Deputy Secretary General in Istanbul: Turkey is a vital member of NATO

  • 23 Jan. 2018 -
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  • Last updated: 23 Jan. 2018 13:28

Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller highlighted Turkey’s vital role in NATO in remarks at the National Defence University in Istanbul on Tuesday (23 January 2018). Calling NATO membership “a mutually beneficial relationship”, she explained how “together, we reap the benefits of... enduring commitment to our collective defence.”

The Deputy Secretary General thanked Turkey for its many contributions to the Alliance, including counter-terrorism expertise, deployments to Afghanistan and Kosovo, and support for Ukraine. She also set out the ways in which the Alliance contributes to Turkey’s security: including with missile batteries to boost Turkish air defences; AWACS surveillance flights; and increased naval presence in the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean. Ms. Gottemoeller further explained how NATO contributes to the international fight against terrorism, including through the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan; training for Iraqi officers; AWACS surveillance flights for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS; a new Intelligence Division at NATO Headquarters; and a new Hub for the South at Joint Force Command Naples.

Concluding her remarks, the Deputy Secretary General stressed the enduring importance of NATO’s values: democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. “A democratic, strong and stable Turkey is important for our shared security,” she said.

The Deputy Secretary General is concluding a two-day visit to Turkey. Earlier on Tuesday, she visited the 3rd Army Corps / NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Turkey, as well as Multinational Joint Warfare Centre Command. On Monday, Ms Gottemoeller met with Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Ambassador Ahmet Yildiz; General Ümit Dündar, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, and other high-level officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence. She also visited the NATO Centre of Excellence for Defence against Terrorism, and laid a wreath at the mausoleum of President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey.

Read the full remarks by the NATO Deputy Secretary General here