NATO is vital for Turkey's security but must develop a clear vision to continue its support for all of its member states, the director of presidential communications in Ankara has said. Fahrettin Altun called on NATO to "have a clear vision to meet new security challenges and a commitment to member support."
Writing for Al Jazeera English yesterday, Altun acknowledged NATO as being "indispensable for our nation's security and for peace in our region." Ankara, he said, is ready to contribute to the organisation in order to "ensure the collective security for our alliance."
He also reminded the alliance – in which Turkey has the second-largest military – of Ankara's "robust commitment", citing its role in NATO missions around the world and its hosting of strategic assets on Turkish territory.
Altun's article was published before the long-awaited meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Joe Biden which is set to take place today on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels. The two leaders are expected to discuss a number of issues, including their bilateral relations and roles in the alliance.
Turkey's role within NATO is expected to be become even more essential, as the government last week offered to deploy troops to guard Kabul Airport following the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Such an offer comes after years of tense relations with other NATO member states, including the US, which led many to ask whether Turkey should be expelled from the alliance.