Turkey and Azerbaijan: Flag Row Ended
Turkish flags are flying again in Baku after a two week flag flap between Azerbaijan and Turkey.Azerbaijani officials initially cited a new law on displays of foreign national symbols when earlier in October they removed Turkish flags from a memorial to Turkish soldiers who fought alongside Azerbaijanis against the Red Army in 1918. Local media, however, has widely linked the move with the recent rapprochement between Azerbaijani ally Turkey, and Baku's archenemy, Armenia. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].The spat appears to have begun as a tit-for-tat after Turkish officials prevented fans from flying Azerbaijani flags during an October 14 Armenian-Turkish World Cup qualifying match, action taken in deference to visiting Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan. Armenia and Azerbaijan are at loggerheads over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory. Commentators in both countries and Russia, however, forecast that the flag crisis could be a sign of old alliances crumbling in the South Caucasus.