Speech at the Flag Raising Ceremony held in NATO CAOC-Torrejon on the occasion of the Republic Day

Cihad Erginay 28.10.2019

Commander,

Deputy Commanders,

Allied staff,

Today, we feel privileged to stand alongside Allied Air Forces staff who serve in CAOC, to raise and salute the Crescent and the Star.

This flag raising ceremony is being held on the occasion of the October 29, Republic Day.

On this day, in 1923, the status of the nation as a republic was declared and its official name was proclaimed to bethe Republic of Turkey,

On the same date a vote was held in the Grand National Assembly, and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was elected the first President of the Republic of Turkey.

This marked the end of a bitter and arduous period, and the beginning of an epoch in recent history.

Today, the Turkish Republic built on a solid foundation, is making continuousprogress as a modern, prosperous and humanitarian country.

Since Turkey’s membership in 1952, NATO has been the cornerstone of our defense and security policy. Turkey has been a staunch Ally of NATO and considers the Alliance as the linchpin of the Transatlantic ties and Euro-Atlantic security.

Turkey stands ready to fulfill its part for the protection of peace and security; and in defense of the Alliance.

Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria, and previous operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch, also serve this purpose. Turkey’s ultimate goal is to ensure the security of its borders, which is also NATO’s borders, to neutralize terrorists in the region, who are indeed a threat towards our common space and to save the Syrian people from the oppression of terrorists.

On behalf of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our host state, Spain. I would also like to extend our gratitude to Spain for its support in augmenting Turkey’s air defense capabilities with a Patriot battery stationed in Adana. Valoramos mucho su apoyo y nunca lo olvidaremos.

Under the NATO banner we are Allies, we are one. We are NATO.

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