Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar, along with Chief of General Staff General Yaşar Güler, Land Forces Commander General Ümit Dündar, Air Force Commander General Hasan Küçükakyüz, Naval Forces Commander Admiral Adnan Özbal and National Defense University Rector Prof. Dr. He attended the opening ceremony of NATO Maritime Security Center of Excellence Command (MARSEC COE) in Istanbul with Erhan Afyoncu. Making a speech at the ceremony, Minister Akar stated that the Turkish Armed Forces, in addition to ensuring the security of its country and its 84 million citizens, also continues its uninterrupted contributions to NATO despite the pandemic conditions.
Describing the centers of excellence as the cornerstone of NATO's transformation efforts, Minister Akar said, "Turkey, which established the Center of Excellence for Combating Terrorism in 2005, continues its contributions to the Alliance by establishing the NATO Maritime Security Center of Excellence Command, which we believe will be a global brand and leader in the International Maritime Security Military Projects today. is doing. As well as sponsoring 27 of 14 centers of excellence, we are very happy to host such an institution. I consider that the Maritime Security Center of Excellence Command, with the contribution of NATO and its allies, will fill an important gap in training, research, development and interoperability for maritime security operations and will contribute significantly to NATO's spirit of partnership.” used the phrases.
Emphasizing that the Alliance's solidarity has become much more important at a time when risks, threats and dangers are increasing at the global and regional level, Minister Akar said:
“As Turkey, we believe that NATO maintains its raison d'être and NATO's importance is gradually increasing. Therefore, the Alliance must be further strengthened and NATO must be made to work in a true alliance spirit. Having NATO's second largest army, Turkey shares the Alliance's burden and all its values, putting NATO at the center of its own security and at the same time being at the center of NATO's security. It is also among the top five countries in the ranking by participating in NATO missions, operations and headquarters with approximately 3 personnel, including the command structure. In addition, it is among the top eight countries that contribute the most to the military budget with approximately 2 percent of its gross national product. In particular, I would like to point out that despite its preoccupation with the risks, threats and dangers in its region, Turkey continues to contribute uninterruptedly to the exercises, force structure and staff of the Alliance, and does whatever it takes to protect NATO and Europe's borders against terrorism, smuggling and human trafficking. ”
WE ARE THE NATO COUNTRY THAT HAS THE BIGGEST BURDEN
Stating that Turkey hosts 4 million Syrian refugees regardless of language, religion, race or sect, Minister Akar stated that he supports 5 million Syrians in northern Syria to live in humanitarian conditions. Land, that is, NATO's ready power, successfully fulfilled the task of Land Component Command, he said.
Minister Akar stated that with TURMARFOR, which will reach full operational capability from the beginning of 2022, they will assume the naval element command of NATO in 2023 and that they expect the contribution of allied countries for TURMARFOR, which will provide serious deterrence and effectiveness to the naval force of the Alliance.
“Although our NATO allies have fought resolutely against terrorist organizations in many parts of the world, unfortunately they have not shown the same determined stance against the PKK/YPG terrorist organization.” Minister Akar said:
“Turkey has made numerous calls to its allies to fight together against the actions of PKK/YPG and DAESH terrorist organization in northern Syria, which threaten its national security and regional stability. We have repeatedly proposed to our NATO allies the creation of a safe zone in Syria, and together we agreed on some plans. However, the requirements of these agreements were not fulfilled and Turkey was left alone in the fight against terrorism. Turkey is the NATO country that has shouldered the greatest burden to relieve the suffering of the Syrian people, and the Turkish Armed Forces is the only NATO army that has fought hand to hand with DAESH. Our expectation is that our allies cooperate with us in the fight against terrorism, seek solutions to Turkey's serious security concerns and stand by us. We respect the borders, territorial integrity and sovereignty of all our neighbors. We do not have eyes for anyone, their law, their land. Our struggle is with terrorism, with terrorists.”
S-400 AIR AND MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM SUPPLY
Reminding that they had a telephone conversation with the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin last night, Minister Akar described the meeting as an open, constructive and positive meeting. Minister Akar said, "We will carry out the necessary work according to the decisions of our Heads of State." he said.
Emphasizing that Turkey is in favor of solving all problems in its region and the world through peaceful methods and good neighborly relations in accordance with international law, Minister Akar said, “However, we are determined, determined and able to protect our rights, interests and interests in our Blue Homeland, including Cyprus. We do not allow any fait accompli.” said. Minister Akar said:
“At a time when the risks and threats against our country were at their highest, we made attempts to purchase Patriot from the USA and SAMP-T from France-Italy, by negotiating with our allies for the supply of air defense systems. However, this was not possible for various reasons. Thereupon, we purchased the S-400 air and missile defense systems from Russia, which met the conditions we wanted. We did not do these in secret, we never had a hidden agenda. Our main purpose in acquiring these systems is to defend our country and our 84 million citizens against possible threats from the air. We have repeatedly stated that we are ready to address the technical concerns of our interlocutors. We are open and transparent in negotiations. Reasonable and logical solutions are always possible. Turkey's contribution to NATO and NATO's cooperation with Turkey is much deeper and more comprehensive than the F-35s and S-400s. NATO Secretary General Mr. Stoltenberg has clearly stated this. As a result, NATO, in which Turkey is a part, is more meaningful and stronger and will move forward with more confident steps into the future.”
At the end of his speech, Minister Akar expressed his satisfaction with contributing to the NATO family by hosting an institution such as the NATO Maritime Security Center of Excellence Command and conveyed his wishes of success to the personnel who will serve.
Naval Forces Commander ORAMIRAL ÖZBAL
Admiral Adnan Özbal, Commander of the Naval Forces, stated that maritime security requires global solution approaches due to its transboundary characteristics.
Admiral Özbal, stating that the center, whose establishment works date back to the early 2000s, with this understanding, started its duty as an international military organization affiliated to NATO after a long and intense establishment and accreditation process, said, “The Maritime Security Center of Excellence is Turkey's 2nd, NATO's. It has become the 26th NATO center of excellence. This center will always continue to strive to be a center that can meet NATO's training and information needs in the field of maritime security.” he said.
Emphasizing that Turkey will continue to contribute to NATO's deterrence in the field of maritime security, Admiral Özbal stated that in this sense, the Maritime Security Center of Excellence has great responsibilities.
Admiral Özbal, who thanked those who supported them in making important contributions to the security of the Alliance and the world's seas, said, "I believe that this center will turn into a center of attraction for NATO maritime security with the contribution of NATO and partner states." he said.
Expressing his wish that the Maritime Security Center of Excellence will turn into an information distribution center with more sponsor countries, Admiral Özbal said, “As the host country, I would like to express that we will always support this important institution in achieving its determined goals. We look forward to your education and training contributions with the development of standardization, concept and doctrine that we will provide to allied and partner countries in the field of maritime security. I wish success to the Maritime Safety Center of Excellence.” used the phrases.
SENT VIDEO MESSAGE
After the ceremony, where NATO Deputy Secretary General John Manza, NATO Allied Naval Commander Vice Admiral Keith Blount and Deputy Director of the Combined Joint Operations Center of Excellence, Rear Admiral Tom Guy sent a video message, Minister Akar and TAF Command Level cut a ribbon and officially opened the Maritime Security Center of Excellence. Akar and the commanders, who toured the center and received information, later joined the family photo shoot.