Turkey’s Defence Minister, Hulusi Akar said that Turkey sees NATO as the centre of its security, highlighting to protect the borders of the bloc against terrorism, human trafficking and smuggling, Anadolu News Agency reports.
According to the report, Akar stressed the importance of mutual cooperation between Turkey and NATO during his speech for the On Guard-2021 exercise conducted by the 3rd Army, based in Istanbul.
“Turkey-NATO cooperation is crucial for the country’s security. Turkey is doing whatever is necessary for the protection of the borders of NATO and Europe against terrorism, human trafficking and smuggling. As the second largest army of NATO, it puts NATO at the centre of its security and, at the same time, locates itself at the centre of NATO’s security by sharing all the burden of the alliance,” Akar said.
Turkey has been a NATO member for 70 years, and hosts many NATO initiatives.
There is a NATO headquarters in western Izmir province, an air base in southern Adana province, another one in south-eastern Diyarbakır and a NATO Rapid Deployable Corps in Istanbul.