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NO:82 -;May 2007, Press Statement Regarding the Assuming the Command of Multinational Task Force South (MNTF-S) of Turkey


Turkey will assume the command of Multinational Task Force South (MNTF-S), one of the five regional commands of KFOR, which is led by NATO in Kosovo, for a period of one year as of 29 May 2007. Together with Turkey, currently, troops from Germany, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia and Switzerland are deployed in the area of responsibility of MNTF-S .

The headquarters of MNTF-S is located in the Prizren region, where the Turkish minority is concentrated.

Turkey, which has been contributing to KFOR since NATO assumed responsibility in Kosovo in 1999 in order to end the conflict, is taking on this mission in a period which is significant for the future of Kosovo. This once again emphasizes the importance that Turkey attaches to the preservation of peace and stability in the Balkans, as well as our resolution to contribute towards this end. It also confirms that we will continue to meet our commitments regarding international security within the context of Turkey’s candidancy for the UN Security Council for the period of 2009-2010.

During the period of this mission, which will be commanded by Brigadier-General Uğur Tarçın, the Turkish Task Force, which presently includes Azerbaijani and Georgian teams, will be reinforced by approximately 300 soldiers. Moreover, in this period, three UH-1 type general use helicopters will be assigned to the Task Force.

Brigadier-General Tarçın will take over the command from his German colleague at the ceremony which will take place in Prizren on 29 May 2007.

Turkey will hand over the command of the Task Force to Austria in May 2008.