The rapid development and production of nuclear and missile technologies by Turkey has now caused a major security threat not just in the region but also across the globe and has ignited a major concern over the proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world now.
The nuclear weapon ambitions and the black-marketeering of nuclear technology by rogue nuclear nations like Pakistan and Iran has now threatened the peace and tranquillity of countries from the North Atlantic to the Middle East. A series of recent developments have grabbed the world’s attention after Turkish dictator Tayyip Erdogan expressed his intent to develop nuclear and missile technologies to fulfil his geopolitical aspirations.
Recently, according to a report, Pakistan’s Defence Secretary Lt. General (Retd.) Mian Muhammad Hilal Hussain led a Pakistani delegation met the Deputy Chief of Turkish Army General Selcuk Bayraktaroglu led the Turkish delegation during the 15th Turkey-Pakistan High-Level Military Dialogue Group (HLMDG) on 22-23 December 2020, which is the biggest institutional setup between both the countries on defence cooperation.
A series of several meetings between top-level representatives of armies of both the nations were reportedly carried out to monitor the progress made in previous meetings between defence representatives.
Meetings held to discuss transfer of nuclear technology
The insiders believe that the meeting and the deliberations discussed were just the tip of the iceberg as it is part of a larger screenplay of sharing nuclear and missile technologies between the two countries. It is believed that Erdogan has personally requested Pakistani Army Chief General Bajwa to help with nuclear weapon technology which Pakistan has reportedly agreed to. The meeting was organised to discuss procedural aspects of the technology transfer that could take place and covering the process at the same time.
Reportedly, the Pakistani defence delegation visited Turkish defence companies including Bakyar (UAV OEM), TAI, HAVELSAN and ASELSAN. They also met top Turkish Army generals and bureaucrats dealing with the production of missiles and other aerial technologies and also held meetings with the head of Presidency of Turkish Defence Industries Prof. Ismail Demir and CEO of Turkish Aerospace Limited (TAI) Dr. Temil Kotil.
Pakistan and China are believed to be the countries that are responsible for the black marketing of nuclear technology and helping rogue countries like North Korea, Iran to build their nuclear capabilities.
Pakistan is now aiding Turkey by transferring the missile technologies and Pakistani scientists are helping Turkey build its capacity in the production of missiles. The top-level Pakistani scientists are currently working with Turkey to enhance its ballistic and nuclear capabilities. By indulging in illegal transfers of missile technologies to Turkey, Pakistan has violated the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and non-proliferation rules.
Turkey is seeking to acquire nuclear weapon technology since the 1960s. However, it is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Erdogan has not made it secret that he does not accept any constraints imposed on Turkey by nuclear powers.
Turkey’s nuclear ambitions
In 2019, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had said it was unacceptable for nuclear-armed states to forbid Ankara from obtaining its own nuclear weapons but did not say whether Turkey had plans to obtain them.
“Some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads, not one or two. But (they tell us) we can’t have them. This, I cannot accept,” Erdogan has said his ruling AK Party members. According to Erdogan, Turkey needs the same protection as Israel. “We have Israel nearby, as almost neighbours. They scare (other nations) by possessing these. No one can touch them,” he had said.
In this regard, Pakistan has now become an important partner for Turkey to succeed in getting a nuclear weapon. Pakistan is the only known Muslim country with nuclear weapons state in the world, which is touted to be the protector of the Islamic nations. Pakistan also has the worst track record of nuclear proliferation and Turkey was once a hub for rogue Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.
Pakistan has been a kingpin of the ‘nuclear black market and it is not an unknown fact to know how Turkey contributed to Pakistan’s nuclear business. The nuclear black market of Pakistan led by Abdul Qadeer Khan helped numerous countries in sharing missile technologies, especially in the production of centrifuges.
According to the International Institute of Strategic Strategic Studies, Turkish companies helped the AQ Khan to carry out business of nuclear technologies and also covertly import materials from Europe and export the finished products to players like Libya, Iran and North Korea. It is also alleged that Turkey might already be possessing a considerable number of centrifuges made by Pakistan.
Pakistan intends to transfer nuclear weapons tech to Turkey through black markets
Interestingly, the next meeting of HLMDG between the two Islamic countries is scheduled in 2021 and sources have revealed that both the countries will be deciding on fast-tracking of missile technology transfer, capacity building of Turkey in producing centrifuges, purchase of small armed Turkish drones by Pakistan, acquisition on high-range Turkish mini drones by Pakistani Army.
Amidst this, Pakistan is also working on behalf of Turkey to find new buyers for Turkish defence equipment to counter the CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) sanctions imposed by the US. Turkey is afraid of losing its defence market after these impositions and has sought Pakistan’s assistance.
The geopolitical experts believe that Erdogan sees Pakistani nuclear and missile capabilities as an important weapon in achieving his caliphate aspirations. However, the silver lining is that most of the Arab countries are now irked by rogue powers like Turkey and Pakistan and are now dissociating themselves from Pakistan.