By Merve Aydogan
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey on Friday commemorated the Khojaly massacre that saw the killings of hundreds of Azerbaijani citizens at the hands of Armenian forces 29 years ago.
As many as 613 innocent Azerbaijani citizens, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly people, were indiscriminately killed, with hundreds more wounded by Armenian troops in their attack on Khojaly town in Azerbaijan's Upper Karabakh region on Feb. 26, 1992.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter commemorated those Azerbaijanis "who were brutally murdered in Khojaly 29 years ago."
Erdogan expressed condolences to Azerbaijani people and said: "We are one nation, two states. As Turkey, we will continue to support the rightful cause of Azerbaijan."
Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also remembered the "brutal" massacre and conveyed his condolences to the people of Azerbaijan.
Kalin also vowed to "never forget and not let it be forgotten."
A Foreign Ministry statement earlier said: "We know that the wounds from the Khojaly Massacre, which happened before the entire world are still fresh, we feel and share the pain of Azerbaijan in the deepest part of our hearts."
The ministry statement said over a thousand people were taken prisoners in these attacks and the aftermath of the losses remain unknown.
“We wish God’s mercy upon those who lost their lives in this massacre and extend once again our most sincere condolences to all Azerbaijani people," added the statement.
Turkey also commemorated "the martyrs who lost their lives in the Battle of Homeland, when Azerbaijan liberated its occupied territories and paved the way home to approximately 1 million Azerbaijanis who were displaced."
Separately, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Twitter commemorated those Azerbaijanis "who were brutally murdered in Khojaly 29 years ago."
"We have not forgotten and will not forget this crime against humanity," Cavusoglu said.
On Feb. 26, 1992, with the Soviet Union just dissolved, Armenian forces took over the town of Khojaly in then-occupied Karabakh after battering it using heavy artillery and tanks, assisted by infantry.
The massacre is seen as one of the bloodiest atrocities by Armenian forces against Azerbaijani civilians in the Upper Karabakh region, which was liberated by Azerbaijan forces last fall after decades of occupation.
Some 150 of the 1,275 Azerbaijanis that the Armenians captured during the massacre remain missing. In the massacre, eight families were completely wiped out, while 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both parents.