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NATO Support to Turkey: Home


When searching for information on this topic, potentially useful keywords to use include :

  • NATO-Turkey relations
  • Turkey's air defence capabilities
  • Patriot Deployment to Turkey
  • Turkey/Turkish foreign relations

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This LibGuide includes links to content found on the web (e.g. websites, news & blogs, reports, etc.) as well as a select number of articles and books available from the NATO Multimedia Library.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive collection of material on the topic.  The selection criteria for the websites and documents included was based on each item's currency and relevancy to this topic. 

Furthermore, quick search boxes for online databases subscribed by the Library (available to staff working at NATO HQ) as well as links to the library catalog are available for you to locate additional resources.

NATO Support to Turkey

Turkey-NATO anniversary - 18 February 1952

On 16-17 February 2012, the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen thanks Turkey for its vital role in the Alliance.

On 18th February 2012, Turkey commemorates its 60th anniversary of NATO membership. To mark this occasion, NATO's Public Diplomacy Division creates a dedicated module in Turkish.

On the occasion of the crisis along NATO’s south-eastern border the NATO Secretary General received a letter in November 2012 from the Turkish government requesting the deployment of Patriot missiles. In this letter, the Turkish government stressed that the deployment would be defensive only, and that it would in no way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation.

On 4 december 2012, NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs agreed to augment Turkey’s air defence capabilities by deploying Patriot missiles at a meeting in Brussels. 

Three NATO Allies agreed to provide Patriot missiles to augment Turkey’s air defences: Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.

On the specific "NATO Support to Turkey" web page you will find a timeline of events leading to NATO’s decision, a map of Patriot Batteries in Turkey, the Fact Sheet : PATRIOT DEPLOYMENT published on 20 February 2013, together with more stories and additional information about this defensive action.

In October 2014, during a visit to Ankara, Jens Stoltenberg, the new  NATO Secretary General, mentioned the events close to Turkey’s southern border and added: “ISIL poses a grave threat to the Iraqi people, to the Syrian people, to the wider region, and to NATO nations. So it is important that the whole international community stays united in this long-term effort. I welcome the decisive actions taken by the United States, with many Allies and partners. And I welcome the recent vote in the Turkish Parliament to authorize an even more active role of Turkey in the crisis”. (Source: "NATO Secretary General shows Alliance solidarity in Turkey", 9 Oct 2014)

Between 13 and 14 May 2015, Turkey hosted the NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting in the southern province of Antalya in order to discuss the Alliance’s adaptation in the face of a changed security environment. During this meeting, Ankara offered to assume the responsibility as a framework nation in the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force for 2021. Turkey also announced that it would contribute to the new NATO trust fund for Defence Capacity Building, which was set up by the United Kingdom.

On 28 July 2015, the North Atlantic Council met at Turkey’s request and discussed the threats against Turkey.The NAC hold consultations under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty, which states that “the parties will consult whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence, or security of any of the parties is threatened.” Following the meeting, the NAC stated that NATO would continue to follow the developments on the South-Eastern border of NATO very closely. "The security of the Alliance is indivisible, and we stand in strong solidarity with Turkey".

On 24 November 2015, after Turkey informed Allies about the downing of a Russian Air Force plane violating Turkish airspace, the North Atlantic Council held an extraordinary meeting. The NATO Secretary General stated: "we stand in solidarity with Turkey and support the territorial integrity of our NATO Ally, Turkey."

In the 2015 NATO Secretary General Annual Report, published in February 2016, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg offers an overview of the support NATO has been provided to Turkey over the last years (p. 57).

On the occasion of a visit to Turkey on 21 April 2016, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commended Turkey for its strong commitment to the Alliance. (NATO Secretary General thanks Turkey for long-standing contribution to the Alliance, 21 April 2016). On 28 June 2016, Jens Stoltenberg strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Istanbul's Ataturk Airport.

Following the failed coup in Turkey which occurred on 15 July 2016, NATO Secretary General expressed a brief statement (NATO Secretary General statement on events in Turkey, 16 July 2016). Later on, the NATO spokesperson, Oana Lungescu, also stated: "NATO counts on the continued contributions of Turkey and Turkey can count on the solidarity and support of NATO." (NATO, 10 August 2016).

During a two-day visit to Ankara, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: "NATO continues to stand in solidarity with Turkey, with increased naval and air presence, and with defensive missile systems on the border with Syria" (NATO, 8 September 2016). On the following day, Jens Stoltenberg added: "Turkey is a strong and valued member of our Alliance" (NATO, 9 September 2016 and Joint Press Conference, 9 September 2016)

After the twin attacks carried out in the centre of Istanbul on Saturday 10 December 2016 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described them as “horrific acts of terror”.  In the same press release he underlined: “We stand united in solidarity with our ally, Turkey.  We remain determined to fight terrorism in all its forms”.

Turkey: NATO, EU and its evolving foreign and security policy

This LibGuide is also intended to provide a few starting points to assist you with your research on issues related to Turkey and its relations with NATO and the EU as well as Turkish foreign and security policy. It contains English language and where available, French language material on issues related to these topics.

Turkey joined NATO in 1952 and shortly after Turkish forces fought with the allies in Korea. During the Cold War, Turkey was a "wing country" under NATO's strategic framework, standing tough against the Soviet Union for decades.

Following the United States, Turkey has the second-largest number of troops in the alliance.

Good places to start your research include the following web pages and documents:

Turkey-NATO relations:

Turkey's foreign relations:

A selection of articles:

  • In March 2010, scholars from the Transatlantic Academy wrote a report ("Getting to Zero: Turkey, its Neighbors, and the West") "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." 
  • An article written by a specialist, Stephen F. Larrabee in Survival (April 2010): Turkey's New Geopolitics
  • In an article published on 20 May 2010 in Foreign Policy (Turkey's Zero-Problems), Turkish Foreign Minister Mr Ahmet Davuto─člu explains the three methodological and five operational principles which drive Turkey's foreign policy today.
  • In January 2011, Brig. Rumel Dahiya offered an interesting analysis on Turkey's recent change of geopolitical focus towards NATO, the EU and Russia (see Changing Face of Turkey in Strategic Analysis, vol. 35, nr. 1).
  • Turkey 2020 by Soner Cagaptay et al. "On May 21, 2011, Washington Institute Turkish Research Program director Soner Cagaptay joined a group of leading experts on Turkey at NYU's Center for Global Affairs in a dialogue on likely scenarios for the future of Turkey to the year 2020. Their objective was to identify and develop three plausible, distinct, and consequential scenarios that merit the attention of U.S. policymakers."
  • An article by Mustafa Akyol on Turkey's Maturing Foreign Policy, published in Foreign Affairs in July 2011.
  • Rethinking Turkey Foreign Policy by E. Fuat Keyman, published in The Journal of Turkish Weekly on 27 May 2013.
  • What would the Turkish general election's vote (on 7 June 2015) mean for the country’s foreign policy? See Nick Danforth's article published in "Foreign Affairs" on 14 June 2015

Turkey-EU relations:

Turkey has been a candidate since 1999 and negotiating for accession since 2005.

  • Turkey in Europe: Breaking the Vicious Circle "the second report of the Independent Commission on Turkey published in September 2009, analyzes the key developments in EU-Turkey relations and puts forward concrete steps necessary to revive negotiations."
  • The Ministry for EU Affairs (Republic of Turkey) has an informative page on Turkey-EU relations. A brief history is provided as well as links to official documents and the institutional structure is outlined.
  • EU-Turkey relations by EurActiv, provides a good overview of the key issues and positions involved for this topic. As well, there is a useful timeline and page to external links.
  • Mapping EU-Turkey relations: State of play and options for the future published by the European Parliamentary Research Service (April 2017).

On 15 October 2015, The European Commission reached an agreement with Turkey on a Joint Action Plan to step up their cooperation on migration management in a coordinated effort to tackle the refugee crisis. In line with the conclusions of the EU -Turkey Joint Action Plan, the leaders of the European Union and Turkey made a statement on 29 November 2015 where they agreed that the accession process needed "to be re-energized". The statement also reflected their determination to cooperate on foreign policy and security.