Turkey's 'Anomalies' in the International Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime
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Turkey is in compliance with the global nuclear nonproliferation regime in both legal and verbal terms. It voices support for the norms of nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear technology. It adopts supplementary practices in order to strengthen the regime like export controls and the Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguard Agreements. It emphasizes the right to exercise peaceful use of nuclear technology based on the Article IV of Treaty of Nonproliferation of the Nuclear Weapons that is granted to Non Nuclear Weapon States in good standing with the IAEA. However, the thesis draws attention to two deviations in Turkey’s behavior. Turkey advocates keeping access to proliferation-sensitive technologies such as uranium enrichment and reprocessing of the spent nuclear fuel despite lacking the current nuclear infrastructure for these technologies. Turkey also welcomes the attempts to realize a weapons of mass destruction free zone (WMDFZ) in the Middle East. But also, Turkey continues to host tactical nuclear weapons at İncirlik Airbase that is located in Adana, a city in the southeastern region of the country, with abstention to call for their removal. The thesis argues that despite Turkey’s commitment to the nonproliferation regime, Turkey’s particular behavior in nuclear nonproliferation regime in those cases stems from its conceptualization of power pertaining to nuclear field. Thus, it is argued that Turkey’s anomalies in the regime relate to its hesitance to let go off the subjective ‘virtual power’ it attributes to nuclear energy and NATO nuclear umbrella.