The Republic of Georgia’s airspace is used by Turkey and Israel to support Azerbaijan in its war against the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia.
Flight from Libya to Baku, Azerbaijan, September 30, 2020 Using Georgian Airspace
One need only review how many Turkish military transport flights from Libya, Turkey, and those transporting Syrian Jihadists are archived on sites such as flightradar24 (see accompanying images and sample) using Georgian airspace. Some flights are taking place as you read this article. We can add to this caravan of flights supporting Azerbaijan, Israeli military re-supply flights between Israel military airbases to Baku, Azerbaijan. While official Tbilisi claims it has not taken sides in this conflict, this evidence of Georgia’s permissiveness has allowed Israeli cluster bombs to kill Armenian civilians.
Georgia prevented Armenians from its Akhalkalaki region from sending used tires into Armenia to insulate military posts, yet allowed the Turkish military free access over its sovereign territory.
Videos show Bayraktar truck convoys escorted through Georgia towards Azerbaijan. True, Bayraktar is a transport company, but Georgian police escorted these trucks. The Turkish Bayraktar company manufactures kamikaze UAVs that are killing Armenian fighters and civilians. How did Turkish F-16s fly into Azerbaijan? I assure readers it was not over Iran or Russia. These F-16s are used against Armenians.
A Turkish military flight landing at Yevlakh military airport on September 26, a day before the Azerbaijani attack on Nagorno-Karabakh, flown over Georgian airspace.
Georgia replaced one master, Russia, with another, Turkey & Azerbaijan. Thanks to Saakashvili’s foreign policy “genius,” Georgian Adjara and its regional capital Batumi have been subjected to overwhelming Turkish influence. Batumi, Georgia, is considered a Turkish “domestic” flight. Azerbaijan is Georgia’s largest direct foreign investor. Georgia put itself in a position where it could not refuse Turkish aircraft access to its airspace. Any sovereignty Georgia thought it was accumulating by ejecting Russian influence has been replaced by bowing down to Turkish and Azerbaijani demands. It would not be surprising if Turkey never asked permission to use Georgian airspace, considering Georgian airports are managed by TAV (Turkish Airport Holdings).
Further, controversy continues in Georgia, leading up to their elections about an illegal transfer of 3,500 hectares of Georgian land to Azerbaijan.
Armenia’s North-South Highway Project will span the entire length of Armenia, from the Iranian border to Armenia’s north-west border with Georgia. Locals have reported (no real estate documents can be obtained) that Turks have acquired (purchased, rented) swath of lands near where that highway would enter the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia, interfering with the functioning of this highway.
Georgia will probably not escape diplomatic repercussions for having to bow to a new master. While Georgia touts its wine as the oldest globally, flies the EU flag next to its crusader national flag, accepts grants and loans from the West as long as it stays anti-Russian, its national sovereignty is being subordinated to the demands from its two Turkic neighbors; Turkey and Azerbaijan. For a state that has placed Orthodox Christianity as a centerpiece of his national ethos, Georgia has allowed Turkey to use its airspace to transport radical Jihadists to fight Armenians.
Georgia had better look in the mirror while it still owns one. Unfortunately, Georgia appears to be in too deep into Turkey’s neo-Ottoman plans to re-establish its sovereignty.
David Davidian (Lecturer at the American University of Armenia. He has spent over a decade in technical intelligence analysis at major high technology firms. He resides in Yerevan, Armenia).