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Turkish involvement in Iran nuclear program


Turkey has failed to develop a convenient nuclear technology. Work stagnated. The bids sinked with corruption news. Because of the financial risks involved in this investment, IMF has asked the government to close the dossier. TEK’s Nuclear Department has been closed.

And the whole procedure has been halted..


Since 1968, more than 38 years have been passed.

About the graduates of METU’s Mechanical Engineering department, where do you think they are now?

The ones in Turkey have established their own businesses. Among many have been successful.

In coal based power plants, some of them have made coal belt conveyors with large capacities. Made mechanical assemblies, built their own factories.

Some of them have climbed the bureaucratic ladders.

Some has gone abroad where they work at the nuclear power plants. They occupied the high level professional cadres in the countries like Canada, Switzerland and US.

The most incredible is their cooperation with Iranian engineers to build the Iranian nuclear plants.

Iran’s nuclear technology is a product of METU’s Mechanical Nuclear department of the 1968 generation. I wish we have used that generation with more wisdom.

In 2008 or 2009 we will have a big energy crisis. Private sector has foreseen the danger.

Turkish industries couldn’t produce their own technologies. Setting aside nuclear, we fail to produce (the technology) basic coal burning thermal power plants. Our domestic enterprises oversees the energy projects as basic “construction plus on the site assembly”. We still mistake in the belief that we can work out big leaps with small calculations.


The letter is reported to be from a 1973 graduate of METU, initials H. D.


It is a fact that Turkey has failed to take advantage of generations of high quality engineers those graduated from its institutions. But the letter above is more likely to be an over exaggeration of Turkish involvement in Iranian nuclear plans.


Despite all claims, Turkey may benefit from a nuclear Iran. If Iran makes a nuclear plant, Turkey may have an experienced brain power, assuming that the content of the letter above is correct. Also a nuclear Iran against international community is advantageous for Turkey’s role in the region.


During the Khomeini era, with the rise of Iranian revolution, Turkey has sit to the throne as a reliable western ally and took the full benefit of this situation with Turgut Ozal’s policies. A nuclear revolution in Iran may give a second chance to Turkey.


The letter discussed above is reflecting a merit. If Turkey wants to build a nuclear plant, it should first consult to its own brain power. Most of those graduates are, as in the letter, have achieved important positions. Turkish state should better set aside its policies to “start from scratch, when a previous experience fails”, but should implement brave policies to built a success story on top of the lessons learned from past failures.

This commentary is from USAK's Energy Review Newsletter
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