On 13 August, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar along with the commanders of Turkey’s military branches met with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov during the concluding events of joint military exercises, but one individual caught our attention, Turkish Air Force Major General Göksel Kahya.
Official photo of the 13 August meeting between high-ranking Turkish defence officials with Azeri President
Gen Kahya is Turkey’s Defence Ministry’s Management Services General Manager according to the latest news. Kahya was known for heading a team of Turkish intel officiers in Libya before being allegedly detained by General Haftar’s forces of the Libyan National Army’s.
A 2017 photo of Kahya with other high-ranking Turkish Air Force officials
In Libya Kahya’s team managed a global security and operations centre (GSOC), in practical terms, an operation room for drones to support Government of National Accord (GNA) troops. His presence alongside the highest-level Turkish military officials in Azerbaijan suggests the possible creation of a similar GSOC or operations centre for drone warefare with the Azeri military. The latter has stepped up efforts to develop the UAV field, purchasing and producing Israeli-designed UAVs and in June of this year appeared to be seeking to purchase Turkish drones.
Such an installation in Azerbaijan would possibly come in the form of embedded Turkish specialists operating UAV’s, providing intel to Azeri military, a type of outsourcing, as done in Libya. But as of right now, neither Baku nor Ankara have officially commented on this possibility.