Thematic Materials

Below is the message issued by H. E. Abdullah Gül on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Turkey’s membership in NATO

“February 18, 1952, when our country became a NATO member, bears a special importance this year as today is the 60th anniversary of its membership in NATO. read more

„NATO and Turkey –Meeting the Challenge of Change”  by Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN (PERCEPTIONS, Spring 2012, Volume XVII, Number 1, pp. 3-5.)

When Turkey joined NATO on 18 February 1952, Winston Churchill and Harry Truman were still in office. NATO was a three year-old alliance, with just 12 members. And it would be another three years before the Warsaw Pact was formed. read more

Turkey’s Relations with NATO – Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ever since our NATO membership in 1952, the North Atlantic Alliance has played a central role in Turkey’s security and contributed to its integration with the Euro-Atlantic community. Turkey, in return, has successfully assumed its responsibilities in defending the common values of the Alliance. read more
Turkey 60 years in NATO – Interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Joint Press Point with Foreign Affairs Minister of Turkey

NATO Review – Turkey: interview with Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz

Turkey: what 60 years in NATO mean

„Turkey and NATO: 60 Years On”  By Menekse Tokyay for SES Türkiye in Istanbul – 14/02/12

As Turkey marks its 60th anniversary as a member of NATO on February 18th, the importance of the Alliance is as clear as ever, given international and regional security challenges.

Since Turkey joined NATO on February 18th 1952, it has remained the lynchpin of its security policy, protecting the country from internal and external threats while constituting the cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic integration and co-operation. read more

„Transformation of NATO and Turkey’s Position”  by Ahmet DAVUTOĞLU in PERCEPTIONS, Spring 2012, Volume XVII, Number 1, pp. 7-17.

“NATO is the most successful defence alliance in modern history.” While some may argue that this is a superficial cliché and that the Alliance is fast becoming irrelevant, others believe that this is a truthful statement reflecting the Alliance’s well-deserved prominent place, not only in the annals of history but also in today’s and, most probably, tomorrow’s security environment. I personally subscribe to the latter school of thought. read more

„The Evolution of NATO’s Three Phases and Turkey’s Transatlantic Relationship” by Gülnur AYBET in PERCEPTIONS, Spring 2012, Volume XVII, Number 1, pp.19-36.

When Turkey joined NATO sixty years ago, NATO was a different kind of an Alliance than the one it has evolved into today, and Turkey was a far more different country, compared to the regionally proactive player it has become today.

While some things with respect to the Alliance’s core functions, such as the provision of collective defence for its member states and the promotion and preservation of the main tenets of a liberal Western order, have not changed, it is the new security challenges that both the Alliance and Turkey fiind themselves facing that profoundly alter this relationship. These new challenges broadly fall under three categories: i) new security challenges and different threat perceptions ii) The use of old tools versus new tools in dealing with stability, whether these involve the use of military hard power or normative soft power iii) the legitimacy of military intervention. read more

“NATO’s Missile Defense – Realigning Collective Defense for the 21st Century” by Sean Kay in PERCEPTIONS, Spring 2012, Volume XVII, Number 1, pp. 37-54.

Missile defense has been at the core of global security dilemmas since the advent of nuclear weapons and longrange ballistic missile delivery systems. During the Cold War, missile defenses were seen as undermining the nuclear balance between the United States and the Soviet Union. This was because missile defense can increase incentives to launch first-strike nuclear attacks if an enemy’s retaliatory response is survivable.  read more

“Lisbon and the Evolution of NATO’s New Partnership Policy” by Rebecca R. MOORE in PERCEPTIONS, Spring 2012, Volume XVII, Number 1, pp. 55-74.

Meeting in Berlin in April 2011, NATO foreign ministers adopted a new partnership policy designed to facilitate “more efficient and flexible” partnership arrangements with NATO’s growing and increasingly diverse assortment of partners. The new policy served to fulfill a pledge taken at the Lisbon summit in 2010 to enhance NATO’s partnerships further by “develop[ing] political dialogue and practical cooperation with any nations and relevant organisations across the globe that share [the Allies’] interest in peaceful international relations.” read more

„NATO and Russia: A Perpetual New Beginning”  by Roger E. KANET & Maxime Henri André LARIVÉ in PERCEPTIONS, Spring 2012, Volume XVII, Number 1, pp. 75-96.

The post-Cold War period has been far from a stable era, considering the many crises between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Russia that resulted from the waves of NATO enlargement, the war in Kosovo, support of the West for the color revolutions, the U.S.-sponsored missile shield, andso on. Throughout the two decades following the fall of the Berlin Wall and of the Soviet Union itself, relations between NATO and Russia have led to the emergence of a significant sense of mistrust on both sides. read more

„Turkey’s NATO Agenda: What Role in the Middle East?” by Lieutenant General Sadi Ergüvenç (Ret.) in Smart Defense and the Future of NATO: Can the Alliance Meet the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century?, March 28-30, 2012 Chicago, Illinois

Turkey relied on the NATO alliance throughout the Cold War years, but, at times, it has come to feel like the “lone wolf” in the alliance. The country still relies on NATO, to be sure, but the extent to which Turkey can count on NATO is contingent upon NATO’s cohesion in how it contends with pressing security concerns. Given Turkey’s strategic geopolitical location, Turkey cannot remain indifferent to the ongoing crises in North Africa and the Middle East. Indeed, Turkey has demonstrated the ability to facilitate intensive dialogue and consultation to promote regional peace and stability. read more


After 60 years of membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Turkey’s role in the alliance stands strong amid new security threats and challenging regional change. It also largely corresponds to the New Strategic Concept of the 2010 Lisbon Summit, outlining the range of principles to which the members must adopt in order to continue effective cooperation and meet new responses, capabilities and partners (NATO, 2010). In light of this, Turkey’s strategic geography is crucial for the new security environment in the Euro-­‐Atlantic region and beyond. Taking the recent examples of the intervention in Libya and the missile defense system, this policy update will highlight the importance of Turkey’s role within NATO regardless of initial foreign policy disagreements with the alliance and recent negative trends in Turkish public opinion towards the West. read more

Turkey’s Zero-Problems Foreign Policy by Ahmet Davutoglu

Throughout modern history, there has been a direct relationship between conflict and the emergence of new ways of arbitrating world affairs. Every major war since the 17th century was concluded by a treaty that led to the emergence of a new order, from the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 that followed the Thirty Years’ War, to the Congress of Vienna of 1814-1815 that brought an end to the Napoleonic Wars, to the ill-fated Treaty of Versailles that concluded the first World War, to the agreement at Yalta that laid the groundwork for the establishment of the United Nations in 1945. Yet the Cold War, which could be regarded as a global-scale war, ended not with grand summitry, but with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet Union. There was no official conclusion; one of the combatant sides just suddenly ceased to exist. read more.

Getting to Zero: Turkey, its Neighbors, and the West

Scholars from the Transatlantic Academy have written this report after a yearlong study evaluating key questions and policy issues, Turkey’s evolving global and regional role, internal change in Turkey, and how these affect the transatlantic relationship. read more.


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