15 November 2005 - TURKISH PRIME MINISTER PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR WAR ON TERROR [PRESS COMMUNIQUE]
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, emphasizing his country had lost thousands of its own citizens in terrorist attacks over the last 30 years, today (Tuesday) pledged his government’s full support to the global fight against terror.
"Turkey welcomes the increasing solidarity and co-operation in the fight against terrorism after the tragic incidents that have taken place all over the world since 2001… Full co-operation is essential in this field and there is still much to be done," he told NATO lawmakers.
Prime Minister Erdogan, who was addressing the 51st plenary session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Copenhagen, said Turkey was ready to offer any possible contribution to the organisation's activities "as it always has".
"Maintaining special relations with many of the Assembly's partner countries and representing an example to many countries in its region with its democracy and its attachment to Western values, Turkey will pursue and expand its co-operation with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly," he declared.
Thousands of Turks have lost their lives during the country's long battle with Kurdish separatists whom the Turkish Government call "terrorists".
The Assembly brings together some 300 legislators from the 26 Alliance member states in North America and Europe. Several other countries enjoy associate membership and observer status.
Earlier, the session was addressed by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer who gave an update overall assessment of the Alliance's current activities.
He reminded the legislators of NATO's "indispensable" presence in the Balkans, its mission in Afghanistan, its naval anti-terrorist operations in the Mediterranean, and training mission in Iraq. He also referred to NATO humanitarian relief in the wake of hurricane Katrina and the Pakistan earthquake.
"This is an alliance that is very much in business," he told the meeting.
The session began with an address by the Prime Minister of the host nation, Denmark, Anders Rasmussen and the current President of the NATO-PA, Pierre Lellouche.
Mr Rasmussen said the "impressive number" of parliamentarians present demonstrated what NATO was all about - "the defence of liberty and democracy."