By Diyar Guldogan
KARS, Türkiye (AA) – Türkiye attaches great importance to the military exercises as the world passes through some political and military challenges, the nation's defense minister said on Thursday.
"We are witnessing various important political and military developments both in the regional arena and in the world in the period we are going through.
"We all see together that the armed forces should be more effective and more deterrent than ever before. For this, we need to see that the exercises are of vital importance," Hulusi Akar said at the "distinguished observer day" of the Winter Exercise-2023 in the eastern province of Kars.
Starting on Jan. 18, the exercise had 16 participants from friendly and allied countries, including Azerbaijan, Georgia, Germany, and the UK. The exercise officially ends on Friday.
"Our aim is not war. We continue our efforts to protect the rights and interests of our country and our nation and to ensure their security," Akar added.
The defense chief said Türkiye has conducted 985 military exercises since 2018 and it is planning to conduct 206 exercises in 2023.
Akar attended the observer day along with his Azerbaijani counterpart Zakir Hasanov and Georgian counterpart Juansher Burchuladze.
A total of 2,113 personnel took part in the exercise, and over 650 vehicles and 860 weapons were used.
The aim of the exercise was to ensure cooperation and coordination in the execution of combined and joint operations, test the combat capabilities of the units, including firing in deep snow and severe cold, and improve the synchronization of firing and maneuvering by simulating the battlefield in all its dimensions.