SC 141 Field Study 3 to Türkiye
First stop of Field Study 3 for Senior Course 141: Türkiye
On 6 December 2022, the NATO Defense College delegation began its tour at the Turkish General Staff Headquarters (TGS), where Minister Plenipotentiary Julide Kayihan, Faculty Advisor and Senior National Representative of Türkiye at the NDC, welcomed the delegation and introduced the distinguished speakers. The first panel was comprised of BGEN Kubilay Koşucu, Head of NATO and International Security Department of the Ministry of National Defence, and Ms. Ayça Oşafoğlu İnam, Acting Deputy Director General, Foreign Policy, Analysis and Coordination of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
BGEN Koşucu welcomed the delegation on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MOD). He then presented the main responsibilities and organizational structure of the MOD. He described Türkiye’s global and regional security outlook and related challenges. BGEN Koşucu articulated issues from a broad perspective, shared Türkiye’s important contributions in dealing with critical challenges, including countering terrorism; the war in Ukraine; and overall support to the deterrence and defence of the Alliance in a 360 degree perspective. BGEN Koşucu spoke of how terrorism and groups such as DAESH, FETO, PKK/YPG etc. are affecting the international security situation. He underscored that Türkiye is not only countering terrorists, especially in relation to Syria and Iraq, but also providing significant assistance to the local populations through rebuilding projects in Syria (schools, hospitals, mosques, churches, synagogues etc.). BGEN Koşucu, also delved into Türkiye’s significant contributions in dealing with the refugee crisis.
The next briefer was Ms Ayça Oşafoğlu İnam, Acting Deputy Director General, Foreign Policy, Analysis and Coordination from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She presented the main pillars and priorities of Turkish foreign policy. She examined in detail Türkiye’s position in relation to the war in Ukraine and spoke of the unique support Türkiye provided on critical issues such as the grain deal, prisoner exchange, and so forth. The briefer also discussed key elements of Turkish foreign policy, including transatlantic relations and relations with NATO, the EU, the UN, and other multilateral fora. Ms Oşafoğlu İnam also presented her country’s broad global diplomatic representation and foreign policy priorities in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
An Office Call between the Commandant of NATO Defense College, LGEN Olivier Rittimann and the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, General Selçuk Bayraktaoğlu concluded the first part of the briefings.
Brigadier General Özkan Ulutaş, Director of Strategy at Turkish General Staff Headquarters (TGS), welcomed the NDC delegation of behalf of Chief of Defence (CHOD), before starting his presentation in the second part of the morning session. He presented the mission of the Turkish Armed Forces.
The terrorist threat calls for strong intervention to secure borders and counter possible attacks within the country. He also talked about terrorist threats related to groups such as PKK/KCK – PYD/YPG, FETO (Gulenist Terrorist Organization), DAESH and Türkiye’s ongoing operations against terrorism. For instance, more than 4500 DAESH terrorists have been neutralized so far. BGEN Ulutaş spoke about stabilization and normalization and underscored Türkiye’s strong efforts in dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis and its support to around 9 million people through various means, including the almost 3.8 million Syrians hosted in Türkiye. He analysed Türkiye’s support to NATO’s missions and operations, including Türkiye’s hosting of LANDCOM and multiple significant units, such as Multinational Jointwarfare Centre in İstanbul. He highlighted Türkiye’s role as a significant ally for the last 70 years.
The last briefing of the morning was presented by the representative of the Presidency of Defence Industries, Ms Aysegul Tokatli. She gave an overview on the agency’s structure and organization, roles, core business, resources, projects, procurement process, and collaborative companies. The agency currently manages activities related to small arms, ammunitions, tanks, drones, aircraft, radar systems, helicopters, cybersecurity clusters.
The ensuing Q&A session concluded the academic part of the day.
The NDC delegation then moved to the Atatürk Mausoleum (Anıtkabir), and took part in a Wreath Laying Ceremony, where the Commandant of the NDC signed the guest book.
After a kind reception hosted at Gazi Officers’ Club, Course Members visited the Turkish Aerospace Facilities. The Senior Course received an overview of its history and production processes. This was followed by a visit to a helicopter production and assembly site, the closing activity to end the Turkish leg of Field Study 3.