TURKEY CAN INVOKE NATO’S ARTICLE 5 FOR SYRIAN INTERVENTION

Posted on April 11, 2012 by

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Compiled by STOP NATO

Today’s Zaman

PM: Turkey may invoke NATO’s Article 5 over Syrian border fire Ekrem Dumanli

Turkish Actions Designed To Trigger NATO Confrontation With Syria?

SHANGHAI: In a statement that may be interpreted as the harshest response yet to the escalating 13-month-old Syrian crisis, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the first time on Wednesday raised the possibility of calling on the NATO military alliance to protect Turkey’s border against incursions by Syrian forces.

Speaking to reporters travelling with him during his official visit to China, Erdoğan said Turkey may consider invoking NATO’s fifth article to protect Turkish national security in the face of increasing tension along the Syrian border…

“NATO has a responsibility to protect Turkish borders,” said Erdoğan, signaling that Turkey may officially ask NATO members to apply Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which says that an attack on any member shall be considered to be an attack on all, if the situation in Syria becomes a serious enough threat to Turkish national security.

The article was invoked by the US for the first time in October 2001, when NATO determined that the terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were indeed eligible under the terms of the charter.

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Today’s Zaman

Observers say NATO’s fifth charter comes into play if clashes with Syria get worse

ANKARA/İSTANBUL: With Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday raising the possibility of calling on the NATO military alliance to protect Turkey’s border against incursions by Syrian forces, most observers said if an armed attack occurs at the Turkish-Syrian border, NATO members might take action to assist the attacked ally.

Erdoğan said Turkey may consider invoking NATO’s fifth article to protect the national security of Turkey in the face of increasing tension along the Syrian border…

“NATO has the responsibility to protect the Turkish borders,” said Erdoğan, signaling that Turkey may officially ask NATO members for the application of Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which says an attack on any member shall be considered to be an attack on all, if the situation in Syria becomes unbearable for Turkish national security.

The article was invoked by the US for the first time in October 2001, when NATO determined that the terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were indeed eligible under the terms of the North Atlantic Treaty.

At the basis of a fundamental principle of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Article 5 provides that if a NATO ally is the victim of an armed attack, each and every other member of the alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the ally attacked.

Former Ambassador Nüzhet Kandemir of Bahçeşehir University said what happened at the border on Monday will not be evaluated as an attack by the NATO alliance.

“The NATO alliance would look to determine if there is interference in Turkey from Syria in order to invoke Article 5,” he said.

“If it is evaluated as an assault, then NATO will invoke Article 5,” he said.

Atilla Sandıklı, chairman of the Wise Men Center for Strategic Studies (BİLGESAM), said if an assault was started by Syria, a collective defense action by NATO can be put in force.

On the other hand, another former ambassador, Murat Bilhan, who is the deputy president of the Turkish-Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM), said it is up to NATO to decide if the Monday killing of four Syrians is considered an “attack.”