Australia and Turkey’s Defence relationship is based on strong historical links. It is a relationship borne of the fierce battles of the 1915 Çanakkale campaign (called the Gallipoli campaign in Australia), which remains at the heart of Australia’s national story and is a central episode in Turkey’s national struggle and road to nationhood in the early twentieth century. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk remains a prominent figure in Australia, and is immortalised in a statue in Canberra, close to both the Australian Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial.
The current Defence relationship has a unique character, and is one of shared experience and of valued friendship, between one-time foes. The relationship is however not defined entirely in terms of history. It is an active friendship comprising regular senior military officer visits, commemorative events in Turkey and Australia, information exchanges on a range of defence related matters, Defence Material cooperation and shared operational commitments.
Examples of this growing relationship include:
• cooperation on Airborne Early Warning Aircraft development and use;
• cooperation on Landing Ship Helicopter Dock (LHD) development and use;
• Joint Defence Industry Trade Missions, and;
• Training exchanges.
Australia and Turkey have also shared operational experiences, serving together and with coalition partners in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our most recent combined operation is through our national contributions to the NATO Mission – Iraq.
Australia works closely with other countries to promote security and stability in our immediate region and globally. Our response to security challenges such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, cyber threats, maritime security and weak and failing states is multi-dimensional.
Australia and Turkey conduct military-to-military talks every 18 months. The sixth iteration concluded in early February 2019, and this mechanism will continue to be a central feature of our relationship for the coming years. Ongoing exchanges at international events are also important with Australian and Turkish Defence Force presence a common theme.
Defence Section - Ankara
The Defence Section is a component of the Australian Embassy in Ankara. The Defence Section explains and promotes: Australia’s Defence interests and relationships with accredited countries; Defence policies and national security interests; strategic interests shared with accredited countries; Australia’s contribution to the protection of those shared interests; and the development of cooperative Defence activities.
The Defence Attache is the principle accredited representative of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in Turkey, and is resident in Ankara.
Did you know?
The Australian Defence Force is an equal opportunity employer who values the service of men and women. As of October 2018, 17.9 per cent of the ADF permanent workforce are female.
More information is available from the Department of Defence.