Turkey’s president on Monday marked Azerbaijan's Victory Day on the first anniversary of the liberation of a key city in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
"I sincerely congratulate the Victory Day of Azerbaijan and this glorious day that heralds the liberation of the lands of Karabakh," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter.
He also commemorated with gratitude those "heroes who fought unblinkingly" for the homeland and fell in battle, as well as brave veterans.
The liberation of Shusha last Nov. 8 played a crucial role in the fate of the Second Karabakh War, also known as the Patriotic War, in which Azerbaijan liberated some 300 settlements from Armenian occupation.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay also issued a message on Twitter marking the day.
Saying that Azerbaijan "crowned its epic struggle of 44 days with a victory one year ago today," Oktay wished eternal rest to those who lost their lives in battle. His tweet included the hashtag "One Nation, Two States," meaning Turkey and Azerbaijan.
On Dec. 3, 2020, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree establishing Victory Day on Nov. 8.
Shusha, Azerbaijan's cultural and historical capital, was liberated last fall after 28 years of Armenian occupation.
During the 44-day conflict, which ended with a Russian-brokered truce last November, Azerbaijan liberated several strategic cities and nearly 300 of its settlements and villages from nearly three decades of Armenian occupation.
Relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan – the two former Soviet republics – have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
A joint Turkish-Russian center was established to monitor the truce.