1995 Azerbaijani coup d'état attempt

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1995 Azerbaijani coup d'état attempt
Part of the Post-Soviet conflicts
Date13–17 March 1995[2][3]
Turkish putschists
Supported by:
Grey Wolves (MHP)[1]

Azerbaijani government

Commanders and leaders
Azerbaijan Rovshan Javadov 
Azerbaijan Mahir Javadov

Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev
Azerbaijan Safar Abiyev
Supported by:

Turkey Süleyman Demirel
Casualties and losses
8 putschist police officers killed 23 pro-government forces killed (22 soldiers and 1 police officer)
7 wounded

The 1995 Azerbaijani coup d'état attempt, also known as the Turkish coup in Baku,[2] was a coup d'état attempt by members of the Azerbaijani military, led by Colonel Rovshan Javadov at the head of a detachment of Special Purpose Police Unit (OPON). The group aimed to take control of the country from president Heydar Aliyev and reinstall former president Abulfaz Elchibey. The coup was foiled when the Turkish President Süleyman Demirel became aware of elements in Turkey supporting the plot, and called Aliyev to warn him. On 17 March 1995, units of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces surrounded the insurgents' camp and assaulted it, killing Colonel Javadov.[4] Reports in Turkey following the 1996 Susurluk scandal elaborated on support for the coup from elements in Turkey.


On 12 December 1994 a team of people, including Korkut Eken (Turkish National Intelligence Organization, MİT), İbrahim Şahin and Ayhan Çarkın (Turkish Police Special Operations Department) and Abdullah Çatlı (contract killer), traveled from Turkey to Azerbaijan in order to train a unit of 60 OMON police officers for the coup. They were invited by OMON commander Rovshan Javadov, a KGB defector to the CIA, who also directed the abortive coup.[5] The KGB/FSB and CIA closely monitored events.[6]

According to the newspaper Yeni Şafak, the coup was directed by Turkish colonel Necabettin Ergenekon, while he was allegedly the commander of the Adıyaman Gendarmerie Regiment. However, other newspapers report that he retired in 1982 from the Adıyaman Martial Law Command (Turkish: Adıyaman Sıkıyönetim Komutanlığı).[7] Yeni Şafak also alleged that Elchibey is related to Turkish General Veli Küçük.[8]

The coup was foiled after the MİT tipped off President Süleyman Demirel on 10 March 1995 and he called Aliyev.[9] On 17 March 1995, units of Azerbaijani Armed Forces surrounded the insurgents in their camp and assaulted it, killing Javadov.[4]


According to a 1996 MİT report, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller gave minister Ayvaz Gökdemir, police chief Mehmet Ağar, İbrahim Şahin, and Korkut Eken the green light to install Elçibey as president.[6][10] Elçibey was an ideological ally of Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) politician Alparslan Türkeş, who harbored aspirations of creating a Turkic state stretching across the Caucasus. Türkeş' support of the coup attempt also provoked a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Azerbaijan, and the latter country officially requested a statement refuting the section of the report dealing with the attempted coup.[11]

The 1996 Susurluk report (following the Susurluk scandal) said that Prime Minister Çiller's chief counselors, Acar Okan and Süleyman Kamil Yüceoral, were involved in the coup attempt. Susurluk Commission member Fikri Sağlar argued that the purpose of the coup was to secure the narcotics route, which started in Afghanistan. Sağlar pointed out that Yüceoral was involved in paying general Rashid Dostum in Afghanistan from a slush fund.[11]

Later press reports claimed that the Ergenekon gang, of which General Veli Küçük is a suspected member, was responsible for the coup attempt, indicating a relationship between Susurluk and Ergenekon.[12]


  • de Waal, Thomas (2003). Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War. New York: New York University Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-1945-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • "1998 Report" (PDF). Ankara: Human Rights Foundation of Turkey. 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2009. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) (contains the Susurluk reports in the annex, and material on the Counter-Guerrilla) (in English)


  1. ^ de Waal 2003, p. 252.
  2. ^ a b de Waal 2003, p. 295.
  3. ^ (HRFT 1998, p. 48)
  4. ^ a b Los Angeles Times, 18 March 1995, Azerbaijan Coup Attempt Crushed Caucasus: Loyal forces storm a building and overcome mutinous police units, president reports.
  5. ^ "Bu oyunun adı üç maymunlar". Yorum. Radikal (in Turkish). 25 June 1998. Retrieved 29 December 2008. KGB'nin adamıyken CIA'ya kayan ve çok taraflı çalışmalarıyla dikkat çeken Ruşen Cevadov'a Azerbaycan'da darbe yaptırılmasına kalkışmaktır.
  6. ^ a b (HRFT 1998, p. 49)
  7. ^ Dönmez, Ahmet (19 July 2008). "Veli Küçük'ün komutanı Ergenekon: Vatan hainleri soyadımı kirletti". Zaman (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
  8. ^ Arslan, Saban (24 December 2008). "Üzeyir Garih'in ipi Aliyev'e darbe planında çekildi". Gündem. Yeni Şafak (in Turkish). Retrieved 25 December 2008.
  9. ^ Aslaneli, Hakan; Yoruk, Zafer F (6 November 1996). "'Traffic Monster' reveals state-mafia relations". Turkish Daily News. Hürriyet. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2008.
  10. ^ Savumlu, Serpil; Doğan, Şahin (4 November 2006). "Susurluk'tan 10 yıl sonra". Gündem. Evrensel (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 3 July 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
  11. ^ a b (HRFT 1998, p. 50)
  12. ^ "Report: Garih's execution warrant issued in 1995". Today's Zaman. 17 December 2008. Archived from the original on 18 July 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2008. This was at a time when the Ergenekon organization was trying to overthrow late Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev and reinstate Elçibey, who was ousted in 1993 in a coup d'état.