News / Europe

Turkey Pledges No Third Country Use of NATO Defenses

Secretary-General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, left, and Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu shake hands after a joint news conference in Ankara, Turkey, February 17, 2012.
Secretary-General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, left, and Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu shake hands after a joint news conference in Ankara, Turkey, February 17, 2012.
Dorian Jones

The head of NATO is visiting Turkey to mark the country's 60th anniversary as a member.  But the meeting was as much about issues currently facing the military alliance, such as Iran and Afghanistan.

Iran topped the agenda of talks in Ankara between NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.  Turkey, which borders Iran, has a radar system operating on its territory as part of NATO's missile defense system. That system is aimed primarily at countering any attack by Tehran.  But, as Davutoglu made clear, who will use the radar remains a sensitive subject for Ankara.

Davutoglu said Turkey "will never allow any third country to use any NATO facility."  He added that Turkey's position on this will be "even more clear" regarding Israel.  Davutoglu said the purpose of the NATO defense system to protect the populations of NATO allies.

Rasmussen concurred, saying NATO would never share such information with third parties.  Israel is not a NATO member.

Turkish media were full of reports, citing a U.S. newspaper article, that the U.S. and Israel used data from the Turkish radar for an anti-missile exercise.  The missile defense system is politically sensitive for Ankara, both domestically and internationally.  

Iran has strongly condemned Turkey for agreeing to participate in NATO defenses.  The Turkish government has faced strong criticism from opposition parties, who claim the system is meant to protect Israel, not Turkey or other NATO members.

The ongoing crisis in Syria was also discussed during the NATO chief's meeting with Davutoglu.  Rasmussen praised Turkey's role in the wider Arab Spring, citing its unique position as a NATO member bordering the Middle East.

Speculation continues to grow that Ankara could play a role in a possible humanitarian intervention in Syria.

The NATO summit on Afghanistan schedule to take place in Chicago this May was also discussed during Friday's meetings in Ankara.  Rasmussen said that helping Afghan forces take responsibility for security will be a key topic at the summit.  Turkish forces remain in the forefront of training Afghan police and soldiers.

After Turkey jointed NATO 60 years ago, it played a key role in the Cold War against the then Soviet Union, guarding Europe's southeast flank.  Even with the ending of the Cold War, Turkey's importance to NATO appears undiminished.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid