In his March 16, 2017 column in the Turkish pro-AKP government daily Yeni Safak, Hayrettin Karaman, suggests, under the title "What To Do," that Turkey should develop its nuclear weapons capability as a counterbalance to the West. Karaman, a well-known professor of Islamic law in Turkey who is known for his closeness to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is often referred to as Erdoğan's "fatwa-issuing imam" or Erdoğan's cleric.
This column was the first of two articles in as many weeks in Yeni Safak by commentators calling for Turkey to acquire weapons of mass destruction. On March 27, the daily's editor-in-chief Ibrahim Karagul called on Turkey to cease fighting the enemies of the West, presumably the Islamic State (ISIS), and to acquire all sorts of weapons, including nuclear ones (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6845, Sensationalist Pro-Erdogan Turkish Daily Calls For Nuclear Weapons, A Stop To Fighting ISIS, March 27, 2017).
Following is the translation of Karaman's March 16 column:
"What To Do"
"First, with the Christian fanaticism; then when the West started using religion as an accessory and the main motives became monetary – for international and local benefits – the West planned to either destroy the Islamic East, or to alter it to be used to service it [the West] by dominating it, [and] has implemented policies to achieve it and continues to do so.
"Today, a mix of religion, national egoism, profit, racism, xenophobia, and a supposed threat/fear of Islam (Islamophobia) is affecting the Western public, and contemporary Western values such as human rights and democracy are being used as excuses, propagating the idea that these values have been violated [but] with the main reasons/motives [for this] being hidden; operations against Turkey are being accelerated.
"Everyone knows, and sees, the ugly double standards that the West applies, without shame or consideration for anyone else, when it comes to values such as human rights, morality, manners, and justice. The fortune that the West (including the United States) has today has been obtained by usurpation and theft (colonialism) from the East. It is not even possible to fathom the material and spiritual destruction and the blood spilled in the East for the damned monetary gains of the West.
"People say 'These were in the old times, the West is civilized now, there is a human rights-based democracy there, there must be legitimate reasons for the things they are doing today.'
"It is plainly clear that that the main reason for the actions of Europeans (to oppose Islam and for monetary gain), nationally and internationally, are being hidden and modern values are being exploited to mislead the public. Failure to see this is caused by blindness of the mind and the heart, which is more harmful than blindness of the eyes."
"Military Strength... Consists Of Effective Weapons... Nuclear Being The Most Relevant... We Need To Start Not Buying But Inventing These Weapons"
"While the West does whatever it wants to do with the East, and especially with Turkey, a potential leader, it does not rely on the power of rights, laws, justice, or modern values, but on monetary and military strength.
"If the East wants to stop being oppressed, it is not enough for its religion to be true and its cause to be just; in an era dominated by the strong and not the just, it must be stronger than its enemy.
"The first condition for this is for the victimized and oppressed East to unite and cooperate. After entering the path of unity and cooperation, collaboration with lesser evils to cross barriers is feasible, if it is a must.
"Once upon a time, military strength consisted of arrows and horses. But now it consists of effective weapons invented using our era's knowledge and technology – nuclear being the most relevant – and tools that allow for the use of such weapons.
"Without wasting any time, or turning a deaf ear to the West's complaints and obstacles, we need to start not buying but inventing these weapons. Let us invent and balance these weapons out. Let us not use weapons of mass destruction unless it is necessary – and the path to not using them is to have more powerful versions of them than the enemy's.
"If the Lord allows, I will talk about the 100 plans that the West implemented to crumble the Ottoman Empire and exterminate Islam, in Sunday's article."