Ankara: Turkish President Recep Erdogan stated that even Turkey had the right to acquire nuclear weapons. He said, “Some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads, not one or two. But (they tell us) we can’t have them. This, I cannot accept”. At the time, President Erdogan openly mentioned Israel and alleged that they were scaring the Middle Eastern neighbours with the possession of the nuclear weapons. After Saudi Arabia and Iran, two Gulf countries which have been in the effort of becoming nuclear for the past few years, Turkey appears to be next in the race.
During an address at an event of the ruling AK Party, President Erdogan expressed the ambition to make Turkey a nuclear state. As President Erdogan expressed the aspiration, he said, “Some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads, not one or two. But (they tell us) we can’t have them. This, I cannot accept. We have Israel nearby, as almost neighbours. They scare (other nations) by possessing these. No one can touch them.”
Turkey has signed many agreements for non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology over the past three decades. However, President Erdogan has shown signs of Turkey likely violating the agreements in an attempt to go nuclear. Turkey’s efforts may intensify the arms race and inflame tensions in the Middle East. Notably, at a time, when the United States and Israel have undertaken an aggressive campaign against the Iranian nuclear program, Erdogan’s nuclear ambitions may trigger a shift in the Middle Eastern equations.
Four years ago, a website had asserted that Turkey was working towards acquiring nuclear weapons citing sources from the German intelligence agency. Nevertheless, neither Turkey nor other countries delivered any specific response to it. Turkish President Erdogan’s aggressive stance, however, seems to endorse the website report. Turkey has inked agreements on nuclear power with Russia and Japan. At the same time, the state has also accelerated the space and missile programs.
The developments hint at Turkey’s attempts towards becoming a nuclear state. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has initiated steps towards acquiring nuclear weapons and has been revealed of accepting support from countries such as Pakistan and China for the purpose. Moreover, Saudi justified its nuclear program stating that they would acquire nuclear weapons too if Iran did.