The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO – French: OTAN) is an international military alliance that was established on the basis of the North Atlantic Treaty signed by 12 countries on April 4, 1949, and later joined by 18 more countries. Members of the organization make a common defense against the attack that may come from any external power. NATO’s headquarters are located in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, which is one of the organization’s 30 members.
Turkey – NATO Relations
In 1950, Turkey wanted to join NATO against the Soviet threat on its eastern border. After his application, as a sign of his seriousness, Turkey participated in the Korean War and sent a large number of soldiers. In the Korean War, the Turkish army fought many successful battles and gave great support to the allies. As a result of this Turkey joined NATO on February 18, 1952. Thus, Turkey became a NATO member in the 3rd year of the Alliance, together with Greece, after 12 founding members USA, England, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. Turkey is one of the top 5 contributing countries among NATO allies.
Turkey is the second country in NATO after the USA with its military personnel over 425,000. Recently, it is among the leading countries of NATO in terms of production of military equipment. Turkey manufactures its own infantry weapons, tanks, helicopters, radar systems, ships and submarines, and unmanned aerial vehicles that have made a lot of noise in recent years. You can check out our article about Turkish drones here: Turkish Drones
- Sent troops to the Korean War. Between the beginning of the war and the ceasefire in July 1953, a total of 14,936 Turkish soldiers served in Korea.
- Provides support in the prevention of irregular passage in the Aegean Sea, reconnaissance and surveillance. At the same time, Turkey is a permanent participant in NATO’s activities.
- Played a role in providing military trainers and military advice to Iraq. Assisted in deploying a force protection team in Iraq.
- Provided refueling to NATO planes that took place within the scope of the coalition against ISIS.
- Provides refueling to the planes that took place in the measures taken against Eastern Europe.
- Military support to Kosovo.
- Konya Air Base has been made available to NATO.
- Permanent participation in NATO Permanent Naval Forces and NATO Permanent Mine Counteraction Forces.
NATO explains Turkey’s position as follows: “Straddling two continents, with a foot both in Europe and Asia, Turkey is a multi-faceted country with a rich cultural heritage. Land of trade, agriculture and tourism, this vast country is at a crossroads of civilisations, between countries of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
As the Cold War developed in the post-war era, dividing Europe into Eastern and Western blocs, Turkey chose to side with Western Powers. It is this policy that led to its membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on 18 February 1952. Since then, NATO has been the cornerstone of Turkey’s defence and security policy.” Source: NATO
NATO Documentary about Turkey;
How Strong Is Turkish Army?
According to globalfirepower.com data, Turkey ranks 13th in the world in terms of military power. Let’s take a look at the statistical data;
- Man Power: Total Population: 82.400.000, Active Millitary Personnel: 425.00, Reserve: 775.000,
- Total Aircraft Strenght: Total 1.507 (9th in the World) 205 Fighters, 474 Helicopters, 107 Attack Helicopters, 81 Transports, 7 Tanker Fleet, 270 Trainers, 20 Special Missons,
- Unmanned Aerical Vehicles: (An estimated 500+ military drones),
- Land Forces: 3.022 Tanks, 13.270 Armored Vehicles, 956 Self-Propelled Artillery, 1.189 Towed Artillery, 407 Rocket Projectors
- Naval Forces: Total 156, 16 Frigates, 10 Corvettes, 12 Submarines, 35 Petrol Vessels, 11 Mine Warfare, 1 Destroyer (The Under Construction)
- Logistics: Labor Force: 25.677.000, 1.217 Merchant Marine Fleet, 10 Ports, 67.333 Roadway Coverage, 12.710 Railway Coverage, 98 Airports,
- Financials: Defense Budget: 9.690.000.000 $