Ibrahim Karagul once again advocates that Turkey develop nuclear weapons
As the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has picked up on,1 Ibrahim Karagul has once again advocated that Turkey develop nuclear weapons, this time much more clearly than before.
In an article for Yeni Safak he wrote (emphasis mine):2
“We do not have to waste our strength on their [Europe’s] enemies while these financiers of terrorism invade our country and cities through terrorist organizations. We should focus on our own priorities and our own definitions of threats. We are not Europe’s border guard, counterterror team or refugee prevention force, and we should no longer act as such.
Turkey is obliged to activate all those it can reach in its own region, as many countries, communities and individuals as it can, to activate them in the form of superb mobilization and form islands of resistance. While doing all this, it is necessary to reach an extraordinary state to become adequate in all kinds of defense, including nuclear weapons.”
It is clear based on the topic of Karagul’s article that Turkey’s motivation to develop nukes is to protect itself from the ‘Crusader’ West. It is also interesting that he speaks of forming “islands of resistance,” which based on the context, could presumably be based in other countries including within Europe. As such Karagul is advocating that Turkey adopt numerous countermeasures against Europe, including nukes and what appear to be asymmetric warfare cells.
This is not the first time Karagul has written about nuclear weapons. In November 2016 he argued that Turkey (emphasis mine) “must focus on new generation defense systems, ranging from air defense systems, mid- and long-range missiles to nuclear searches, with determination.”3 More recently Hayrettin Karaman, a pro-Erdoğan imam who frequently issues fatwas for the President and the AKP stated:4
“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.”
So while many are understandably focused on the problems of nuclear weapons proliferation in North Korea and Iran, they should also pay attention to Turkey, where a few notable individuals close to Erdoğan, have advocated the development of nuclear weapons to counter the West.