Abstract: Since 1952, Turkey has formally committed to the US/NATO alliance and taken part in the collective defense system within the Alliance. However, in September 2013, Turkey made a surprise move and announced its intention to buy China’s long-range missile defense system over the competitors’ products including from NATO countries. Notably, the maker of the FD-2000 (HQ-9) is a state-owned company-China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMEIC), which is under American sanctions for transferring missile technology to the states opposed to the West and its allies. Due to the risk that China could access NATO’s intelligence and military information across the region, Turkey’s choice of the Chinese FD-2000 set off a massive controversy, raising NATO’s suspicions about Turkey’s intentions, which carries serious implications for Turkey’s attempts to strengthen ties with China. This study aims to provide insights into Turkey’s pursuit of an indigenous Long Range Missile Defense System (T-LORAMIDS), providing an evaluation focusing on three questions: What is Turkey’s motivation in acquiring T-LORAMIDS? How does Turkey’s realist behavior fit into its decision to purchase T-LORAMIDS? Will Turkey’s choice of missile defense system eventually make its current intimate involvement with US/NATO redundant? The article’s basic argument is that Turkey remains a staunch ally of the West, and its incongruous behavior may be explained and validated through analyzing its realpolitik approach and desire for strategic balance, which is perceived by Turkey as attempting to retain the advantage in managing strategic relations with its partners.
|Journal||Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|