NATO Archives presents ''NATO’s First Enlargement''

  • Last updated: 11 Dec. 2012 16:58

On 18 June 2012, the NATO Archives celebrated the 60th anniversary of the accession of Greece and Turkey to the North Atlantic Treaty with a commemorative exhibition titled ‘NATO’s First Enlargement: Greece and Turkey 1952’. The exhibition focused on the accession ceremony and its surrounding events, using publicly disclosed NATO documents to present the historical moment in its formal, political, strategic and public diplomacy contexts.

NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow inaugurated the exhibition with Mme. Ekaterini Nassika, the Deputy Permanent Representative for Greece, and H.E. Mr. Haydar Berk, the Permanent Representative for the Republic of Turkey at his side. In his opening speech, Ambassador Vershbow congratulated Greece and Turkey for this historic milestone and spoke to the key role that both countries have played over the years in NATO’s policy of partnership and cooperation in advancing Euro-Atlantic integration. As the first two nations to be part of NATO’s first enlargement, Greece and Turkey have served as role models by ‘keeping NATO’s door open for countries that aspire to join our Alliance’.

Ambassador Vershbow concluded with a statement about the important role that Greece and Turkey must play in the 21st century. ‘Thanks to NATO’, Vershbow said, ‘you have lived through an unprecedented period of peace and stability. By reaching out to your southern neighbours and showing the way for your NATO Allies, you can help to extend that peace and stability well into this century.’

To celebrate this occasion, the NATO Archives collaborated with other memory institutions to present an authentic representation of this historical event. The United States National Archives and Records Administration provided access to the original signed instruments of protocol and accession for Greece and Turkey deposited at the Departement of State in Washington. The Imperial War Museum in London provided the rarely seen film footage of the Lisbon Ministerial where Greece and Turkey formally acceded to the Treaty, as well as film footage of Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s subsequent visits to Greece and Turkey in early March 1952. Facsimiles of these archival documents, along with a selection of publicly disclosed NATO documents, were reprinted in a special commemorative booklet that served as a companion to the exhibition.

For online access to the documents related to the accession of Greece and Turkey, please click here (PDF/6MB).

For complete access to the thousands of other declassified documents that have been publicly disclosed, researchers and others interested in the history of the Organization are welcome to visit the NATO Archives Reading Room at NATO HQ in Brussels.