Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of provincial election officials at the headquarters of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in Ankara on January 29, 2019. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday pledged support for Azerbaijan if the ex-Soviet country was attacked, as he made a visit to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Erdogan’s military and political backing was seen as pivotal for Azerbaijan in its war last year with historic rival Armenia, when the two battled fiercly for six weeks to gain control of the mountainous Karabakh region. The Turkish leader made the pledge of support during an official visit to the symbolic town of Shusha, whose capture by Azerbaijani forces in November last year was a turning point in the conflict. The fighting was eventually ended when Moscow — Armenia’s primary military backer — brokered a ceasefire that saw Russian peacekeepers flood the mountainous region inside Azerbaijan that had been held by Armenian separatists. Erdogan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev signed a pledge “to support each other in case of threat or attack by a third country on their independence or territorial integrity.” The fighting last year raised fears that Russia and Turkey could be drawn directly into the conflict to support their allies, interventions that would have put Moscow and Ankara on opposing sides not only in Syria and Libya but in Nagorno-Karabakh too.