Turkish pro-Erdogan Imam Hayrettin Karaman advocates Turkey develops weapons of mass destruction
According to Hayrettin Karaman, a notable Turkish pro-Erdoğan imam who frequently issues fatwas for the President and the AKP, Turkey should develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
On the matter he stated:
“We need to consider producing these [WMDs] rather than purchasing them, without losing any time and with no regard to the words [of caution] and hindrance from the West. … Let’s invent [these WMDs], balance [the West] out, but let’s not use weapons of mass destruction unless it is necessary; the way to not resort [to WMDs] is to possess weapons that are equal to or more powerful than the ones the enemy has.”
This is not the first time that a prominent Turk associated with Erdoğan has advocated Turkey develop weapons of mass destruction (i.e. nukes). In the context of the chaotic geopolitical situation unfolding in the Middle East, about four months ago columnist Ibrahim Karagul wrote:
“…[Turkey] is obliged to place emphasis on its defense and military technology like never before in its history. It must focus on new generation defense systems, ranging from air defense systems, mid- and long-range missiles to nuclear searches [i.e. nuclear weapons], with determination.”
Karaman’s and Karagul’s advocacy for Turkey developing nuclear weapons may be dismissed as meaningless. After all, regardless of their connections to Erdoğan, they do not ultimately control Turkey’s foreign policy, although they may be able to influence it.
But what they are saying should be taken very seriously. If the geopolitical situation in the Middle East continues to deteriorate and if Turkish-NATO/Western relations become further strained (potentially leading to Turkey no longer being under NATO’s protective nuclear umbrella) then it will become more and more likely that Erdoğan will seriously consider developing a nuclear arsenal.
Furthermore, if Erdoğan truly wants to be the sultan of a new Ottoman Empire, then such a supranational polity must possess a level of military might worthy of an empire. Beyond the prestige of an empire, the ability to form one also requires great military power. As such, and especially if Iran goes nuclear, it should not be surprising that one day Turkey may develop nuclear weapons.