NATO to hold extraordinary meeting at Turkey’s request

NATO Council to meet at Turkey’s request for political consultations on recent security operations

Photo by: NATO
Photo by: NATO

Updated Jul 28, 2015

NATO will have an emergency meeting on Tuesday following a request by Turkey to discuss its border security and recent operations against ISIS and outlawed PKK.

Turkey has stepped up security measures after the attacks by both ISIS and PKK in the last week and conducted airstrikes against the militant groups in Syria and northern Iraq.

The NATO statement said “The North Atlantic Council, which includes the ambassadors of all 28 NATO Allies, will meet on Tuesday 28 July, following a request by Turkey to hold consultations under article 4 of NATO's founding Washington Treaty.”

Article 4 of NATO foundation treaty enables member states to bring security issues to council's attention for political consultations.

“Turkey requested the meeting in view of the seriousness of the situation after the heinous terrorist attacks in recent days, and also to inform Allies of the measures it is taking,” the NATO statement said.

Both ISIS and PKK are listed as terrorist organizations by NATO as well as Turkey, European Union and the United States.

“NATO Allies follow developments very closely and stand in solidarity with Turkey,” the statement added.

Turkey has been the target of a series of terror attacks in the past week starting with a suicide bombing by ISIS in Suruc district of southeastern Sanliurfa province where 32 people have been killed.

PKK also increased attacks on both police and Turkish Armed Forces and killed several security officers.

Most recently, two Turkish soldiers were killed and four others injured when a car filled with explosives was blown up by PKK terrorists whilst a military vehicle was passing by in Lice district of southeastern Diyarbakir province late on Saturday.

On Thursday, gunfire from an ISIS held border town in Syria killed a Turkish soldier and injured two others in southern Kilis province.

Turkey responded the attacks with a series of airstrikes both against ISIS and PKK in Syria and northern Iraq respectively, targeting positions of militant groups.

Speaking to BBC about the announced meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said “I think it's very right and very timely to have a meeting where we address the turmoil and the instability we see in Syria, Iraq and surrounding and close to NATO borders of Turkey.”

Article 4 of the NATO treaty was invoked several times by the allied countries since the inception of the organization 1949, including Turkish requests in 2002 and 2012 for consultations.

NATO members can also ask for military help from the alliance in the scope of Article 5 of organization’s foundation treaty which considers attacks on a member of the organization as an attack on all the members.

TRTWorld and agencies