Turkey has been an indispensable ally to the West for nearly 70 years: Altun
Director of Communications Fahrettin Altun shared a thread from his Twitter account, stating that Turkey had been an indispensable ally to the West for nearly 70 years, and would continue to be.
Reminding that Turkey joined NATO in 1952 and had served in critical missions around the world for decades for the security of the alliance, Altun said:
"NATO’s foundational mission was to protect the free countries of Europe, weakened by the Second World War, from the Soviet Union. More broadly, NATO worked to contain the spread of Communism. Turkey was essential to both of these goals. NATO members’ security has been closely tied to controlling the geographic land-bridge between the East and the West as well as the waterways to the Black Sea. Having Turkey in the Western camp has accomplished these goals as well. In the first "hot war" of the Cold War in Korea, Turkey made a massive contribution to stemming the tide of Communism. Turkey committed several times more troops than any other continental European power, and lost nearly 3,000 of its service members killed and wounded.
After the Cold War, Turkey continued to play a strong part in NATO. When the alliance intervened in Bosnia to end the genocide, Turkish Armed Forces committed its troops to the mission. Turkey’s deep cultural and historical links to Bosnia helped make this mission a success."
Altun stated that after the 9/11 terror attacks in the US, Turkey was a critical ally in the War on Terror, and said:
Turkey contributed troops to the NATO operation that overthrew the Taliban regime in Afghanistan for sheltering Al Qaeda. International solidarity against terrorism was our guiding principle. Just as in Bosnia, Turkey played a critical role in stabilizing Afghanistan. Turkey was the first head of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to reconstruct the country. Our peace-building capacity and commitment has been at full display in Afghanistan.
Turkey was an early victim of Al-Qaeda’s wave of post-9/11 terrorism. The terrorists blew up the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul in November 2003. The Turkish government stood in solidarity with its Jewish citizens and ensured a quick rebuilding of the damaged building.
Underlining that Turkey continued to be a vital part of the NATO alliance, Altun said:
"Turkey’s geography remains unchanged, of course, and her cultural links from the Balkans to Central Asia have only deepened. Our geography, culture, and commitment to common security will not change.
Turkey has the second-largest army in NATO. Turkey spends proportionally more on defense each year than major powers like France and Germany. Turkey is also one of the few states nearing NATO’s 2% GDP target for defense spending for member nations. Turkey's long and deep commitment to NATO has safeguarded Europe and improved our common security. We believe in the ideals and the ongoing missions of NATO while advocating for a robust debate on the role of the organization for our common security and common future."