From 7 to 8 September 2020, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, visited Istanbul, Turkey as part of his regular visits to Allied member nations. The two-day official visit comprised of meetings with the Minister of Defence, Mr. Hulusi Akar, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu, and with the Chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Yasar Guler.
While in Ankara, the Chairman toured NATO’s Centre of Excellence – Defence against Terrorism and the Centre of Excellence – Defence against Terrorism Command and Partnership for Peace (PfP) Training. Topics of discussion during the visit focused on Turkey’s contributions to NATO operations, missions and activities, the regional security situation and NATO 2030.
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach meets Chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Yasar Guler. In his meetings with the Minister of Defence, Mr Hulusi Akar, and the Chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Yasar Guler, the Chairman thanked Turkey for its ongoing contributions to NATO’s operations, missions and activities. He commended Turkey for its support with medical equipment to other Allies and partners during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach stated, “Turkey makes essential contributions to NATO operations and activities. NATO is working to strengthen further our collective deterrence and defence, and to project stability beyond our borders, and Turkey is playing a key role in both”.
During his meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu, discussions centred on Turkey’s important and valuable contributions to the Alliance’s shared security and NATO 2030. They exchanged views on how to adapt and ensure the Alliance remains fit to face the challenges of the next decade. The Chairman highlighted “It is about keeping NATO strong militarily, making it stronger politically, and more global.”
Regarding the situation in Syria, the Chairman noted that Turkey is the ally most affected by the turmoil and violence in Syria. No other Ally has suffered more from terrorist attacks. He recognised the burden that Turkey is carrying however, he stressed that Turkey also must play its part in finding a longer-term solution to this crisis. Air Chief Marshal Peach emphasised that NATO will continue to support Turkey with a range of different measures; including defensive missile systems which help to protect Turkey against threats from Syria as well as through air and naval presence.
Air Chief Marshal Peach then visited two Centres of Excellence. The Centre of Excellence – Defence against Terrorism and the Centre of Excellence – Defence against Terrorism Command and Partnership for Peace (PfP) Training. He received briefings on the Centres latest projects and work.