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Turkey’s Relations with NATO

Ever since our NATO membership in 1952, the North Atlantic Alliance has played a central role in Turkey’s security and contributed to its integration with the Euro-Atlantic community. Turkey, in return, has successfully assumed its responsibilities in defending the common values of the Alliance.

Turkey attaches the utmost importance to NATO’s role in maintaining security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and in providing a forum for political-military consultations on topics of interest to its members. Indivisibility of Alliance security, solidarity among Allies and a fair risk and burden sharing as well as the consensus rule, are NATO’s guiding principles and should remain as such. Adherence to these principles as well as NATO’s ability to adapt to the changing security environment, have made NATO the most successful military alliance in history.

The success of current and future missions and operations will play a crucial role in shaping NATO’s future. Turkey will continue to provide appropriate support to these operations.

Turkey also supports NATO’s transformation efforts, which are crucial for NATO’s success. It is therefore making substantial contributions to the NATO Response Force. A Force Command at high readiness level is established in Istanbul. Within the new NATO command structure, the air command in Izmir will be replaced by a land command.

The “Partnership for Peace Training Center” was created in 1998 within the Turkish General Staff in an effort to contribute to the training and interoperability efforts of NATO’s partner nations. The Center provides strategic and tactical level training to military and civilian personnel from partner countries.

Turkey welcomes the strategic partnership between NATO and the EU in accordance with the agreed framework between the two organizations. This partnership should be based on mutual support, complementarity and transparency and will contribute to addressing more efficiently existing risks and threats. Turkey’s approach to NATO-EU cooperation is a natural result of its NATO membership and EU membership perspective.

Turkey also strongly supports NATO’s partnerships. Turkey also believes that a constructive relationship based on mutual understanding, transparency and cooperation between NATO and Russia is important for Euro-Atlantic peace and stability and that the NATO-Russia Council provides the necessary forum for such a relationship.

Turkey believes that the integration of all Western Balkan countries in Euro-Atlantic structures is the key to lasting peace and stability in the region. Turkey therefore supports the membership of interested countries, in particular Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in NATO, the irreversible strengthening of security in Kosovo and the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

With the understanding that European security cannot be dissociated from Mediterranean security, Turkey shares the belief that the Mediterranean Dialogue should be strengthened in areas where NATO can bring an added value. Turkey also supports further enhancing the relations with Gulf countries through the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.