On Tuesday 28 June from 14:00 to 16:30, the Communications Directorate of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey will host a panel discussion on ‘NATO, from regional to global: Dialogue, enlargement and cohesion’ at the Mandarin Oriental Ritz Hotel in Madrid.
Convened at an unfortunate time when Europe is once again experiencing war after more than half a century, the NATO Alliance, of which Turkey has been a member for 70 years and Spain for 40, will hold its next summit from 28-30 June in Madrid, bringing together heads of state and government from 30 countries. This summit will also adopt the Alliance’s New Strategic Concept in the face of today’s security challenges. This juncture has already positioned the Madrid Summit as one of the most successful and special meetings in the Alliance’s history.
The purpose of the panel, which will take place on the above-mentioned date, is to discuss NATO’s capabilities and sphere of influence, to enable it to intervene effectively in crises other than military ones, and to debate the strategies to be pursued and the steps to be taken in the framework of enlargement policies. The panel programme, which will feature distinguished academics and experts from Turkey and Spain, will consist of two sessions entitled NATO Enlargement Policy on the Axis of Cooperation and Dialogue and Common Challenges for Turkey and NATO.
The panel will be held in English with simultaneous English-Spanish translation and is expected to address the following agenda items: NATO 2030: Cohesion Report for a New Era; NATO’s New Mission and Enlargement Policy; NATO’s Role and Activities in Global Security; NATO’s Central Role in Euro-Atlantic Security; Turkey’s Role in NATO; and Turkey’s Approach to NATO’s Enlargement Policy.
As a product of the Alliance’s efforts to renew and update itself in line with current priorities, on 25 November 2020, a 67-page report with 138 recommendations under the title “NATO 2030: United for a New Era” was published by the NATO Expert Group. The report is also a sign of the Alliance’s willingness to strengthen its strategic and political orientation. Vision 2030 clearly shows NATO’s preparations to become a security organisation that contributes not only to member states but also to global security.
NATO has played an important role in ensuring Turkey’s security and has contributed significantly to its goal of cooperating with Euro-Atlantic structures in a number of respects. Since its accession to the Alliance in 1952, Turkey, with its extensive military capabilities, historical background and cultural relations, has fulfilled its responsibilities to realise the Alliance’s objectives of global peace, tranquillity and security. With NATO’s second-largest military, Turkey is one of the top five contributors to Alliance missions and operations, one of four countries that can provide airborne early warning and refuelling aircraft to the Alliance, and one of eight that contribute the most to NATO’s joint budgets.
The conditions generated by the war in Ukraine have put NATO membership applications from some countries on the agenda. In the face of this development, in principle our country reiterates its “supportive” policy towards NATO enlargement; at the same time it expresses its concern about Turkey’s security sensitivities. In this regard, it is legitimate to expect countries wishing to join NATO, which is constituted as a collective security organisation, to show sensitivity to the security concerns of individual NATO members. It is a prerequisite for a candidate country to coordinate with existing members, especially on an issue such as terrorism and counter-terrorism, which has seriously threatened the international system and the national security of states in recent years.