Turkey is not the protagonist of nuclear issues in the international community. In recent years, the international community has focused on regional nuclear proliferation issues such as the nuclear issue of North Korea and Iran, as well as the confrontation between the United States and Russia over strategic weapons. But historically, Turkey has not been out of touch with nuclear weapons.
Turkey and nuclear weapons
Turkey joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1952 and became a member of the U.S. -led military bloc. During the cold war, northwest Turkey was separated from Bulgaria and Romania, member states of the Warsaw Treaty Organization led by the Soviet Union, and northeast Turkey was adjacent to the Caucasus region. As the outpost of NATO military pressure, its geographical advantages were obvious. In 1959, the United States reached an agreement with Turkey and Italy to deploy PGM-19 Jupiter medium-range ballistic missiles in both countries, of which about 15 were deployed in Turkey. These Jupiter medium-range ballistic missiles enabled the U.S. medium-range nuclear strike force to reach the door of the Soviet Union. Faced with this situation, the former Soviet Union made the decision to deploy medium-range ballistic missiles in Cuba in response to the U.S. deployment of medium-range ballistic missiles around the Soviet Union, which triggered the well-known Cuban missile crisis. The Cuban missile crisis ended with the withdrawal of missiles by the Soviet Union. In response, the United States also withdrew its Jupiter missile deployed in Turkey in January 1963. Turkey has become the forefront of the United Statesstrategic deterrence against the Soviet Union in this nuclear battle.
After the end of the cold war, Russia became the main military opponent of NATO. Turkeys geographical advantage remained obvious. In addition, the situation in the Middle East was changeable after the cold war, and the United States continued to maintain its military presence in Turkey. Incirlik Air Force Base in southern Turkey is currently stationed in a considerable number of U.S. troops. The U.S. Air Force combat force at Incirlik Air Force Base is one of the important U.S. military forces in the Middle East. The U.S. military from Turkey can be seen in turbulent events in the Middle East, such as the Gulf War, the Syrian War and so on. Shadow. According to reports from overseas academic institutions and media, at present, the U.S. Army has about 50 B-61 nuclear air bombs stored at the Inslick base. This type of nuclear air bomb belongs to tactical nuclear weapons. The weapon platforms that can be carried include various types of strategic and tactical combat aircraft developed by the United States.
PGM-19 Jupiter Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile
To sum up, although Turkey itself is not a nuclear-weapon-possessing country, it has not been unfamiliar with nuclear weapons since the cold war. In addition, Turkeys region of Western Asia is also the focus of the international communitys attention on nuclear issues.
Several countries in Western Asia have tried to acquire nuclear weapons. For example, in Iraq, Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president, tried to develop nuclear weapons for the purpose of dominating the Middle East, but the research and development facility was destroyed by the Israeli Air Force in 1981, and the pace of Iraqs support for nuclear weapons was severely damaged and stagnated. Syria also allegedly had plans to develop nuclear weapons. The information declassified by the Israeli military in 2018 showed that a Syrian facility bombed by the Israeli Air Force in 2007 was the facility for Syria to develop nuclear weapons, but the real function of the facility remains to be verified. Saudi Arabia and Iran have been at loggerheads for a long time for religious and historical reasons. Irans nuclear issue is more sensitive to Saudi Arabia. After the United States withdraws from the Iranian nuclear agreement and Iran expresses its intention to develop nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia immediately indicated that if Iran develops nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia will also develop nuclear weapons to protect its people. Saudi Arabia and Iran do not have obvious technical and financial barriers to the manufacture of nuclear weapons. There can be no regional strategic imbalance between the two hostile regional powers in acquiring nuclear weapons. If Iran manufactures nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia will do everything possible to acquire nuclear weapons.
In addition to the above-mentioned West Asian countries which are trying to develop nuclear weapons and step on the nuclear threshold, Israel, another military power in West Asia, holds the attitude of not acknowledging or denying the possession of nuclear weapons, but almost the world sees Israel as the possession of nuclear weapons, and there is a general consensus in western academic circles. According to the report of the 2019 Yearbook of the Stockholm Institute for International Peace in Sweden, Israel possesses 80 to 90 nuclear weapons. According to the generally accepted situation of the international community, Israel is the only country in the West Asia region that possesses nuclear weapons.
From the nuclear situation in West Asia, some regional powers in West Asia are almost coveting the regional hegemony brought about by nuclear weapons. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand Turkeys talk about possessing nuclear weapons in order to enhance its regional influence.
The latest model of B-61 nuclear air waybill adopts guidance technology, which greatly improves hitting accuracy.
Is Turkey capable of developing nuclear weapons?
But there are also pressures and objective obstacles to Turkeys development of nuclear weapons. Turkey is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. If Turkey really tries to develop nuclear weapons, it will inevitably be strongly opposed by the international community. At present, Turkeys two countries, the United States and Russia, which are rich in both sides, will almost certainly reach the goal of nuclear proliferation in this region. Consistent and common pressure on the soil. Moreover, Turkeys own technological capabilities are an obstacle to Turkeys development of nuclear weapons. The purpose of transferring some technology to military use in the use of civilian nuclear power facilities is to develop nuclear weapons in countries with relatively backward technology. Turkeys construction of civilian nuclear power facilities has only begun in the past one or two years. In April 2018, Turkey and Russia cooperated to build the first Turkish civil nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, which is expected to be put into production in 2023. Under Russian supervision, Turkey tried to transfer nuclear technology to military use. The difficulty is conceivable, not to mention carrying out higher levels of uranium enrichment and other nuclear materials. Material production activities.
The Turkish Presidents statement is more political than practical. It is necessary to study the direction of President Erdogan himself and Turkey under his leadership. Turkeys current President Erdogan belongs to the Islamic conservative forces. Since he came to power in Turkey, Turkeys internal and external policies have tended to be anti-secularized. Turkeys nationalism has become increasingly strong, and Turkey has begun to seek to exert its influence in the Middle East and even in the Islamic world. The Turkish economy under Erdogans rule has developed and its international status has gradually risen. After the failure of Turkeys military coup in 2016, Erdogans rule has been further consolidated, and its own prestige is unmatched. In recent years, there has been a voice among Turkish people that Erdogan is Turkeys new Sudan and Erdogan is committed to restoring the glory of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Turkeys involvement in the Middle East situation in recent years shows that Turkey does have the intention to enhance regional influence and even international influence. It is reasonable that nuclear weapons, as an important symbol of the status of a great power, are mentioned by the President of Turkey.
However, although Turkeys president mentioned nuclear weapons, he did not have a clear nuclear plan. Besides demonstrating his great power mentality, such a statement as Turkey also has nuclear weapons can be said to be a gesture towards the two major powers of the United States and Russia. This is to mention the recent controversial issue of U.S. arms sales.
Turkey chose Russias S-400 air defense missile system when it purchased air defense missiles, and in mid-July, Turkey had received the first S-400 system. As a member of NATO, Turkeys main weapons and equipment, especially its air force, are mainly American fighters. Turkey plans to purchase nearly 100 F-35 fighter planes. If Turkey uses US aircraft and Russian air defense weapons, it will coordinate the operational compatibility of weapons. In this way, Russia will get the operational data of US stealth fighter planes and even the performance data of NATO military equipment. This is the last thing the United States wants to see, and the reason why the United States strongly opposes Turkeys purchase of Russian-style equipment.
Therefore, the United States used economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure to punish Turkey for purchasing Russian-style equipment. As mentioned above, Turkey is following a path of regional and even global influence expansion under the leadership of strong man politics. The collision between American pressure and Turkish national self-esteem is counter-productive, further pushing Turkey to the Russian side. At the just-concluded Moscow Air Show, Erdogan, accompanied by Putin, visited the Su-57 fighter aircraft, which seemed to signal to the United States that if the United States did not sell the F-35, Turkey would also have a new generation of fighters to buy.
After the S-400 missile arrived, Erdogans visit to the Su-57 triggered discussions about whether Turkey would buy the aircraft.
Turkey, sandwiched between the United States and Russia, tries to make use of the confrontational situation between the United States and Russia to seek its best interests from both sides. Turkey, on the one hand, is a member of NATO, and has the second largest permanent army after the United States. Turkey is located at the Eurasian border, overlooking the Middle East from the north to the south, and connecting Eastern Europe and the Caucasus to the north. The United States also dares not neglect it easily. Therefore, as long as Turkey opens its mouth, the United States and the Western European countries have been almost responsive to Turkish arms sales. On the other hand, during the Syrian war, the United States adopted a supportive attitude towards the Kurds, intending to foster the Kurds to restrain Turkeys expansion of power, which touched Turkeys nerves. Turkey can be said to have mixed love and hate with the United States.
On the other hand, the United States and Russia deeply intervened in the Syrian war, giving Turkey access to Russia. Turkey chose to invest in Russia, avoiding the situation of confronting the two major military powers with its own strength in the Middle East. In addition, improving Russian-Turkish relations and acquiring advanced Russian armaments is not an option for Turkey to enhance its own strength. The approach of Russia and Turkey is another stimulus for the United States. Turkey tries to force the United States to attach importance to and take care of Turkeys regional interests and make arrangements in the Middle East that are in Turkeys interest. At the same time, for Russia, improving relations with Turkey can reduce Russias pressure on the situation in the Middle East, especially Syria. At the same time, arms sales to Turkey can help boost the benefits of Russian military industry.
In todays world, where regional nuclear proliferation issues are becoming more sensitive, Turkey has a very low chance of developing nuclear weapons at the top of the world. One of the main purposes of Turkeys statement on the development of nuclear weapons is to pose for big powers such as the United States and Russia, especially the United States, to change the attitude of the United States towards Turkey, to tell the United States that the means of coercion and pressure are ineffective, and to coax Turkey, such as lifting economic sanctions and resuming the sale of F-35 fighter planes. And so on. Another purpose is to publicize Turkeys influence in West Asia and to show Turkeys status in West Asia. In the future, how Turkey will move between the United States and Russia and handle the delicate relations between Turkey and the United States deserves our attention.
Source: Peng Mei News Responsible Editor: Li Zaixing_NBJS9026