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Academics, experts discuss Turkey, NATO in London panel

Panel discusses Turkey's role in NATO ahead of NATO summit in UK

Ahmet Gurhan Kartal   | 02.12.2019
Academics, experts discuss Turkey, NATO in London panel


Turkey’s role in NATO and contributions in regional security challenges were discussed in a London meeting on Monday.

The panel organized by the Turkish Communications Directorate hosted a number of academics and experts on the alliance and Turkey’s involvement in it.

Murat Yesiltas, director of security studies at the SETA Foundation (Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research) -- a Turkey-based think tank -- described NATO as a "crucial organization", saying the organization was going through a "sensitive" time.

He said the alliance was facing various threats, including two major ones originating from the east and south.

The panel, held at the prestigious Naval and Military Club, came a day before a crucial NATO summit in the British capital.

Ahmet Berat Conkar, a Turkish MP from ruling AK Party and a member of the Political Committee at the Turkish Delegation of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly underlined during the panel that Turkey tried to bring "stability to the region and conflicted areas" and supported NATO initiatives within this perspective.

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, things changed for Turkey, he said.

Conkar said peace and stability in these areas under invasion have been ignored and caused security threats for Turkey.

He also said that all NATO allies and partners were expected to show solidarity with Turkey in its fight against terrorist organizations such as Daesh/ISIS and the YPG/PKK.

However, there was an "erosion of trust" when Turkey did not find that support, he added.

Solidarity and trust between members should be at the top of the agenda for NATO, Conkar said.

The panel also hosted Aylin Unver Noi from Istinye University and Kilic Bugra Kanat, Research Director at the SETA Foundation at Washington D.C. as speakers.

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