Erdoğan’s Cleric Calls For Turkish Nuclear Weapons

  In his March 16, 2017 column in the Turkish pro-AKP government daily Yeni Safak, Hayrettin Karaman, suggests, under the title “What To Do,” that Turkey should develop its nuclear weapons capability as a counterbalance to the West. Karaman, a well-known professor of Islamic law in Turkey who is known for his closeness to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is often referred to as Erdoğan’s “fatwa-issuing imam” or Erdoğan’s cleric.

This column was the first of two articles in as many weeks in Yeni Safak by commentators calling for Turkey to acquire weapons of mass destruction. On March 27, the daily’s editor-in-chief Ibrahim Karagul called on Turkey to cease fighting the enemies of the West, presumably the Islamic State (ISIS), and to acquire all sorts of weapons, including nuclear ones (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6845, Sensationalist Pro-Erdogan Turkish Daily Calls For Nuclear Weapons, A Stop To Fighting ISIS, March 27, 2017).