|I. Turkey’s Security Perspective, Conceptual and Historical Background, Turkey’s Contributions
1. UN Operations
2. NATO and EU led operations in the Balkans3. ISAF (Afghanistan)4. NATO Training Mission – Iraq
|III. Turkey’s views on current NATO issues
2. Enlargement process
3. Partnership relations4. Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative5. NATO-Russia relations
6. NATO-Ukraine relations
7. 2004 NATO Istanbul Summit8. 2006 Riga Summit9.Prague Capabilities Commitment (PCC)
1. Multinational Peace Force South-East Europe (MPFSEE)
2. South-Eastern Europe Defense Ministerial Process (SEDM)
3. Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Force (BLACKSEAFOR)
I. Turkey’s Security Perspective, Historical and Conceptual Background, Turkey’s contributions
Security is related to the concept of self-preservation which is of a three-fold nature: ensuring the survival of the population; protecting territorial integrity and preserving the basic identity of a nation, as shaped by political, economic, social and cultural traits. National security and collective security are the two main interrelated pillars of the general concept of security. In an era defined by globalization, the current security environment has further strengthened this linkage and confirmed that security is truly indivisible.
The following factors need to be taken into account in today’s concept of security: safeguarding territorial integrity; maintaining peace and stability; contributing to collective defence and crisis management operations (such as peacekeeping, humanitarian operations and police missions); containing ethnic and religious conflicts; preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means; supporting disarmament; combating asymmetric threats, such as terrorism, sabotage, organized crime, disruption of the flow of vital resources, uncontrolled mass movement of people as a consequence of armed conflicts, and cyber war risks, as well as the spread of infectious diseases; population explosion in the developing world coupled with poverty and alleviating socio-economic disparities. Some of these risks and threats are not necessarily of military nature. Moreover, security can no longer be achieved solely through military means and policies. Since the definition of security has broadened as such, so should our approach in dealing with these threats. We need to be able to employ a broader combination of military, economic, social and political policies in confronting contemporary challenges. This is the only way to achieve sustainable peace and stability on a global scale.
|Established in 1923, following a costly war of independence against the occupying powers, the security of the Republic of Turkey has been dictated by two main elements: geography and longstanding ties with the countries in her region. These two determinants make Turkey a key security player in Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions all at once. Turkey is also inextricably linked to Central Asia, a region with which she enjoys historic, cultural and linguistic ties. Turkey has faced the challenge of being located at the confluence of such complex forces by basing her foreign policy on the motto: “Peace at home, Peace in the world” as laid down by Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic.
Cooperation and partnership are the key elements of this policy. Establishing and maintaining friendly relations with other countries; promoting regional and international cooperation through bilateral as well as multilateral schemes; resolving conflicts through peaceful means and enhancing regional and international peace, stability and prosperity are the guiding principles of Turkish foreign policy. Developing good neighborly relations; respect for sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity are its salient features.
In the interwar period, between 1923-1939, Turkey actively promoted cooperation schemes with her neighbors and other friendly countries. Similarly, she also contributed to regional security cooperation efforts at the multilateral level by initiating the establishment of the Balkan Entente of 1934 with Greece, Romania and Yugoslavia, as well as the Sadabad Pact of 1937 with Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Turkey made the historic choice of siding with the free world and stood up against communism and Soviet expansion. This policy was crowned on 18 February 1952, with Turkey’s accession to NATO. Since then, NATO has been the cornerstone of Turkey’s defence and security policy. Even at the height of the Cold War, Turkey remained a staunch member of NATO in a volatile region bordering the Eastern Bloc. She made a substantial contribution to the security and defence of the Alliance in general and of Western Europe in particular by guarding the Alliance’s southern flank. Having the longest border with the former Soviet Union, Turkey was responsible for defending one-third of the Alliance’s land frontiers against the Warsaw Pact. For a country with limited resources, this came at the expense of great sacrifices. Meanwhile, Turkey also endeavored to help decrease tensions between the Eastern and Western blocs.
While remaining committed to the security of the Alliance, Turkey also continued her traditional security policies based on the promotion of cooperation in her adjacent regions. In this context, Turkey initiated security cooperation both in the Balkans and the Middle East. The Balkan Pact of 1954 with Greece and Yugoslavia and the Baghdad Pact of 1955 with Britain, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan were the concrete results of initiatives aimed at the consolidation of security in these regions.
Through these endeavors, as well as her strong support for NATO and the concept of collective defence, Turkey contributed to bringing the East-West confrontation to a peaceful end. Following the Cold War, Turkey, like other members of the international community, began to adapt herself to the new security environment. The significance of NATO, however, remained a constant in Turkish foreign, defence and security policy.
|The collapse of the Eastern Bloc and the Soviet Union brought about hopes for a less confrontational and more secure environment in the Euro-Atlantic region. However, time attested to the contrary, with the emergence of ever-increasing and inter-twined threats and security risks. Coupled with the spinning effects of globalization, these risks and threats became increasingly trans-boundary. National borders were rendered irrelevant. It soon became obvious that globalization and technological developments were benefiting not only the good, but also those with ill intentions. In an atmosphere of increasing vulnerability to threats of global nature, cooperation and joint action surfaced as the most effective instruments. At present, a founding member of the UN, member of NATO and all leading European and Euro-Atlantic institutions, as well as a negotiating country for membership in the European Union, Turkey actively pursues a policy geared at enhancing friendship and cooperation in her region and beyond.
Turkey has concluded a number of bilateral agreements on military training, technical and scientific matters as well as defence industry cooperation. Such cooperation mechanisms have been developed with NATO allies, as well as a significant number of countries in the Balkans, the Middle East, the Southern Mediterranean, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, the Far East Asia and South America. These military training agreements are aimed at security cooperation with a view to enhancing interoperability and are not directed against any third party.
II. Turkey’s Contributions to International Peace Keeping Activities
Turkey makes a substantial contribution to various international peace-keeping activities. Since the end of the Second World War, Turkish troops have served under numerous UN, NATO and EU (ESDP) missions:
1. UN Operations: To date, Turkey has taken part in the following UN operations:
• The Korean War, with a brigade of 4500 troops,
• UN Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG), between 1988-1991, with 10 personnel,
• UN Iraq-Kuwait Military Observer Group (UNIKOM), between 1991-2003, with 75 personnel,
• Operation “Sharp Guard”, aimed at monitoring the embargo towards Bosnia-Herzegovina, between 1992-1996, with naval assets,
• Operation “Deny Flight”, aimed at implementing flight restriction over Bosnia-Herzegovina, between 1993-1996, with an F-16 squadron,
• UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, between 1993-1995, with a mechanized regiment of 1450 troops,
• UN Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina (UNMIBH), between 2000-2001, with one military advisor.
• UN Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM-II), between 1993-1994, with over 300 troops. For more than a year, this operation was under the command of a Turkish General.
Moreover, Turkey has also played an important role in UN relief efforts for Northern Iraqi refugees during and after the first Gulf War. Turkey continues to be an important lifeline for Iraq today as well.
|Turkey’s contributions to international peace and security continues despite the cost in terms of loss of life in the line of duty, not to mention the heavy financial burden. To date, Turkish troops have the unfortunate distinction of ranking second in terms of the number of casualties suffered in the service of world peace under the UN flag.
Currently Turkey has 296 police officers, 5 military observers and 993 officers serving in UN peace keeping operations in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. In this regard, Turkey is one of the leading countries in terms of contribution in police officers to such operations.
2. NATO and EU led operations in the Balkans:
Turkey has participated in all operations led by NATO in the Balkans since 1995. As such, it contributed to IFOR and SFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina, KFOR in Kosovo and Essential Harvest, Amber Fox and Allied Harmony in Macedonia. Turkey maintained her support for international efforts to enhance peace and stability in Macedonia after Operation Allied Harmony was terminated and the EU launched a military crisis management operation under the name “Concordia”. Turkey provided 11 personnel to this operation, which was later succeeded by the EU Police Mission, “Proxima”. It is beyond doubt that these operations have played a key role in re-establishing security and stability, thus contributing to the restoration of peace in the region. In total, over 1150 Turkish troops are currently serving in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania. The majority of these forces now serve in KFOR, NATO’s mission in Kosovo, where Turkey undertook the command of the Multinational Task Force-South for a year, starting from 29 May 2007. 101 Turkish police officers took part in the International Police Task Force (IPTF) in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the UN Mission in Kosovo. Since 1 January 2003 Turkey has also been contributing to the EU Police Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is the EU’s first civilian crisis management operation. Currently 4 Turkish personel are serving within this Mission. In accordance with the NATO Istanbul Summit decision, NATO’s SFOR operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina was terminated to be followed by the EU operation “EUFOR-ALTHEA.” This operation was launched on 2 December 2004, under the “Berlin plus” arrangements, with recourse to NATO assets and capabilities. Turkey has maintained her contributions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, this time under EUFOR-ALTHEA with around 255 personnel, including 48 gendarmerie officers in the Integrated Police Unit (IPU).
3. ISAF (Afghanistan): On 11 August 2003, NATO assumed the leadership of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, under the existing UN mandate (UNSCR 1386), by assuming strategic coordination, command and control of the operation. Thus, ISAF became the first ever NATO operation conducted beyond the Euro-Atlantic area. Being an ambitious step forward in the history of the Alliance, ISAF is a challenging operation with difficulties in terms of geographic distance and demanding human and financial requirements. Success of ISAF, in spite of the challenges it poses, constitutes a key priority for the Alliance as confirmed in the 2004 Istanbul Summit Declaration.
The Alliance’s political objective is to assist the Government of Afghanistan in ensuring security in the country so that reconstruction efforts can continue without interruption. That would enable the government to assume full ownership of the task of maintaining peace and security within the country.
|With this aim, the expansion of ISAF throughout Afghanistan has been underway, supported by subsequent resolutions of the UNSC. The Alliance has concluded the first stage of expansion in the north in October 2004, the second stage of expansion in the west in August 2005, and the third stage of expansion in southern Afghanistan in August 2006. Currently, the leading issues on the agenda for NATO are the challenges brought by the expansion of ISAF, helping the government extend its rule into the provinces, forging ahead with the Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) process, as well as the build-up of the Afghan National Army, and last but not least, contributing to the extent possible, to international efforts towards eradicating illegal drug/narcotics production and trade. Work is ongoing to increase synergy between ISAF and Operation Enduring Freedom conducted by the Coalition Forces.
The Bonn-agenda was successfully completed with the holding of the presidential elections in October 2004, and the Parliamentary and Provincial elections in September 2005. In the London Conference, held on 31 December 2005-1 January 2006, the “Afghanistan Compact” document was adopted. The Compact, endorsed by UNSCR 1659(2006), provides the framework for partnership between Afghanistan and the international community. As a country with deep historical ties and a particular bond of friendship with Afghanistan and in line with her responsibilities within NATO, Turkey strongly supports and takes part in the international community’s efforts in Afghanistan.
In this vein, Turkey first assumed the command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan between June 2002 and February 2003 for a period of eight months, with 1400 troops. Turkey maintained its support to ISAF after it became a NATO operation in August 2003. Between 13 February– 4 August 2005, Turkey once again assumed the leadership of the ISAF-VII operation, this time under the NATO banner, with over 1400 troops. Turkey has also assumed the responsibility to maintain Kabul International Airport during her leadership of ISAF-VII.
Turkey’s role continued within ISAF. SEEBRIG (South Eastern European Brigade) assumed the responsibility of Kabul Multinational Brigade Headquarters between February – August 2006, in which Turkey has also participated actively.
Under the new structure of ISAF with five regional commands, the leadership of the Central Command in Kabul (RCC) has been assumed jointly by Turkey, France and Italy, on a rotational basis for a two year term commencing in August 2006. Turkey commanded the RCC between April 2007 and December 2007 and the Turkish contingent serving there was raised to 1200 personnel, including the crew of the two general utility helicopters throughout this period. Moreover, in addition to the present Turkish contingent (consisting of 800 soldiers), Turkey has pledged to supply an Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) to the 201st Corps based in Kabul.
Alongside its troop contribution, the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Minister Hikmet Çetin, served with distinction in Kabul as NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative between January 2004 – August 2006.
|4. NATO Training Mission – Iraq: At the 2004 İstanbul Summit NATO Heads of State and Government agreed to assist Iraq with the training of its security forces. Subsequently, the North Atlantic Council was tasked to develop the modalities to implement this decision with the Iraqi Interim Government. On 30 July 2004 a NATO Training Implementation Mission was established. The name of the mission was subsequently changed to NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM).
The Iraqi Staff College was founded in Rustamiyah, in the process. Turkey currently has 2 staff officers in NTM-I. Also, more than 110 Iraqi personnel have been trained in Turkey since the inception of the mission.
III. Turkey’s views on current NATO issues
Turkey has been a staunch Ally of NATO and considers the Alliance as the linchpin of transatlantic ties and Euro-Atlantic Security, of which Turkey is an integral part.
In the post-Cold War era, military threats of a conventional nature have diminished to a considerable extent. Yet, on the other hand, non-traditional, asymmetric security risks and threats, such as terrorism, regional instabilities, separatist micro and ethnic nationalism, fundamentalism, organized crime, drug and human trafficking, mass migration, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means and cyber-terror have dominated the strategic landscape. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the US and the more recent attacks in various parts of the world including in London, Madrid and İstanbul have clearly demonstrated that terrorism has gained global proportions.
Today terrorism constitutes one of the gravest challenges to individual nations as well as to NATO itself. It is obvious that the international community cannot defeat terrorism without unwavering determination and close international cooperation. Condemning and addressing this scourge must be a common goal.
In this context, the invocation of Article 5 on 12 September 2001, for the first time in NATO’s history, was a clear manifestation of the Alliance’s resolve to stand up to the challenge. This landmark decision was followed by significant practical measures.
While NATO has already made a substantial contribution to the struggle against terrorism, efforts are underway to better equip the Alliance in countering this challenge. Turkey has been and will continue to be at the forefront of efforts in this vein.
In recognition of the need to adapt itself to post Cold war realities, NATO has for some time been undergoing a comprehensive transformation process. The basic elements of this process were reflected in the Strategic Concepts of 1991 and 1999. This is a process of both internal and external adaptation. Indeed, NATO has clearly demonstrated its ability to meet the requirements of the new security environment by enhancing its command and force structure and capabilities accordingly, as well as through developing appropriate mechanisms such as enhanced political and military partnership structures, cooperation and dialogue. The Partnership for Peace Program, Mediterranean Dialogue, NATO-Russia Council and NATO-Ukraine Commission, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative are concrete examples to this end. NATO’s open door policy and its collaboration with other international organizations such as the UN, OSCE and the EU have been remarkable.
|The NATO Response Force, on the other hand, is a prime example of the military transformation process. Turkey is a strong advocate of these efforts and has been an active contributor to all strands of transformation. Turkey undertook the leadership of the first two iterations of the land component of the NRF (LCC) and hosted the first NRF exercise in Izmir on 20 November 2003. Turkey also led the LCC of the NRF in the first half of 2007. She also established a High Readiness Force Headquarters (NRDC-T) in Istanbul. NRDC-T is among the six Graduated Readiness Force (GRF) HQ’s within NATO. Turkey also hosts the Air Component Command Headquarters in Izmir as well as the Center of Excellence on Defence Against Terrorism in Ankara.( http://www.tmmm.tsk.mil.tr/main.htm ).
The development of capabilities for effective and swift response to crises is at the core of transformation efforts within NATO. The Alliance needs to have deployable and usable forces that can be sustained over distances. This issue is particularly important as NATO takes on new missions in distant areas such as Afghanistan. The NATO-EU strategic partnership as also aiding the development of defence capabilities and this work has the potential to be a very important area of collaboration between the two organizations.
While the nature of risks and threats, as well as the methods that need to be employed in countering them have changed, the core objective, and indeed main function of the Alliance, namely collective defence, remains unaltered. NATO is the organization of first choice in countering risks and threats in the Euro-Atlantic region, as well as in enhancing peace and stability therein. In this respect, the Istanbul Summit was instrumental in confirming the unique role of the Alliance in defending the common security of its members. Naturally, given the complex nature of the prevailing security environment and the need for a multifaceted approach to security, the EU, as a Union with various mechanisms at hand, and its increasing military and civilian capabilities, comes to the fore as a natural strategic partner for NATO.
Turkey has been and continues to be a security provider in what is indeed a volatile region. As such, she is an active participant in NATO-led peace support operations. She takes part in operations of other leading international organizations as well, such as the United Nations and the European Union. Turkey currently maintains the largest armed forces among the European allies and is only second to the USA within NATO. As of August 2006, a total of 3500 Turkish troops participate in NATO, UN or EU-led operations.
Given the nature of her geo-strategic location and the prevailing global security conditions, Turkey is obliged to maintain a realistic deterrence capability. This is also in keeping with her responsibilities as a member of NATO. While the state of flux in the international environment and the changing nature of risks and threats have created a need for a comprehensive transformation within NATO, the Turkish Armed Forces have also embarked upon a similar process of transformation and modernization. The ultimate aim is to transform the Turkish military into a modern, smaller and professional force, with higher deployability and fire power.
Comprehensive statistical data on Turkey’s military standing in NATO in comparison with other Allies can be found at the NATO web page ( www.nato.int/docu/pr/2003/p03-146e.htm ).
Furthermore, detailed information on the Turkish Armed Forces can be found at www.tsk.mil.tr .
|2. Enlargement Process:
In accordance with Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, Turkey supports the idea that NATO’s door should remain open to European democracies willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership. Turkey has been supporting NATO’s “open-door” policy from the very beginning. In this regard, Turkey welcomed the accession of Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia to NATO as of 29 March 2004, which constitutes the largest-ever enlargement of the Alliance and believes that it will further contribute to the consolidation of security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region. Accession of these new members will also be instrumental in achieving our common goal of a free and united Europe. In this regard, Turkey also fully supports the accession of Albania, Croatia and Macedonia to the Alliance once they fulfill the necessary criteria.
3. Partnership Relations:
In line with the principle of indivisibility of Euro-Atlantic security, Turkey actively supports and participates in the Partnership mechanisms of the Alliance. Turkey believes that the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), since its establishment in 1997, has proven its value as a practical tool in enhancing relations, dialogue and co-operation between NATO and Partner countries as well as among Partners themselves. The Partnership for Peace (PfP) Program launched in 1994 has helped Partner countries cooperate with NATO in political and military matters through increased interoperability. Turkey believes that the PfP, while maintaining its basic principles such as the “indivisibility of security”, “self-differentiation”, “inclusiveness”, “transparency” and “open-endedness”, should remain dynamic and flexible in order to adapt to new challenges.
The Partnership Action Plan Against Terrorism (PAP-T), which was approved during the Prague Summit in November 2002, was the first example of issue-specific cooperation between the Allies and Partners. The Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) is another manifestation of the Alliance’s determination to support Partner countries in their reform efforts. Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Kazakhstan participate in the IPAP process.
At the 2004 NATO Istanbul Summit, the Alliance decided to take a number of steps to further consolidate the Euro-Atlantic Partnership. A document endorsed by Heads of State and Government regarding the refocusing and renewal of Partnership relations highlighted the enhancement of dialogue and practical cooperation, the promotion of democratic values and defence reform as priority areas in NATO’s relations with Partners. In addition, it was decided to put special focus on engaging with Partners in the strategically important regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia. In this context, NATO has agreed on improved liaison arrangements, including the assignment as the Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia of liaison officers for the two regions. Robert F. Simmons, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, was appointed Special Representative. The Liaison Officer for Central Asia is currently a Turkish diplomat.
As a manifestation of its support to NATO’s Partnership policies towards Central Asia and the Caucasus, Turkey assumes the role of NATO Contact Point Embassy in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and the Kyrgyz Republic for a period of 2 years between 2007-2008. Turkey also supports the establishment of further contacts and increased cooperation by NATO with third countries outside the Euro-Atlantic area (Contact Countries), as appropriate, and on a case-by-case basis. In support of Partnership activities, the Turkish PfP Training Centre (BIOEM), established in Ankara on 29 June 1998, conducts courses and seminars with the goal of providing strategic and tactical training and education to the military and civilian personnel of Partner countries in accordance with NATO/PfP overall concepts, general principles and interoperability objectives. The Turkish PfP Training Centre is open to all Partners as well as the Mediterranean Dialogue and ICI countries. For up-to-date information and statistics on the Turkish PfP Training Centre please see www.bioem.tsk.mil.tr.
|4. Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative:
NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) was initiated in 1994 with the broad objectives of contributing to regional security and stability, achieving better mutual understanding and dispelling any misconceptions between NATO and its Mediterranean Partners. Countries currently participating in the MD are Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia.
As a Mediterranean country, Turkey has strongly supported the MD since its inception. Turkey believes that security in Europe is closely linked to security and stability in the Mediterranean. In line with the progressive nature of the Dialogue, Turkey shares the Alliance’s policy to strengthen the Dialogue in areas where NATO can add value. As an indication of its active contribution, Turkey fulfils the task of Contact Point Embassy in Morocco for the period of 2007-2008. In addition, the PfP Training Center in Ankara is open to all MD Countries for courses carried out in the spirit of the MD.
Determined to respond to new challenges, the Alliance launched a new initiative at the İstanbul Summit aimed at addressing the broader Middle East region. The “Istanbul Cooperation Initiative”, is intended to further contribute to long-term global and regional security and stability while complementing other international efforts. Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have joined this effort so far. The aim of the Initiative is to enhance security and regional stability in the region via actively promoting NATO’s cooperation with interested countries in the field of security, especially through practical activities. Within the framework of the ICI, the Alliance aims at fostering mutually beneficial relations with the interested countries in the broader Middle East region to promote security and stability.
(for more information on MD and ICI please visit
5. NATO-Russia Relations:
Turkey is fully committed to the objective of sustaining stable and constructive relations with Russia based on mutual trust and transparency. In parallel with its good relations at the bilateral level, Turkey continues to support the strengthening of NATO-Russia relations that were formalized by the “NATO-Russia Founding Act” of 1997. Turkey believes that constructive, cooperative and institutional relations between NATO and Russia are an essential component of peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.
Turkey welcomed the close co-operation between Russia and the Alliance in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
In view of the above, Turkey gave her full support to the creation of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) on 28 May 2002 at the Rome Summit, which works on the principle of equal participation of all 27 countries. The progress achieved so far in the NATO-Russia Council has been encouraging; however Turkey believes there is still room for further cooperation. Turkey also believes that the fight against terrorism should be given priority in the framework of the NRC. Progress witnessed in the fight against terrorism would be a significant and concrete sign of the credibility of NRC in its efforts to build up a solid cooperation. In this respect, Turkey welcomed Russian offer to participate in the Alliance’s Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean.
|Turkey also supports cooperation in the NRC on the fight against drugs and organized crime and provided a training course entitled “Drug Law Enforcement Training Program” in the Turkish International Academy Against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC) Training Center in Ankara within the context of NRC Pilot Training Project on the Fight Against Drug Trafficking Towards Afghanistan and Central Asia, which has recently been extended by including the year 2009.
6. NATO-Ukraine Relations:
Turkey, enjoying close bilateral relations with Ukraine, welcomes and strongly supports the cooperation between NATO and Ukraine on the basis of “Distinctive Partnership” document since 1997.
The adoption of the “NATO-Ukraine Action Plan” at the meeting of NATO-Ukraine Commission at the Foreign Ministers level held during the Prague Summit of November 2002, as well as NATO’s reiteration of its commitment to the Alliance’s open door policy at the İstanbul Summit of June 2004 are encouraging steps in that direction. In this vein, Turkey believes that the “Action Plan” provides a comprehensive framework for intensified consultations and cooperation with Ukraine on political, military, defence and economic affairs.
Turkey supports Ukraine in its drive for democratic, economic and security sector reforms. In this respect, the importance of its defence reform deserves emphasis as this will not only facilitate co-operation with NATO but also result in a closer working relationship with the Euro-Atlantic community.
Turkey welcomed the acceptance of Ukraine to the Intensified Dialogue (ID) mechanism at the informal Meeting of Foreign Ministers in Vilnius on 21 April 2005 and believes the ID process is contributing to the reform efforts in Ukraine.
7. 2004 NATO Istanbul Summit:
Turkey was proud to host the NATO/EAPC Summit in Istanbul on 28-29 June 2004. The Istanbul Summit constituted the first major NATO event at the level of Heads of State and Government after the Alliance’s enlargement of 29 March 2004.
The Summit was held with the participation of 46 NATO/EAPC countries and three observers (Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia-Montenegro). NATO-Russia Council (NRC) and NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) meetings were also held. Approximately 6000 participants, half of which were members of delegations and the other half from media members participated in the Summit. A series of public diplomacy activities were held at the margins of the Summit, as well as military and scientific exhibitions on NATO’s activities and capabilities.
At the NATO Istanbul Summit, the Alliance made decisions on the future of its operations (ISAF, SFOR, KFOR, Operation Active Endeavour), its training mission for Iraqi security forces, contribution to international efforts on the fight against terrorism and its military capabilities. NATO also reaffirmed its open-door policy, emphasized the importance of the Caucasus and Central Asia; decided to enhance NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue and launched the “Istanbul Cooperation Initiative”.
|8. 2006 Riga Summit:
The NATO Heads of State and Government Summit held in Riga on 28-29 November 2006 was a valuable opportunity for the Alliance to discuss the main issues on the NATO agenda. Turkey believes this Summit was a new success in the Alliance’s efforts to create an environment of security in a broader area. The main decisions taken at Riga include:
– the invitations extended to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia to join the PfP,
– the opening of Partnership tools to MD, ICI and Contact Countries, on a case-by-case basis,
– the announcement that the NATO Response Force has reached full operational capability,
– and the endorsement of the Comprehensive Political Guidance.
9. Prague Capabilities Commitment (PCC):
The Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI), launched at 1999 Washington Summit had intended to enhance Alliance capabilities, yet overall progress had been insufficient. As part of the continuing Alliance effort to improve and develop new capabilities for modern warfare in a high threat environment, including asymmetric threats, a new capabilities initiative was launched by the Heads of State and Government at the Prague Summit in November 2002. The new initiative, named Prague Capabilities Commitment (PCC) concentrates on certain capabilities essential for the full range of Alliance missions, including those related to the fight against terrorism. Efforts in the context of PCC will seek to bring improvements, in particular in the areas of “defence against CBRN attacks”, “secure command and communication and information superiority”, “interoperability of deployed forces and key aspects of combat effectiveness” and “rapid deployment of and sustaining combat forces”. It was decided at the Prague Summit that efforts undertaken within PCC and the European Capabilities Action Plan (ECAP) should be mutually reinforcing, carried out by respecting the autonomy of both organizations and in a spirit of openness.
Heads of State and Government in Istanbul welcomed the commitments made by the seven new Allies in the framework of the PCC, as well as the cooperation between PCC and ECAP groups. It was also noted in Istanbul that the implementation of national PCC was progressing, and multinational activities – in strategic sealift and airlift, air-to-air refueling, and the Alliance Ground Surveillance system – were continuing to make progress and would enhance NATO’s military capabilities in many areas as well as examining options for addressing the increasing missile threat to Alliance territory, forces and population centers.
IV. European Security and Defence Identity/Policy (ESDI/P)
Turkey, as a European Ally in NATO, has made a significant contribution to the preservation of peace and stability in Europe during the Cold War years. Subsequently she has supported the development of a European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) within NATO, as well as the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) of the EU. Turkey’s efforts to render ESDP more inclusive have contributed to the effective development of the project from its very beginning. These efforts were based on the vested rights and status that Turkey has enjoyed in the Western European Union (WEU). Efforts bore fruit in December 2001 with the finalization of the Ankara Document. This Document, as negotiated by Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, defined the modalities of participation of non-EU European Allies in the ESDP. The Ankara Document was finally endorsed by the EU Heads of State and Government during the Brussels European Summit of 24-25 October 2002, with minor changes. The new document which bears the title “ESDP: Implementation of the Nice Provisions on the Involvement of the non-EU European Allies” (more succinctly called the Nice Implementation Document) opened the way for NATO and the EU to reach an agreement based on the North Atlantic Council (NAC) decision of 13 December 2002 and the NATO-EU Joint Declaration of 16 December 2002 on the establishment of the NATO-EU strategic partnership.
|Turkey warmly welcomed the decision to establish a strategic partnership between the two organizations. Such a strategic partnership, based on the principle of the indivisibility of security, and increased synergy and coherence between NATO and the EU in confronting common threats, will enable their joint efforts for peace and security to be taken further in an exponentially stronger and more efficient manner. Naturally, it is incumbent upon all Allies and European partners to fully implement the provisions of the Nice Implementation Document on the participation of non-EU European Allies in ESDP. Turkey’s unwavering commitment and full support to NATO-EU cooperation is a logical consequence of its foreign, defence and security policies. Turkey’s aspiration to become a full member of the EU, adds meaning and relevance to her contributions to ESDP.
The NATO Istanbul Summit held on 28-29 June 2004 provided a unique opportunity to reconfirm the unity of purpose underlying the NATO-EU strategic partnership. The fight against terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means; crisis management; civil emergency planning and capabilities, as well as regional topics including cooperation in the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Greater/Wider Middle East and the Mediterranean are some of the areas where synergy by NATO-EU joint work could make a substantial difference for the better.
The Istanbul Summit also witnessed another step forward in terms of NATO-EU cooperation at the operational level. NATO announced its decision to terminate Operation Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina while confirming its continued presence in that country by keeping an HQ. Simultaneously, the EU launched operation EUFOR-ALTHEA in Bosnia-Herzegovina with recourse to NATO assets and capabilities under the “Berlin plus” arrangements. This was going to be a new test for NATO-EU cooperation under the “Berlin plus” arrangements. Supported also by Turkish troops, the operation is being conducted smoothly and has been contributing to maintaining peace and security in this country.
As mentioned earlier, in line with her prospective membership to the EU, Turkey has from the very outset supported the development of the European Security and Defence Policy. This constitutes the underlying philosophy for Turkey’s active and practical support to EU operations. Furthermore, Turkey shares the EU’s holistic approach to security. She views this approach to be in conformity with her own foreign, security and defence policies and has declared her readiness to contribute to them with assets and capabilities, both civilian and military.
Turkey has participated in almost all operations undertaken by the EU under the Berlin (+) arrangements or autonomously. In fact, in many operations such as Proxima in Macedonia or EUPM in Bosnia Herzegovina, Turkey has contributed more than most EU partners. Furthermore, Turkey’s involvement in ESDP constitutes an indispensable added value to the further deepening of the security dimension of the EU in this critical period.
Turkey is making a significant contribution to EUFOR-ALTHEA, including to its civilian aspect. In total, her contribution to EUFOR-ALTHEA comes to nearly 255 personnel. Furthermore, Turkey has 4 police officers deployed to the EU Police Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Turkey also contributed one police officer to the EU Police Mission in Kinshasa, plans to send one police officer to the EUPOL-COPPS Mission in Palestine and is also considering participating in the EU Border Assistance Mission in Rafah/Palestine. Turkey has also participated in the EU’s EUFOR RD Kongo mission aimed at assisting the UN in the Democratic Republic of Kongo, with one Turkish C-130 aircraft and its crew deployed in Gabon.
|Turkey declared her readiness to contribute to the EU Battle Groups in November 2004. Turkey will provide both troops and capabilities to the Italian led Battlegroup which will be assigned to the EU for the second half of 2010.
Turkey believes that resolute action against contemporary threats requires coherence and cooperation. Developing synergy among the main pillars of the European security system as well as strengthening the Trans-Atlantic link are the “sine qua non”s for a credible, integrated European security architecture. Security is indivisible more than ever. Unexpected and asymmetric threats oblige the Euro-Atlantic community to act in solidarity and cooperation. A common strategic vision between the EU and NATO is needed to chart a roadmap to meet future challenges.
V. Regional Initiatives and Operations
Turkey has launched a number of groundbreaking initiatives to create a web of regional cooperation mechanisms. In addition to the Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group (BLACKSEAFOR) initiated by Turkey in 2001, Turkish Naval Forces started Operation Black Sea Harmony (OBSH) on 1 March 2004 with a view to deter asymmetric threats that might emerge in the region, and to ensure the security of the Turkish Straits. Turkey has also called for the other littoral states to join OBSH and with the participation Russian Federation and Ukraine, OBSH became a multinational security initiative.
1. Multinational Peace Force South-East Europe: Another initiative is the Multinational Peace Force South-East Europe (MPFSEE). Originating from a Turkish proposal in 1997, this body was brought into life by the inauguration of its headquarters in Plovdiv/Bulgaria in September 1999. The location of the MPFSEE headquarters rotates among member countries and has moved to Istanbul for the period of 2007-2011. This force consists of Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, and Romania. USA, Slovenia and Croatia participate in the MPFSEE as observers. Turkey assumed the command of the MPFSEE between 31st August 1999 and 31st August 2001. The main objective of the MPFSEE is to contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area and foster good neighbourly relations and cooperation as well as interoperability among the South-Eastern European countries. The MPFSEE contributes to the peace and stability of the region by serving also as an important confidence-building measure. The Force will, in principle and contingent on case-by-case decisions of the participating states, be available for NATO and EU-led conflict prevention and other peace support operations that will be conducted through a mandate by the UN and/or the OSCE. In this respect, SEEBRIG was for the first time deployed in Afghanistan within the NATO-led ISAF operation between February-August, 2006.The Force can also be called on to participate in “coalition of the willing” type international initiatives. The Chairmanship of the Politico-Military Steering Committee (PMSC), which was established as the joint executive body for oversight and for providing policy guidance to the MPFSEE, was assumed by Turkey for the period between 2003 and 2005 and taken over afterwards by Albania and Macedonia respectively.
2. South-Eastern Europe Defense Ministerial Process (SEDM): The South-Eastern Europe Defence Ministerial (SEDM) process, initiated in 1996, is another regional cooperation mechanism. SEDM participants comprise interested NATO member countries (Turkey, US, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia) and the countries of the region that are PfP participants (Albania, Macedonia and Croatia and Ukraine which joined the process in December 2005). Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Georgia and Montenegro have been taking part in the process as observers. The Chairmanship of the SEDM Co-ordination Committee (SEDM-CC) was assumed by Turkey between 2003 and 2005, parallel to the Chairmanship of MPFSEE/PMSC. The Chairmanship of SEDM-CC and PMSC was taken over by Albania as of 1 July 2005 for a period of two years, following which Macedonia will assume this responsibility.
3. Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Force (BLACKSEAFOR): Another Turkish initiative the creation in 2001 of a naval task force in the Black Sea with the participation of all the littoral countries (Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russian Federation, Ukraine and Turkey). This initiative, known as “Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Force” (BLACKSEAFOR) is a regional arrangement that constitutes the first of its kind in the Black Sea. BLACKSEAFOR aims at contributing to friendship, good relations and mutual understanding in the region through the enhancement of cooperation and interoperability among the naval forces of the littoral countries. BLACKSEAFOR is an on-call force enabling the participating countries to join their naval capabilities in order to conduct operations ranging from counter-terrorism to search and rescue, humanitarian assistance, environmental protection operations, mine counter-measures, goodwill visits and any other tasks agreed by all the parties. (for more information please visit the official website www.blackseafor.org )