Thursday 5 September 2019 | 2:30 PM Damascus Local Time
  • Erdogan says it's unacceptable that Turkey can't have nuclear weapons

    Erdogan

    Hurriyet Daily News - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sept. 4 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," he told his ruling AKP members in the eastern city of Sivas.

    "There is no developed nation in the world that doesn't have them," Erdogan said.

    He also referred to one of his visits to a former leader who sought to make more nuclear missiles, as many as the U.S. and Russia.

    "I'm not going to reveal the name [of the leader]," he said, adding that the leader was then a president.

    "That leader said, we have about 7,500 nuclear warheads. Russia and the U.S. have about 12,000-15,000 missiles. We will build more as well. They will compete for building more nuclear warheads," Erdoğan said quoting a former president, whose name he did not disclose.

    Turkey signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1980, and has also signed the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which bans all nuclear detonations for any purpose.

    Erdogan hinted that he wanted the same protection for Turkey as Israel.

    "We have Israel nearby, as almost neighbours. They scare (other nations) by possessing these. None can touch them."

    Foreign analysts say Israel possesses a sizable nuclear arsenal. Israel maintains a policy of ambiguity around the nuclear issue, refusing to confirm or deny its capabilities.

    ‘Turkey more successful in financial management’

    "I am allergic to interest, I am against high interest. Interest rate has currently started to fall again, inflation has also fallen, and policy interest rate will fall further," Erdogan also said.

    For the growth rate plan of 2020, Erdogan said: "I set a target growth rate for 2020, we will definitely plan the growth rate as 5%."

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