Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s wife, Emine Erdogan, has advised Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to get the maps of minefields in exchange for the release of Armenian prisoners of war.
According to a video posted online, Emine Erdogan made the remarks when the two Presidents and their wives were on their way to Karabakh.
Aliyev is filmed telling the group that obtaining all the maps of minefields will give them a big advantage, because otherwise demining all the territories will take a lot of time. Erdogan’s wife then chimes in to make sure there are still Armenian captives in Azerbaijan, to which Aliyev replies: “Yes, yes, there are many of them.” She then urges him to return the captives step by step.
Azerbaijan is refusing to return all Armenian prisoners of war, in violation of the statement on the cessation of hostilities signed by the parties in November 2020. The Armenian side has information about some 200 Armenians still in Azerbaijan’s captivity, but Azeri President Ilham Aliyev claims that persons being kept in Baku are not PoWs, but “terrorists and saboteurs”. At least 19 of the hundreds of Armenian captives have been tortured and killed, according to their lawyers. In addition, six Armenian troops were captured on Armenian soil in late May.