Alp Sevimlisoy Yatırım

NATO urged to send signal to Putin by deploying deadly hypersonic missiles in Turkey

Turkey is a major player in the Mediterranean and must be seen as an ally against both Russia and China, argues national security expert Alp Sevimlisoy.

NATO has been told to capitalise on the key strategic position occupied by Turkey – by basing hypersonic missiles in the country to send a powerful message of deterrence to Russian President Vladimir Putin. National security expert Alp Sevimlisoy, speaking in the week Defence Secretary Ben Wallace met Hulusi Akar, his Turkish equivalent, in Turkey, has also urged incoming UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to seek closer ties with Ankara, which he said can provide a “bulwark” against both Moscow and Beijing in the years to come.

Mr Sevimlisoy is a Millennium Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington specialising in NATO’s role within the Mediterranean region, and advocates the alliance creating a unified Mediterranean Command Structure.

Emphasising the need to counter Russian and Chinese influence in the region, he told “There are only three countries within NATO that have the military prowess, the armed forces and the international clout to do this, and that is the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Turkey.”

Referring to the information-sharing alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Mr Sevimlisoy said: ”What we will be seeing and what we should be seeing is the creation of intelligence alliances equivalent to Five Eyes, which will encompass Turkey, the UK, the US and further, a direct military alliance between these three countries.

“Because more than even NATO, it’s those countries within NATO that are able to take part in operations overseas.

“When you look at Turkey, you’re looking at a country which is which has its armed forces active in the Caucasus, in the Med, in Syria, in Libya.”

Turkey had in effect been fighting the Russians in Libya prior to the Ukraine conflict and had provided Kyiv with drones before other nations were giving military support, Mr Sevimlisoy pointed out.

Referring to cutting-edge weapons capable of travelling many times the speed of sound, he added: “We should certainly be always in support of Ukraine, and at the same time, we should double up, and place hypersonic missiles as part of NATO’s strategic deterrence alongside the Mediterranean and coupled this with our existing tactical nuclear weapons.

“We should put them at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, where our existing tactical nuclear strategic deterrence is.”

Mr Sevimlisoy stressed: “This is not just about what’s happening with regard to the conflicts around us – this is about our way of life.

“So often we talk about NATO from simply a military alliance standpoint, but we share a quality of life and a way of life due to this.

“So I think we need to take some serious steps that include military alliances and the placement of hypersonic missiles, but also, we need to supply Turkey with F-35s and Patriot missile defence systems so that the southern flank in the Mediterranean is secure against both Russia and also China in the future.

”We have to be wary of the fact that in the future, we may see Chinese aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean.

”From a Russian perspective we’re seeing a build-up of hypersonic missiles by Russia and China and we need to ensure that all borders as per NATO have the most relevant technology in order to counter this build-up by our foes.”

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has met with Vladimir Putin on a number of occasions since the start of the conflict – but Mr Sevimlisoy emphasised that Turkey’s President must nevertheless still be considered an ally by Britain and the West.

He explained: “The new strategic power, the supreme power in that region is Turkey now.

“Russia is at the behest of Turkey and rather than a personal relationship between national leaders, what we are seeing is that the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish Armed Forces, and President Erdogan by de facto have become the supreme power in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

“And that is to our advantage, because if we’re looking at this from a NATO alliance perspective, Rishi Sunak is coming into the role and, you know, one of the major foreign policy aspects for the United Kingdom especially post -Brexit is the Mediterranean.”

It was therefore to the advantage of the West and Turkey was a formidable presence in the Mediterranean, Mr Sevimlisoy argued.

He said: “Turkey is the guardian of the southern flank of NATO that encompasses both the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, a bulwark against both Russian and Chinese influence across the region.”

Asked about Turkey’s acquisition of Russia’s S-400 missile system, which prompted the United States to impose sanctions in 2020, Mr Sev said: “I think it’s wholly irrelevant now mainly because Turkey has now developed two very successful domestic services to air platforms.

“One is called Tayfun, and that was unveiled about a week and a half ago, and before that, in the early part of this year, Siper.

“So I think for the Turks, I think they’ve become so technologically militarily advanced, that all of those aspects are now relevant because you’re looking at armed forces that, you know, is almost 60 to 70 percent domestically dependent on its own national security and defence industry.“

Mr Wallace, who also attended the SAHA Expo – the Turkish Defence exhibition – said afterwards: It has been a great pleasure to meet again with my defence counterpart, Minister Akar.

“The UK and Turkey share a long-standing defence partnership and commitment to shared security challenges, including Russia’s war with Ukraine.”


Alp Sevimlisoy originally featured as per: Daily Express