The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Turkey: Some Causes for Concern

Kyriakides, Klearchos orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3457-7740 (2022) The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Turkey: Some Causes for Concern. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies . pp. 1-38. ISSN 1944-8953

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This article focuses on the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Turkey. Its thesis is that its construction marks a turning point in the history, character, dynamics and risk profile of both Turkey and the Greater Middle East. The construction of the Plant reflects a number of emerging phenomena with unmistakable geopolitical implications. These encompass the nuclearization of Turkey, the nuclearization of the Greater Middle East and what appears to be an increasingly intimate Russo-Turkish bilateral relationship at odds with Turkey’s membership of NATO. Against this background, the article pinpoints several causes for concern. Among these is the detachment of Turkey from a string of international conventions that seek to promote nuclear safety or to protect the sea, the wider environment, workers or other people. Other causes for concern include the absence in Turkey of a deep-rooted culture steeped in transparency, press freedom, whistleblowing and other potential facilitators of nuclear safety. The article ends with five sets of recommendations directed towards the Government of Turkey plus the Governments and inhabitants of other states in the Greater Middle East and the EU, two of whose member states, the Republic of Cyprus and Greece, are situated in relatively close proximity to the Plant.

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