Turkey moving further away from NATO, will seek help from Russia for new space program – Forward Observer Shop

Turkey moving further away from NATO, will seek help from Russia for new space program

In a move that slides Ankara further outside the NATO circle of countries, Turkey has decided to launch its new space venture with Russian, Chinese and Indian assistance.

Recently, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced a draft law that would establish the Turkish Space Agency. The legislation was submitted to the Turkish Parliamentary Commission for Industry, Commerce, Energy and Technology in February 2016, and it passed during the current legislative session.

“I hope the process of creating this structure will be well planned. Turkey really needs a space agency. Recently, the state opened a large research laboratory in which, as planned, 1,000 engineers will work. In addition, an institute was created, where the process of creating and testing satellites will take place,” said astronomer and professor Ethem Derman.

“Cooperation with Russia, China or India will allow us to move faster and more efficiently in this matter,” he added.

Analyst Comment: I don’t think it’s imminent, but I can envision a day when Turkey leaves the NATO alliance or is ejected outright, having moved far too close to Moscow and Beijing. That would also likely mean the loss of a vital U.S. airbase in the region at Incirlik. Turkish President Racip Erdogan obviously believes Turkish national interests are more aligned with those of Moscow than of Washington.

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 1: What are the latest indicators of a NATO-Russia conflict?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region.  Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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