As two NATO allies, there are numerous opportunities for cooperation in the military and defence fields for Turkey and Portugal. Maritime relations between the two countries are growing stronger, while the field of aviation offers numerous opportunities.
The National Day of Portugal was celebrated at the Embassy of Portugal in Ankara on 10 June only by the embassy staff due to COVID-19 precautions. Colonel Nuno Domingos Marques Cardoso, Defence Attaché of Portugal, answered our questions on this special day, commenting on the country’s military links with Turkey and the level of cooperation between the defence and aerospace sectors of the two countries.
Both Turkey and Portugal have long maritime histories, and so the opportunities for cooperation are strong in this field. In December 2018, Navy Staff Talks were launched between the two countries with a view to identifying areas for cooperation. Colonel Cardoso said that the level of cooperation would continue to grow in the future: “We are still at the very early stage, e.g. the establishment of guidelines and identification of domains for future cooperation between the navies of both countries.”
Cooperation with NATO is an important component of maritime relations. Portugal demonstrated its support for Turkey at the time of the establishment of the NATO Maritime Security Centre of Excellence (MARSEC CoE) in Istanbul, while Turkey is supporting the establishment of a NATO Geo-Meteorological and Oceanographic Centre of Excellence (GEOMETOC CoE) in Portugal. The first and second establishment conferences of the latter centre were held within NATO accreditation process. These both maritime-oriented centres of excellences aim to contribute to the maritime power of NATO through numerous projects and areas of activity.
On the other hand, Colonel Cardoso noted that both countries are working to increase the level of cooperation in the future between both their armed forces, and their respective defence and aerospace sectors. Colonel Cardoso emphasized that aerospace technologies are rapidly developing around the world, and said: “Portugal it is ready to further develop this domain of expertise and it is looking forward to joining partnerships on it.”
He went on to state that Turkey has witnessed significant growth in the defence and aerospace field, and that further bilateral cooperation would be developed through visits. Speaking on this issue, Colonel Cardoso said: “The ongoing pandemic has brought some of planned activities to a halt. However, Portugal is ready to strengthen its bonds with Turkey also in the defence and aerospace fields.