'Turkish army the least reformed in NATO'

Despite Turkey having the largest army within the NATO alliance, it is also the least reformed one, said Nicholas Burns.

'Turkish army the least reformed in NATO'

Despite Turkey having the largest army within the NATO alliance, it is also the least reformed and the least deployable one, said former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns in Washington, Voice of America reported Friday.

Delivering the Fourth Sakıp Sabancı Lecture in the Center for the United States and Europe at Brookings (CUSE) Thursday, Burns said Turkey should increase its investments in its air and ground forces, emphasizing that countries should allocate more resources to their army from their gross national product. "In this respect Turkey is more advanced than most European countries," he said.

Stressing that Turkey should be more actively involved in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, Burns also asked the country to use its influence more directly against Syria and Iran, supporting sanctions.

"The United States want to see a Turkey led by a modern, secular and civil government," he said. Explaining that Turkey had a lot of opportunities to provide stability in the region, Burns advised the government to start dialogue with Armenia and reopen the Greek Orthodox Halki Seminary on Heybeliada. "Whoever is elected as the new U.S. president, his priority must be strategic partnership with Turkey," he said. Moreover the new president should also send a message to Germany and France, who are trying to stall the EU accession process, and say rejecting Turkey would be a huge mistake, according to Burns.
Last Mod: 10 Mayıs 2008, 12:44
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