Assoc. Dr. Yusuf SAYIN-Necmettin Erbakan University Faculty Member
The brother country Azerbaijan, which declared its final victory in this last November and gave the message that “Karabakh is Azerbaijan” again to the whole world, has liberated the region, which has been under the occupation of Armenia for 30 years, with a result that made us all proud. Undoubtedly the biggest result of this victory is the fact that a problem having remained unsolved for years has been crowned with a permanent agreement, that the region will regain a climate of prosperity and peace, that the peoples living in the region will be able to walk to the future in peace, and the opportunities for our Azerbaijani Turks who had to leave their homes as a result of the Armenian occupation have been created. Additionally, very important gains have been made for our country in terms of foreign policy, geopolitics, regional leadership, and especially in terms of economy.
Thanks to the Nakhchivan corridor opened by Nagorno-Karabakh is recovered from the Armenian occupation, which is the line between Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan as an autonomous republic of Azerbaijan, it has been opened a very critical, strategic, politic, and economic corridor between Turkey and the countries in the Central Asian region. According to the news of Anadolu Agency (AA, 14.11.2020), within the agreement signed between Russia-Azerbaijan-Armenia, a new corridor connecting Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan will be built; Turkey and Azerbaijan will be connected by road for the first time after a full century in the territories of Armenia close to the border with Iran. In addition, according to Article 9 of the Agreement, the obstacles in the economic and transportation connections of the region will be removed; transport and communication networks will be built between Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic and the western regions of Azerbaijan.
The most important effect of the corridor is undoubtedly the strengthening of economic relations with the Central Asia and the integration process will be consolidated at the point of finance and investments. As the official discourse, Turkey, as one of the world’s largest 20 economies and the most important actors with the growth figures recorded in the region offers significant investment opportunities in the countries of the region in terms of economic and commercial opportunities. Turkey aims to diversify and increase its cooperation with these countries by such mechanisms as mutual high-level visits, mixed economic commissions, business councils, land transportation commissions, and high-level strategic cooperation councils. Turkey’s trade volume with the countries of the region in 2019 was realized 8.5 billion dollars, and over four thousands of Turkish companies operate in the region now (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12.28.2020).
Considering that Konya broke the all-time export record in 2020 (The Konya News, December '20); it is so predictable this new trade route (the Nakhichevan corridor) from Turkey to the Central Asia will impact positively on foreign trade capacity of Konya city due to the volume of trade of Konya with the region. Considering the cultural, social, and religious ties between the region and Konya, it can be stated that Konya’s relations with the Central Asian countries will enter into a positive trend. The Nakhichevan corridor will function simultaneously as ‘corridor of Konya-Central Asia’.