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Monday, January 23, 2012

Great news: Turkey has 1500-km range missiles and says it can reach 2500 km

Turkey has announced that it has missiles with a 1500-kilometer range, and that it is developing missiles with a 2500-kilometer range. A 2500-kilometer range from Turkey would include Athens, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Geneva, Algiers, Jeddah, Cairo, Copenhagen, Kiev, London, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Damascus, Tehran, Tel Aviv, Tripoli, Warsaw, Vienna, Zurich and Amman. Presumably, the missiles could be equipped with biological, chemical and/or nuclear weapons. But the really interesting question is why. Turkey has an Air Force that is far more efficient than these missiles. And none of the countries whose cities are listed above threaten Turkey. So why does Turkey need long-range ballistic missiles (Hat Tip: Will)?
And the big question here is why should Turkey, which boasts a modern air force with highly deterrent firepower, need ballistic or cruise missiles? With which countries within a diameter of 2,500 km does Turkey think it may, in the future, have to battle? Which targets within a range of 2,500 kilometers may it hope to hit which it cannot with a 1,000-km missile?

What justifies the earmarking of – possibly – hundreds of millions of dollars worth of taxpayer money for the Turkish missiles? Are biological, chemical or nuclear weapons in Turkey’s various contingency plans for future warfare? What’s the point of NATO membership, then? Does Turkey intend to leave the alliance? More importantly, what are the political deliberations behind this ambitious plan?

With a delay of a few decades, Turkey is going along the path that countries like North Korea, Libya and Iraq tried in the 1990s – and Iran in the last decade. In fact, observers have invariably suspected a strong link between Iran’s ambitions for missiles and a future nuclear weapons program.

For the moment, New York, Beijing, Seoul, Brasilia, Ottawa and Tokyo look safe and immune to future Turkish anger. But give Mr. Erdoğan another 10 years in power and Turkey might have another one with a range of 15,000 km by then.

There are a couple of minor problems, though. Since Turkey is a signatory to the Missile Technology Control Regime, it may now find more difficult access to some of the “ingredients” necessary to make a missile.

Second, I am not sure whether the punishing Turkish missile should be dubbed the Attila, or the Sultan Mehmed II. Third, and on a less significant basis, one triviality about the future Turkish ballistic missile could be that once shot and targeting, say, Tel Aviv, it may just be last seen over the skies of Edirne…


I received the following comment from a reader in Turkey.
I enjoy reading your blog and I recently read "Great news: Turkey has 1500-km range missiles and says it can reach 2500 km". I just wanted to make two points. The first is, Tel Aviv is less than 900km from Ankara so Turkey doesn't need a 2500-km range missile to target Israel. 1500km is more than enough. The missiles are being developed in order for Turkey to launch its satellites into orbit without depending on second parties and also counter Iran's growing capabilities. The reason there has been no border changing war with Iran since the battle of Chaldiran 1514 is because no disruption of the status quo has occurred regarding military strengths of the two neighbors.

My second and more important point is, Israel is the least of Turkey's foreign policy concerns. Turkey and Israel are not historical foes like for example India and Pakistan are. Nor do they have interlocked security concerns. The cooling of relations will pass once the Erdogan government leaves office. Now I am not saying it will return to what it was in the 90's, but there are a lot of people who share my opinion in Turkey and even this government is coming around as they are seeing that Turkey has its hand-full of other problems ranging from Syria to Iran to Armenia and Cyprus and being antagonistic with Israel is not in Turkey's interests.
I wonder if Erdogan has any plans to leave.... On the other hand, with rumors abounding that he has cancer, I wonder who is likely to take over if he does leave.

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At 8:09 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Good thing Obama has a relation of 'trust' with Erdogan, who needs enemies with friends like that?

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Hey! Cool! They can use the chemicals they "confiscated" recently "on the way from Iran to Syria" as payload for these rockets! Did I remember that right? Has NATO HQ sent a team into NATO member Turkey to move the chemicals out of the region? No? Didn't think so...

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

They are to sell to Iran and Egypt. Longer range translates to much larger payload for shorter range. Therefore Iran's first generation crude heavy atomic bomb will have a missile big enough to deploy it.

At 2:17 AM, Blogger Captain.H said...

The time has come for a NATO ultimatum to Turkey. Certain changes in policy and actions must happen, without delay, or Turkey is summarily booted out of NATO. (Of course, this won't happen with the Empty Suit in the WH. The only Republican candidate who I see as possibly seriously entertaining and working on that is Gingrich.)

At 9:53 PM, Blogger resistance said...

I dont see the problem with Turkey having a 1500km range missile the US has intercontinental missiles and with the US being the most aggressive country in the world that should be more of a worry,but i see your point and why all these people commenting are not happy with Turkey having longer range missiles,it's because Turkey is a Muslim country and you people cant see a muslim country prosper.Israel has hundreds of nuclear war heads that should be the biggest concern being that Israel is the biggest terrorist state in the world with hundreds of nuclear missiles in the hands of zionist deranged terrorist we all should be worried,i dont see you posting this comment and since you people preach freedom of speech i want to see if you act upon it aswell or is it just talk


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