The leader said his country’s armed forces have created a ‘great and powerful’ Turkey
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to make Ankara’s army “number one” in the world, claiming that it has made “awesome” achievements and great progress in training in recent years.
During a Friday graduation ceremony at Turkey’s National Defense University in Istanbul, Erdogan praised the military for its help “in building a great and powerful Turkey”, to add: “There is no threat that the military cannot overcome on land, at sea and in the air.”
“We will be constantly reborn and take further steps until we make the Turkish Armed Forces the number one in the world with all its elements, training, equipment, technology and experience,” the chairman continued.
Although he acknowledged “shortcomings and aspects that need improvement” in Ankara’s military training system, Erdogan said the opening of the National Defense University in 2017 was a major turning point that “Completely changed” education and drilling for new troops.
“We have gathered all our military education and training institutions under one roof. In this joint structure, we have created a modern education system that reflects both the examples in the world and the needs of today.” he added.
The president also briefly touched on broader geopolitical issues during his speech, discussing the NATO alliance, of which Turkey is a member, and new applications from Finland and Sweden to join the bloc.
“The first step is that countries applying for membership accept our terms and make a written commitment, and the last two countries are not members, they are subject to an invitation to join. This is an invitation to join.” he said. “If they meet the conditions, we’ll do our part.”
Ankara initially opposed the membership applications, accusing the two Nordic states of harboring terrorist groups, but has softened its stance, now demanding that Helsinki and Stockholm agree to extradite terror suspects if they are admitted to NATO. Officials from all sides reached a ten-point agreement earlier this week to resolve the unresolved issues, but Erdogan later warned that Turkey could still block the move if Sweden or Finland fail to keep their promises.
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