NATO's Evolution and Turkey's Contribution to the Transatlantic Security
Turkey has been member of NATO for more than six decades. Turkey's contributions to NATO's collective defense have evolved in quantity and quality in step with changes in the ends and means of security. In terms of its contributions to the alliance, two elements of continued stand out. The first one is Turkey's location. Its proximity to zones of risks and threats in NATO's assessments has turned Turkey into an asset. The other element is Turkey's ability to raise and maintain a large army at a relatively low cost. This has been considered Turkey's "competitive edge" in NATO. Its real estate value and its large army constituted the two main pillars of Turkey's contribution to NATO during the Cold War. Turkey has shifted its emphasis away from quantity to quality to meet NATO's evolving requirements for post-Cold War out-of-area collective security missions. Nevetheless, Turkey's real estate value has come a full circle for the alliance with Ankara's decision to host an radar site as part of NATO's Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense System.