NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

18 Feb. 2012

Marking 60 years of membership

Sixty years ago, on 18 February 1952, Greece and Turkey became members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This was the first round of enlargement for the Alliance, only three years after its creation.

The decision by the twelve founding members to grant membership was taken at the Ottawa Conference on 20 September 1951, where a resolution was adopted to this effect. On that day, Belgian Foreign Minister, Van Zeeland stated: “The decision has been taken. The twelve members of the Pact have decided to invite Greece and Turkey to join them; to join them in their efforts to maintain peace.

Expanding membership: strategically vital

The decision was a strategic one. It was taken at the beginning of the Cold War and just after the outbreak of the Korean War, a war that confirmed the Allies’ greatest fears: that if it were willing to extend its influence in Asia, the Soviet Union had the potential to attack Europe. The accession of both countries would provide an additional military guarantee to resist Soviet political pressure or armed attack, and serve to contain communism.

Turkey and Greece had requested NATO membership as early as 1950 and became members on the date of deposit of the instruments of accession with the Government of the United States of America, 18 February 1952.

60 years on

Turkey and Greece have greatly contributed to Alliance security during six decades, guarding NATO’s southern flank during the Cold War and, today, addressing new challenges such as violent extremism, or contributing to missile defence and stabilizing Afghanistan. Both countries are helping to find new ways of tackling these challenges and play a key role in reaching new partners in vital parts of the world. In turn, the Alliance is also key to their strategic thinking and even more so in a context of economic crisis and political turmoil among neighbouring countries in the region.

In the same way their contribution is just as valuable today as in 1952, the guarantee of collective defence has the same resonance as 60 years ago.

Joint Press Point with Foreign Affairs Minister of Turkey

17 Feb. 2012

NATO Secretary General opening remarks at the joint press conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey.

Last updated: 16-Feb-2012 13:53

Turkey-NATO anniversary

NATO Review

Greece and Turkey: 60 years in NATO 22 Feb. 2012 2012 marks 60 years since Turkey and Greece joined NATO in 1952. In this edition of NATO Review, we gauge how the countries have changed in the last six decades, we look at their relationship with each other and ask where their security outlooks lay now. 
Turkey: interview with Defence Minister Yilmaz 16 Feb. 2012 NATO Review interviews Turkish Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz about smart defence, Turkish foreign policy and what being in NATO for 60 years means. 
Turkey: what 60 years in NATO means 16 Feb. 2012 Does NATO have a role to play in Turkey's new stronger foreign policy outlook? Does the Turkish public see NATO as necessary? Here we ask Turkish journalists and analysts to describe how they feel NATO looks from a Turkish perspective. 
The historic document confirming Greece and Turkey joining NATO 16 Feb. 2012 Here we reprint the 'Resolution on the accession of Greece and Turkey to the North Atlantic Treaty', signed in 1952.