TURKEY’S ROLE IN STRENGTHENING BAKU’S COUNTER-TERRORISM CAPACITY: CAN A SOFT APPROACH WORK?
Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia continue to work together in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. The three nations have agreed to hold joint military exercises, strengthen law-enforcement cooperation, collaborate on improving cyber-resilience, and increase interoperability between their militaries to prevent terror attacks in the region. This policy brief analyses Turkey’s role in developing Azerbaijan’s counter-terrorism capacity and posits that a gradual transition from a heavily securitized counter-terrorism strategy to a “softer” approach is necessary in order to eliminate the root causes of terrorism in the long term. Recommendations for such a transition include: the designation of an evidence-based counter-terrorism strategy in line with international human rights standards; the designation of prison de-radicalization and rehabilitation programs; the promotion of “population-centric” measures to increase socio-economic and ideological resilience; and the establishment of community engagement programs. Societal resilience should be approached as a process rather than an outcome, and is necessary for protection of systems from natural disasters and other external and internal shocks as well.