During a telephone conversation with the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed his condolences over the deaths of soldiers who died fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Anadolu news agency reported, citing sources in the Turkish Presidential Administration. Aliyev's press service also stated that Erdoğan expressed support for Azerbaijan, RBC reported.
"The Turkish President expressed support and solidarity in relation to the conflict between the Armenian and Azerbaijani troops, adding that the Turkish nation was always close to the people of Azerbaijan," Interfax quoted the press service of the President of Azerbaijan.
The telephone conversation between the Presidents happened on the initiative of the Turkish side, the agency said.
Condolences were given on behalf of all the Turkish people. Erdoğan also wished speedy recovery to the wounded.
The aggravation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh occurred on April 2nd. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry claimed that their troops took defensive positions and responded with a counterattack. The Ministry also said that several strategic heights and settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh were captured. The offensive, explained Baku, was undertaken in response to the provocation of the Armenian side on April 2nd. The Defense Ministry also stated that Azerbaijani troops were very successful in the field.
Yerevan denied these reports, saying that the Azerbaijani side failed to make any territorial gains. "The reports that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces seized various towns on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and killed hundreds of Armenian soldiers [and destroyed] a few dozen units of military equipment is misinformation and have nothing to do with reality," Armenian Defense Minister Artsrun Hovhannisyan wrote on Facebook.
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan stated that “since the restoration of the truce in 1994, this is the biggest fighting initiated by Azerbaijan. Thanks to the timely actions of the Armenian Forces it was possible not only to bring the situation under control, but also inflict significant losses to the enemy.”
Early on Sunday, Baku called a unilateral ceasefire, but the Armenia-backed forces said this was not true, and that Azerbaijani forces were continuing to use heavy weapons.
The de facto independent and unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was established on the basis of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic and has been controlled by ethnic Armenians since a war over the disputed territory ended in 1994.