Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that it is unacceptable for world powers to forbid his country from acquiring nuclear weapons. In an address to his ruling AK Party members in Turkey’s eastern city of Sivas, President Erdogan claimed that “there is no developed nation in the world that doesn’t have them.”
The Turkish leader further hinted that he seeks to provide his country with the same protection as the State of Israel. Erdogan claimed that the Jewish State, which is almost a neighbor of Turkey, deters its enemies by possessing a nuclear arsenal.
Despite Israel’s continued silence over its alleged nuclear capabilities, the Turkish leader asserted that no other country can touch it.
The Turkish aspiration to become nuclear power state, came less than a week after Ankara’s announcement that it is considering the acquisition of Russia’s most-advanced fighter-jets, after the United States decided to remove Turkey from its F-35 stealth aircraft program over its purchase of Moscow’s highly-sophisticated S-400 surface-to-air missile system. According to Erdogan: “If the United States maintains its current stance on the F-35s, we will take care of this. Beyond putting the Su-35 or 57 issue on the table, the issues that we are discussing are what measures we can take for our defense industry or for our defense, and these are surely aspects being discussed as part of our precaution packages.”
Under international treaties, the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China are the only powers that are technically allowed to possess a nuclear arsenal. Nevertheless, India, Pakistan and North Korea managed to obtain nuclear weapons, as well. South Africa, under the Apartheid regime, also obtained several nuclear bombs. Nevertheless, it dismantled them once it became a democracy. While Israel is believed to be a nuclear power, it has never confirmed nor denied this allegation.