As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted on Wednesday that Turkey may need to obtain missiles with nuclear warheads, the possible repercussions of such a move sparked a new debate amid the recent celebrations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 70th anniversary.
Erdogan insisted that it was unacceptable for nuclear-armed states to prevent Ankara from obtaining its own nuclear weapons, but did not explicitly say whether Turkey was planning to acquire them.
He also announced that upgraded armed drones will be produced within two months.
However, Turkey is a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1980. As well as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1996. So it abides by the rules that forbid “any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion” anywhere in the world.
Moreover, the timing of Erdogan’s remarks is crucial, as Turkish-US relations are still marked with the country’s purchase of a Russian missile defense system. Despite the risk of heavy sanctions from Washington.
Wasilewski doesn’t think Turkey would be an exception in this case, regional actors would be determined to stop it.
According to Wasilewski, this declaration links to the domestic developments unfolding in Turkey. Notably, it is in the context of Ankara’s current foreign policy paradigm. Various AKP decision-makers have wished to make Turkey a global power.
Moreover, experts consider that the development of such a missile with a nuclear warhead may result in a fundamental change in the Middle East and even the Eastern Mediterranean security architecture as it would make Turkey a formidable challenger to regional security dynamics, especially between Israel, Cyprus and Greece.
In brief, the number of US nuclear bombs currently stored in Europe under NATO auspices estimates between 160 and 240. Out of which, Turkey holds 50 to 90 of them.