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Nuclear Disarmament Turkey

  • Turkish Navy Frigate TGS Oruçreis Turkish Navy Frigate TGS Oruçreis
    Brian Burnell
  • Türk Yildizlari (Turkish Stars) at the 2011 NATO Days Türk Yildizlari (Turkish Stars) at the 2011 NATO Days
    Łukasz Golowanow, konflikty.pl

Estimated Arsenal Size

  • 60-70 U.S. non-strategic gravity B-61 warheads at the Incirlik Air Base (10-20 of these weapons marked for delivery by Turkish F-16 aircraft) [1]

Weapons System

  • Non-strategic warheads: B-61-3, B-61-4 [2]
  • Delivery Aircraft: US F-16C/D, Turkish F-16

Modernization

  • The current B61-3 and B61-4 deployed in Europe will be replaced by the B61-12, the first of which will be built by 2020. [3]
  • Enhancements planned from 2015 to 2018 will integrate the B61-12 onto the Turkish F-16 aircraft. [4]
  • Turkey is planning to buy the nuclear-capable F35-A Joint Strike Fighter from the United States, which will begin replacing existing NATO aircraft in 2024. [5]

Destructive Force [6]

  • B-61-3: maximum yield of 170 kilotons
  • B-61-4: 45 kilotons

Nuclear Weapons Related Policies

  • 1999 NATO Strategic Concept confirms commitment to deploying nuclear weapons in Europe to maintain the "minimum level sufficient to preserve peace and stability." [7] In 2010 NATO reasserted that it would be a nuclear alliance while nuclear weapons continue to exist. [8]
  • While NATO continues to reaffirm the importance of deploying U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe, disagreements among member states on this issue have become more pronounced since the German government expressed support for the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Germany and Europe in October 2009. [9]
     
  • The Deterrence and Defense Posture Review adopted at the May 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago states that "the Alliance's nuclear force posture currently meets the criteria for an effective deterrence and defense posture." Therefore, some experts argue that the scheduled nuclear modernization contradicts this concept. [10]
     
  • On September 5, 2014 NATO reasserted the centrality of nuclear deterrence to the security of NATO members, with U.S. nuclear capabilities playing a key role in this strategy. While stating that a situation in which a nuclear weapon would be detonated is highly unlikely, NATO declared that current relations with Russia have halted cooperative disarmament efforts. U.S. nuclear weapons are therefore likely to remain in Turkey and other NATO nuclear-sharing countries. [11]
     
  • Turkey supports the Australia-led Humanitarian Initiative. [12] While the alternative Austria-led Initiative maintains that, regardless of circumstance, nuclear weapons should not be detonated, the Australia-led initiative has not made that declaration. Because of this distinction, the Australia-led Humanitarian Initiative provides a more realistic approach to disarmament given the current security atmosphere. [13]
     
  • Turkey is a member of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), a group of non-nuclear weapon states dedicated to disarmament, nonproliferation and peaceful nuclear activities as outlined in the NPT and the 2010 NPT Review Conference. [14]

Treaty Commitments

Sources:
[1] Hans M. Kristensen, "Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons, Special Report No 3," Federation of American Scientists, May 2012, www.fas.org.
[2] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, "Worldwide Deployments of Nuclear Weapons, 2014," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 70, No. 5 (September/October 2014), p. 96-108.
[3] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, "Slowing Nuclear Weapon Reductions and Endless Nuclear Weapons Modernizations: A Challenge to the NPT," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 70, No. 3 (May/June 2014), p. 96-108.
[4] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, "Slowing Nuclear Weapon Reductions and Endless Nuclear Weapon Modernizations: A Challenge to the NPT,"Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 70, No. 4 (July/August 2014), p. 94-107.
[5] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, "US Nuclear Forces, 2014," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 70, No. 1, 85-93.
[6] Hans M. Kristensen, "U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe," Natural Resources Defense Council, Feb. 2005, p. 9, www.nrdc.org.
[7] "The Alliance's New Strategic Concept," NATO, 24 April 1999, www.nato.int.
[8] "Active Engagement, Modern Defence: Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security of the Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation adopted by Heads of State and Government in Lisbon," Report at the Summit Meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, November 19, 2010, www.nato.int; "Wales Summit Declaration," Statement by the Heads of State and Government of the North Atlantic Alliance, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, September 5, 2014, www.nato.int.
[9] Oliver Meier, "Steinmeier Calls for U.S. to Withdraw Nukes," Arms Control Today, 8 May 2009, www.armscontrol.org.
[10] "The Deterrence and Defence Posture Review," NATO, 20 May 2012, www.nato.int; Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, "Slowing Nuclear Weapon Reductions and Endless Nuclear Weapon Modernizations: A Challenge to the NPT," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 70, No. 4 (July/August 2014), p. 94-107.
[11] "Wales Summit Declaration," Statement by the Heads of State and Government of the North Atlantic Alliance, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, September 5, 2014, www.nato.int.
[12] "Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons," Statement by the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations, Reaching Critical Will, April 30, 2015, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[13] "Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons," Statement by the Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, Reaching Critical Will, April 28, 2015, www.reachingcriticalwill.org: "Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons," Statement by the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations, Reaching Critical Will, April 30, 2015, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[14] "NPDI Statement for 2015 NPT Review Conference," Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, April 27, 2015, www.un.org.
[15] "Country Profiles: Turkey," Reaching Critical Will, accessed July 8, 2015, www.reachingcriticalwill.org; "Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space, and Under Water," United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, accessed July 8, 2015, www.disarmament.un.org.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents.

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