBILITY IN LIBYA”

Responding to a question on the recent developments in Libya and the statements by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, President Erdoğan, underscoring that Turkey will continue to fulfil the responsibility it has assumed in Libya and will never leave Libyans alone, President Erdoğan said: “Our relations with Libya date back not 20-50 years but over 500 years. Also, we signed a cooperation agreement on military training with Libya. We are about to make a new agreement with UN involvement. Libya is also working on that. We will continue our solidarity. The steps taken by Egypt and its support to putschist Haftar show that they are in an illegal process. Above all, Abu Dhabi's sizeable transfer of weapons and money to this putschist in a pirate approach shows their position. There is legitimate Sarraj government on one side and putschist Haftar administration on the other. A struggle is going on between those who stand with legitimate Sarraj government and those who stand with putschist Haftar; that is the whole thing.”

As regards joint patrols by Turkey and Russia in Idlib, President Erdoğan said: “The number of our joint patrols there has reached 20, but unfortunately there are some illegal elements that sometimes cause problems. However, we, together with Russian patrol forces, work to stop that.”

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