IR Students Attend Event Marking 60 Years of Turkey's Membership in NATOA roundtable entitled "Turkey-NATO: 60 Years Together for Peace and Security" was held in Ankara on February 17, 2012. Department of International Relations graduate students were invited to attend the meeting together with Asst. Prof. Ă–zgĂĽr Ă–zdamar (IR). The roundtable marked the 60th anniversary of Turkey's membership in NATO, the country having joined the organization on February 18, 1952.
The meeting's opening speeches were given by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet DavutoÄźlu. In his speech, Mr. Rasmussen touched upon the significance of Turkey's role in the alliance not just as a beneficiary but also as a promoter of security for the whole organization. In addition, he spoke about the crucial role that Turkey can play in the Middle East on behalf of the alliance and described Turkey as an invaluable member and a strategic partner that is helping NATO adapt to the new security environment.
Mr. DavutoÄźlu, in his speech, also underlined Turkey's significance for NATO as a reliable and staunch ally. Moreover, he expressed the confidence that Turkey has in NATO's endeavors, since NATO engages in legitimate actions actions in that it obtains approval from the international community. Therefore, NATO is not just a military organization that executes military operations; it has a normative side as well. Lastly, Mr. DavutoÄźlu stated that Turkey will continue to take part in joint endeavors of the alliance as long as they are legitimate.
The opening speeches were followed by a roundtable discussion and a question-and-answer session.