Turkey has begun registering ethnic Turkmens from Syria’s northwestern Afrin region to settle them in territories of Nagorno-Karabakh surrendered by Armenia to Azerbaijan, an Afrin based observatory said.
“Turkey is running two offices in Afrin to register those Turkmen settlers wishing to be resettled in Artsakh/Karabakh,” the Human Rights Organization-Afrin-Syria said in a statement on Monday.
The registered Turkmens include families of pro-Turkish Syrian Turkmen armed factions such as Sultan Murad, Suleyman Shah and al-Hamzat, the human rights group said. They will be settled to replace forcibly displaced Armenians, it said.
Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh erupted on Sept. 27 and lasted for six weeks, ending with a peace deal brokered by Russia on Nov. 10.
The peace agreement handed several regions to Azerbaijan – a chunk of Nagorno-Karabakh and three territories around it. According to the Armenian government, around 90,000 ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh were displaced by the conflict and temporarily fled to Armenia. Azeri officials say the conflict displaced around 40,000 people.