News from Turkey on this first day of 2011: Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has characterized NATO plans for a missile defense system as being in the interest of Turkish national security.
Today’s issue of Today’s Zaman provides a summary of negotiations leading up to the Turkish declaration of support for the project:
Turkey formally backed the planned system during a summit of NATO leaders in Lisbon in November. The summit came after months of discussions between Turkey and mainly the US over some aspects of the planned shield, most notably whether countries such as Turkey’s neighbors Iran and Syria will be named as potential threats. Ankara insisted that the proposed system should provide protection for all territories of member states and that reference to any country would undermine the defensive nature of the planned shield by antagonizing the country or countries singled out as a threat. Turkish insistence paid off in the end as the NATO summit endorsed the missile defense system plans without naming any country as a potential threat.”
Perhaps the Turks should also insist that NATO remember Article 5 of its charter the next time a member state is attacked not by Iran or Syria but by Israel. NATO, it seems, would rather condemn as dangerous the WikiLeaks cables confirming the presence of U.S. nuclear bombs in Turkey, thus leaving the bombs themselves to the non-dangerous category along with IDF commando attacks on humanitarian vessels.