Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar spoke at the panel titled "The Evolving Outlook of Strategic Alliances" of Doha Forum 2022, held in Doha, the capital of Qatar, with the theme of "Transformation for a New Era". The moderator asked, “How does the war between Russia and Ukraine affect Turkey and Turkey's NATO membership?” Minister Akar gave the following answer to the question:
“Historically, states have chosen to take part in alliances to better ensure their safety and security against threats. Meanwhile, security conditions are changing rapidly, so adapting an alliance to changing security conditions is essential. Today we have entered a more unstable and unpredictable security environment. We are currently being tested with new hybrid threats in addition to traditional threats. We know the traditional interstate threats. Now there is also terrorism, extremist ideologies, failed states, frozen conflicts, mass and irregular migration and climate change.
Stating that the number of refugees worldwide has reached 85 million, Minister Akar said, “Therefore, terrorism/extremism is the ground. kazanWe could say it was. As you know, war was primarily a state activity in the past. Now state-like actors and proxies (powers) also play an important role. Unfortunately, I must say with regret that many groups or proxies act as partners of some states. In addition, terrorists use social media to gather supporters and spread their ideology. They use fake news, photos and videos to spread disinformation. In the new security environment, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and autonomous systems also need to be taken into account.” used the phrases.
Underlining that any crisis in the world can easily turn into a global problem that affects everyone, Minister Akar said, “Remember the theory of chaos! Butterfly effect. It is clear that global problems require global solutions. This is why maintaining alliances remains crucial to security and peace. Likewise, dialogue and multilateral cooperation.” he said.
Pointing out that the United Nations (UN) is the only universal platform that deals with global problems, Minister Akar said, "The world is bigger than five," as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan referred to the UN Security Council. reminded of his statement.
UNFAIR EXPORT RESTRICTIONS BY OUR ALLIES AFFECT NOT ONLY TURKEY, BUT ALSO NATO
Minister Akar noted that everyone knows that NATO is the most important and successful alliance in history, and that stronger members are needed to become a stronger alliance.
“However, I must state that these days, our allies' unfair export restrictions on our country affect not only Turkey but also NATO. Of course, it is possible to be a deterrent army with well-trained personnel, but you also need a strong defense industry.”
Sharing information on the defense industry that Turkey developed with its own efforts after 2000, Minister Akar stated that the Turkish defense industry has grown in terms of quality and size, and that excellent results have been achieved so far under the leadership of President Erdoğan. Minister Akar said, “Currently, the rate of domestic production is 80 percent. I would also like to point out that since the beginning of the 2000s, the Turkish defense industry has transitioned from a purchasing model to a much more independent model with a strong research and development basis.” he said.
TURKEY WILL CONTINUE TO BE AN ACTIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE MEMBER OF NATO
Referring to Turkey's role within NATO, Minister Akar said, “Without a doubt, Turkey continues to fulfill all its responsibilities towards NATO, its allies, friends and partners, and contributes to peace, security, cooperation and good neighborly relations in our region and in the world. There is no room for doubt in that. And Turkey will continue to be an active and constructive member of NATO, from the Balkans to the Middle East, Afghanistan and the Caucasus to Africa and beyond.” said.
Minister Akar stated that there have been many crises around Turkey in the last 30 years and that Turkey has protected NATO, the European Union and the southeastern borders of Europe in this process and said, “In all these crises, Turkey has always worked for peace, stability and security.” used the phrases.
Pointing out that President Erdoğan has been in contact with the leaders of Ukraine and Russia from the very beginning, and that he has met with the leaders of both countries many times, either face-to-face or by phone, Minister Akar said, “Similarly, Turkish ministers and officials are in regular contact with their Ukrainian and Russian counterparts. Meanwhile, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Russia met in Antalya. This was an important step. It was important not only for Ukraine and Russia, but for Europe and everyone. I am also in regular contact with (Ukrainian Defense) Minister (Oleksii) Reznikov and (Russian Defense) Minister (Sergey) Shoigu to find a way out. First of all, an immediate ceasefire and also the evacuation of civilians is necessary.” he said.
Minister Akar underlined that Turkey started to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine before the start of the Russian attack and sent aid with two A-23 cargo planes on February 400 within the scope of humanitarian aid efforts, Minister Akar said, “Since the airspace was closed, these planes are still in operation. in Ukraine. We are in constant contact with the relevant parties, especially Ukraine, for the safe return of our planes to Turkey. In addition, approximately 60 truckloads of emergency humanitarian aid were sent. More help is on the way.” said.
TURKEY HAS ALWAYS IMPLEMENTED MONTRÖ CAREFULLY, RESPONSIBLY AND OBJECTIVELY
Minister Akar reminded that at the NATO Summit, President Erdoğan reiterated Turkey's commitment to support Ukraine, including Ukraine's territorial integrity, political unity and sovereignty, and underlined that it does not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea.
Referring to the evacuation efforts from Ukraine, Minister Akar said, “So far, approximately 60 thousand Ukrainians have come to Turkey. Meanwhile, approximately 16 thousand Turkish nationals and 13 thousand other nationals were sent back to their countries from Ukraine.” used the phrase.
Regarding Turkey's stance on the Montreux Straits Convention, Minister Akar said, “Another important issue is that the Montreux Convention has provided balance and stability in the Black Sea until today. Turkey has always implemented the convention carefully, responsibly and impartially. It should continue in this way for the benefit of all parties.” he said.