NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an international military organization. NATO was established according to the North Atlantic Treaty signed on April 4, 1949. Jens Stoltenberg is the Secretary General of NATO and Rose Gottemoeller is the Deputy Secretary General. The number of countries that are currently members of NATO is 30. NATO was founded in 1949 by 12 countries. Founding members are USA, Belgium, UK, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Italy, Iceland, Canada, Luxembourg, Norway and Portugal. Turkey joined NATO in 1952. Turkey is still a NATO member. Other member states that later joined NATO are as follows: Greece, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia.

Turkey decided to send troops to the Korean War on 30 June 1950. Turkish state officials saw the Soviet Union (USSR) as a political threat at that time.  Turkish state officials were very eager to join NATO in the 1950s. Experts attribute Turkey’s admission to NATO to sending troops to this Korean War. Turkey sent a total of 5090 soldiers to the Korean War. The Turkish soldiers were led by Brigadier General Tahsin Yazıcı.

It is estimated that there will be new participation in NATO. Finland has announced that it will apply for NATO membership on May 15, 2022. This decision was approved by the Finnish parliament. It is also known that Sweden wants NATO membership. Although these countries want to be members of NATO, Turkey, Sweden and Finland are against this situation on the grounds that they support the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that Sweden and Finland support terrorist organizations.

Lastly, NATO member countries gathered in Madrid, Spain. During these meetings, a “Triple Agreement” was signed between Turkey, Finland and Sweden, following the negotiations attended by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. Some people think that Turkey should leave NATO. It is known that there are many politicians, journalists, business people and artists who want Turkey to withdraw from NATO membership. However, Turkey still remains one of the most important NATO members. For Turkey’s relations with the Middle East countries, you can read the article titled “Is Turkey in the Middle East“.

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