Nuclear-armed states can’t tell Turkey not to have nukes: Erdogan

TEHRAN, Sep. 05 (MNA) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that nuclear-armed states cannot forbid Ankara from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“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 said in a speech in Turkey's central province of Sivas on Wednesday, as quoted by Press TV.

Erdogan also argued that there is no developed nation in the world that doesn’t possess nuclear weapons.

He further added that Israel is using its nuclear arms to threaten others.

“We have Israel nearby, as almost neighbors. They scare (other nations) by possessing these. No one can touch them,” he said.

Israel is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, an estimated 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, but the regime's policy is to neither confirm nor deny that it has atomic bombs.

Turkey, however, is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which are aim at eliminating nuclear weapons.

The remarks come at a time when Turkey is in a row with the US over the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense systems.

Erdogan has suggested that his country could look to Russia for an alternative after its F-35 exclusion by the US.


News Code 149725


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