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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Is Turkey withdrawing from NATO?

HQ-9/FD2000 missile defence systemLast week, the news fell like a bombshell. Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz declared at the Turkish parliament that Turkey’s new defense missile system, to be purchased most probably from China, would not be integrated with NATO’s system. This kicked off a hot discussion on whether Turkey is changing its strategic affiliation and might ultimately withdraw from NATO.

The long-range missiles have been on top of Turkey’s agenda for a long while. In September 2013, Ankara declared that it had awarded its missile defense system tender to a Chinese firm - after which NATO, and the U.S. in particular, raised concerns and gave a sharp reaction.

This was not only because this Chinese firm is included in the U.S.’s sanction list, but also because the Chinese missiles could not be integrated with NATO’s defense system.

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