Ministry of Defence logo Defence Staff logo
Periodista del EMAD

Combined air operations centre celebrates the day of the Republic of Turkiye

Torrejón AB, Madrid
November 8, 2023
  • This year Turkiye commemorates the first centenary of its proclamation as a secular Republic.

Personnel from the Torrejón Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC TJ) have held a military parade at their facilities joining the Turkish contingent present at the unit on the occasion of "Cumhuriyet Bayramı", or "Republic Day". The Turkish flag was raised in the presence of its ambassador and all CAOC TJ personnel on duty.

In commemoration of this event in Turkiye's recent history, which this year marks the first centenary, the Ambassador to Spain, Nüket Küçükel Ezberci, who has been in office since August 2023, was received at the CAOC TJ by Lieutenant General Sánchez de Lara. Prior to the official ceremony, they held a working meeting during which they discussed a number of topical issues.

As is customary in this type of ceremony, the authorities present addressed a few brief words to those present.

In his speech, Lieutenant General Sánchez de Lara highlighted Turkiye's decisive contribution to NATO's activities, "not only by supporting AWACS deployments, but also by contributing its capabilities to reinforce the Air Policing mission in Northern and Southern Europe, referring to NATO's firm stance against Russia's illegal aggression towards Ukraine thanks to the concepts of solidarity, responsibility and cohesion of the member countries of the Atlantic Alliance".

For her part, Ambassador Ezberci said she was very happy to be able to share the 100th anniversary of her Republic with the international contingent of the CAOC TJ, which also coincides with the 500th anniversary of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ambassador recalled that "since Turkiye joined NATO in 1952, membership of the Alliance has been the keystone of the country's defence policy".

In addition, she recalled that her nation contributes to NATO through Turkiye's important cultural and historical ties with other countries in the region, as well as through its military power in the region, "which is indispensable for the maintenance of peace and security on the southeastern flank of Europe".

Republic Day commemorates the events of October 29th, 1923, when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk proclaimed that Turkey would be a secular republic from that day on. Turkiye had been a republic since  April 23rd, 1920, the date of the establishment of the Grand National Assembly, but the official confirmation of this fact took place three and a half years later. On October 29th 1923, the nation's status as a republic was declared, and the country's official name was thereafter "Türkiye Cumhuriyeti" (Republic of Turkey), and Atatürk was elected by the Grand National Assembly as the first President of the Republic.

Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón (NATO)

The main mission of the Torrejón CAOC, under the direct command of a Lieutenant General of the Spanish Air and Space Army, is to plan, direct, coordinate, supervise, analyse and report on air defence operations in Southern Europe, in accordance with the directives of the NATO Air Component Command to which it reports and with the resources assigned to NATO by the nations in peacetime.

The Spanish Armed Forces make an important contribution to the mission carried out by this centre. Some 120 Spanish military personnel serve in the CAOC itself as well as in the National Support Element (NSE) and the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) Unit.