Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks on Wednesday in Sivas, Turkey. (Murat Kula/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Erdogan: ‘Unacceptable’ that Turkey ‘Can’t Have’ Nukes

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country should not be barred from having nuclear weapons, although it’s unclear whether he intends to obtain them. “Some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads, not one or two. But we can’t have them. This, I cannot accept,” he said on Wednesday in remarks at a conference in the eastern city of Sivas held to mark the centenary of a congress considered a major building block of the modern Turkish nation. Erdogan was referring to Turkey being a signatory to international conventions banning nuclear proliferation or explosions of any type, even for testing purposes. “We have Israel nearby, as almost neighbors,” he went on. “They scare [other countries] by possessing them. No one can touch them.” Israel is believed to have perhaps 200 nuclear warheads but has never admitted to being a nuclear power, preferring instead a public policy of ambiguity.

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