An Islamic Superpower: Turkey

The rift with Washington deepened following Turkey’s announcement in September that it was planning to co-produce a missile-defence system with a Chinese company that is under American sanctions for its dealings with Syria, North Korea and Iran. NATO’s secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has warned that the Chinese equipment, which is meant to protect Turkey against a possible attack by Syria or Iran, is not compatible with those of other NATO members. Aaron Stein, a Geneva-based non-proliferation expert, reckons that the Chinese kit may be “good against drones and aircraft but not against missiles”.Turkey picked the Chinese missile because it was vastly cheaper than its European and American rivals. The Chinese also agreed to share technology that will purportedly enable Turkey to produce and export its own missiles. This fits with Mr Erdogan’s dreams of leading an Islamic superpower.

Excerpt, Turkey and its neighbours: A reset?, Economist, Nov. 9, 2013, at 59

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