The Israeli aggression against Gaza received a new dimension when Israeli minister Amihal Eliyahu threatened in an interview to bomb the Strip with nuclear weapons. Israel had never admitted to having nuclear weapons. Türkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his government was going to protest to international organizations. Mesut Hakki Caşın explains Türkiye’s position. Caşın is professor at the Yeditepe University in Istanbul.
Israel always followed the concept of deliberate ambiguity in consideration of possessing nuclear weapons. It never commented on this and leave the international community in uncertainty.
Caşın describes in brief the country’s development of nuclear weapons: “Israel began developing nuclear weapons in the 1950s, under President David Ben- Gurion, with secret reactors in the Negev desert. Today it has the Dolphin class submarines and the F-16, F-15 and F-35 military aircraft. With these, the country is capable of launching these tactical bombs within a radius of 2 thousand kilometers.”
The Israeli minister, Amihal Eliyahu broke with his country’s tradition of maintaining silence about the possession of nuclear weapons, threatening to use them against the Gaza Strip. Eliyahu was suspended from the cabinet.
Israel threatens the entire region
According to Caşın, the threat does not primarily target the Strip but the entire region:
“The Israelites are not moles. And even if they did, the radioactive fallout would affect themselves even inside tunnels. That is why I consider that this threat targets the entire region. This upset Türkiye deeply. Turkish President Erdoğan has demanded that Israel either must declare owning nuclear weapons or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has to inspect that.”
“It is the legal dimension”, continued Caşın. “What if the IAEA simply confirms that Israel has nuclear weapons? Will they simply applaud Israel’s achievement and that’s it? The other countries have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Will there be a regional race to nuclear weapons then? The security situation in the Middle East has changed.“
Caşın concludes that “A military threat has also arisen under the shield of the US navy. Does it threaten Türkiye? We have a saying: ‘If you want peace, prepare for war.’ Türkiye responded to the American navy with a naval maneuver in the Mediterranean and later in Cyprus.”
Türkiye’s role in hostage crisis and the neglect by the United States
Türkiye is pursuing diplomatic efforts on a broad range, explains Professor Mesut Hakkı Caşın and comments on the United States.
“I think the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) has acted together with Qatar in resolving the current hostage crisis. But the United States does not want to announce it, because it still does not want to accept that Türkiye is a great regional power. But when the United States did not yet exist, there was already the Ottoman Empire, and before that the Seljuk Dynasty and before that, the Göktürk Empire. Back then, the Americans were not even existing.”
The professor and member of the presidential council for security and foreign policy of Türkiye announces a Turkish offensive around the conflict in Gaza.
“Difficulties bring countries together. Türkiye is already getting closer with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. I think Egypt is very important in the Mediterranean. The important matter here is that the Arabs do not have faith in themselves. They shrink back when facing the US’ and Israeli nuclear weapons. But fear is no way out. In addition, Türkiye has a very broad diplomacy, from China to the Vatican and Paris. I think that specifically the presidents Erdoğan and Putin are working on the issue. Do not forget. Turks say the last word in the Middle East.”