So far, it seem like it. Baku got assistance as it is the only tournament that week while Fed Cup was in the same week as Kuala Lumpur. Also, clay season was happening during KL while hard court season is starting the week before at Istanbul.
Baku natural gateway from the West is Turkey. Virtually everyone travelling to Baku has to change planes in Istanbul so hosting WTA Istanbul has inmensely benefited Baku. Now players only have to take a cheap 3 hours flight to get there. That's 14 of the 21 players in Baku list doing this. The exception are the clay vultures who will play Bastad instead Istanbul (Meusburger, Cadantu...), Watson who has direct (and expensive) flights from London and Cirstea and Zhang who being from Romania and China are relatively not that far from Baku. The only one who puzzles me is Barthel who has chosen to play Bastad instead of Istanbul when it is known she is a better hardcourt player
But I, being poor, have only my dreams
I have spread my dreams under your feet
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams