Arms Control and Disarmament

Turkey attaches particular importance to the efforts in arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation as they strengthen the stability. Given the threats posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including their acquisition by terrorists, these efforts are critical enablers for not only regional, but also global peace and security. Turkey sincerely desires to see that all countries will unanimously share the goals of disarmament and non-proliferation and collectively work towards a safer and more stable world.

Recent years have witnessed a downward trend in these areas, exemplified by the withdrawals from or suspension of some agreements and treaties. Turkey believes that such agreements and treaties, which were agreed through long and painstaking diplomatic negotiations, should not be undermined, fully implemented and universalized. Turkey also believes that this trend can only be reversed by investing more in dialogue, transparency, confidence building measures and strengthening the existing treaties and regimes.

Active participation in international efforts in arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, adherence to relevant international instruments and their full implementation, as well as maintaining the coordination among relevant institutions are important elements of Turkey’s national policy in these areas. Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues coordination among the relevant institutions.

Conventions and Treaties

Turkey is party to main international disarmament and non-proliferation treaties and regimes. These are:

- Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT): This landmark Treaty was opened to signature in 1968 and entered into force in 1970. Turkey became a party to this ,important Treaty in 1979. NPT aims to advance the goals on the three pillars on which it is built. These pillars are non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Review Conferences (RevCon) are held every five years to review the implementation of the Treaty. Next RevCon is to be held in 2020 in New York. Turkey will continue her efforts for universalization and strengthening of the NPT during this Conference.

- Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT): CTBT was opened to signature in 1996. Turkey became a party in 2000. The Treaty has not yet entered into force as the ratification of the Annex-II states is a prerequisite for entry into force. CTBT aims to prevent the modernization of existing nuclear weapons and production of new ones through banning all nuclear explosions.

- Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC): This Convention was opened to signature in 1993 and entered into force in 1997. Turkey became a party the same year. Under CWC, production and use of chemical weapons are prohibited. Turkey deeply condemns the use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anyone, under any circumstances..

- Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC): This Convention was opened to signature in 1972 and entered into force in 1975. Turkey became a party in 1974. Under BWC, production and use of biological and toxin weapons are prohibited.

- The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (Ottawa Convention): The Ottawa Convention constitutes the major international instrument aimed at eliminating the Anti-Personnel Land Mines as well as preventing their use, production, stockpiling and transfer. Turkey became a party to this Convention in 2004.

Under the provisions of the Convention, Turkey has the obligations to destroy its stockpiled anti-personnel landmines and to clear mined areas. The destruction of Turkey’s stockpiled anti-personnel land mines was completed in June 2011. Mine clearance efforts are ongoing.

- Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) (Protocol I, Amended Protocol II and Protocol IV): It was opened to signature in 1981 and entered into force in 1983. Turkey became a party in 2005. CCW aims to prohibit or limit the use of certain weapons that may cause inhumane injuries.

- Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC): It was established in 2002 as a transparency and confidence-building measure to contribute to efforts for preventing the proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. Turkey joined HCOC in 2002.

Turkey fully implements the abovementioned Conventions and Treaties. Turkey participates to the international meetings/conferences and regularly submits compliance reports in order to enhance transparency and confidence building.

UN-related areas

Turkey has welcomed the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 on the non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction. Turkey submitted national reports to the Committee (established pursuant to the UNSC Resolution 1540) in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2016 and lastly in 2019.

Turkey strongly supports the full and comprehensive implementation of the UN Programme of Action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW).

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was agreed between P5+1 and Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program, was approved with the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 in 2015. The Plan started to be implemented on 16 January 2016, when the first report of the International Atomic Energy Agency was released. All reports that have been published so far by the Agency confirm Iran’s cooperation with the Agency.The US unilaterally withdrew from the Plan on 8 May 2018. Since then, the remaining parties of the Plan are conducting negotiations with Iran to keep it intact. Iran has declared in May 2019 that it will start to disengage from applying its commitments in the JCPoA step by step. Iran has been taking steps in that direction every two months. Turkey believes that the Plan should continue to be fully implemented under the monitoring of the Agency.

Conference on Disarmament (CD)

Turkey is an active member of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) since 1996. CD is the sole multilateral negotiation forum in the field of disarmament. However, the Conference has not been able to deal with substantial issues since 1996 as a programme of work could not be adopted, due to differences of view among its members.

There are four substantial agenda items of discussions in the CD, namely “Nuclear Disarmament”, “Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty”, “Negative Security Assurances” and “Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space”. Turkey supports the efforts aimed at overcoming the current stalemate and developing an agreed programme of work in the CD.

Turkey assumed the sixth and last chairmanship of CD in 2018. In this framework, CD’s Chairmanship Report was prepared by Turkey. In addition, a draft resolution on the report was submitted to the UN 73. General Assembly First Committee.

Export Control Regimes

Turkey is also party to all export control regimes for conventional weapons and dual-use equipment and technologies. These are:

- Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) aims to control exports of conventional weapons and dual-use equipment and technologies. Turkey became a founding member in 1996.

- Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) was established in 1987, with the aim of limiting the spread of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and other unmanned delivery systems whose range and delivery capability are above a certain threshold. Turkey became a member in 1997.

- Zangger Committee (ZC) was established in 1971 to control the export of nuclear-related materials, equipment and technology. Turkey became a member in 1999.

- Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was established to control the export of nuclear-related and dual-use materials. Turkey became a member in 2000.

- Australia Group (AG) was established in 1985 to control the exports of dual-use materials and technologies to prevent the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons. Turkey became a member in 2000.


Turkey supports and takes part in the following complementary initiatives:

- The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI): Turkey declared her support to the PSI when it was launched by the then President of the USA during a speech in Krakow, Poland, in May 2003. The PSI builds on wider efforts by the international community to prevent the proliferation of WMD, including through existing treaties and regimes.

- The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT): Turkey is pursuing an active policy against terrorism. With this understanding, Turkey has joined, as initial partner state, to the “Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism” (GICNT), launched by Presidents Putin and Bush of the Russian Federation and the USA, following a joint statement in St. Petersburg on 15 July 2006.

- The Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI): It was launched to contribute to the implementation of the consensus outcomes of the 2010 NPT Review Conference and to take forward the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agenda. Turkey is part of NPDI along with 11 other countries (Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Canada, Chili, Mexico, UAE, Australia, Japan, Nigeria and the Philippines).

International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Veification (IPNDV): This initiative brings together more than 25 countries, including nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states, through a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the Nuclear Threat Initiative,Turkey has also joined/signed:

- “International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons”, which was launched in Paris in January 2018 in an effort to fill the gap in the absence of the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism.

- The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in July 2013. (National ratification procedure to ratify the Treaty is ongoing.)

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)


The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is the largest regional security organization in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian space with its 57 participating and 11 partner states covering an area from Vancouver to Vladivostok.

The OSCE traces its origins to the détente of the early 1970’s when the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) was established to serve as a multilateral forum for dialogue and negotiation between East and West. The Helsinki Final Act was signed on 1 August 1975 following the meetings over two years in Helsinki and Geneva. This CSCE document contained a number of key commitments on politico-military, economic and environmental and human rights issues that became central to the “Helsinki process”. It also established ten fundamental principles, “the Decalogue” governing the behavior of States towards their citizens as well as towards each other.

Until 1990, the CSCE functioned mainly as a series of meetings and conferences that built and extended the participating States’ commitments. However, with the end of Cold War, the CSCE entered a new course which led to acquisition of permanent institutions and operational capabilities. As part of this institutionalization process, the name was changed from the CSCE to the OSCE in 1994.


The OSCE has maintained its relevance and unique place in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security architecture due to its comprehensive approach to security as well as its inclusive membership. The concept of comprehensive security encompasses commitments and mechanisms related to the politico-military, economic and environment and human dimensions, and strike a fair balance among them. Cross-dimensional topics such as issues related to women, peace and security have deserved the organization’s constant attention following the Astana Summit of 2010.

The multilateral instruments and mechanisms i.e. the Vienna Document, the CFE regime and the Open Skies Treaty constitute the backbone of the European conventional security architecture. This body of both legally and politically binding commitments contains provisions essential for maintaining the stability and security of the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian space.

While the role and efficiency of the OSCE is being questioned due to newly emerging geo-strategic environment in Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security as a result of the NATO and EU enlargement processes, the high level dialogue launched within the OSCE in 2009 and the Astana Summit of 2010 has reinvigorated the Organization. The “Helsinki+40” process, which aims to adopt a landmark document in 2015, launched at the Dublin Ministerial Council in 2012, is a useful exercise through which the OSCE, by taking stock of its achievements, can protect a vision for the future as to its relevance and value added in the changing security environment.


The mandate and the activities of the OSCE cover all three dimensions: the politico-military; the economic and environment; and the human.


i) Conflict cycle (early warning, early action, prevention, management, resolution, post conflict rehabilitation)
ii) Arms control
iii) Border management
iv) Combating terrorism
v) Policing
vi) Combating drug trafficking
v) Cyber security
vi) Non-proliferation
vii) Military reform and cooperation
Economic and Environment
i) Assisting economic growth and strengthening of small and medium size enterprises
ii) Monitoring the economic impact of trafficking
iii) Combating corruption and money laundering
iv) Promotion of sustainable use and sound management of natural resources, combating soil degradation and encouraging alternative and renewable energy resources
v) Safe disposal of toxic and radioactive waste
vi) Tackling problems of inland transport
vii) Improving the environmental footprint of energy related activities.
vii) Protection of energy networks from natural and man-made disasters.


i) Human rights and fundamental freedoms
ii) Elections
iii) Media freedom
iv) Minority rights
v) Rule of law
vi) Tolerance and non-discrimination
vii) Good governance
viii) Education
ix) Combating human trafficking
x) Gender equality


The political leadership of the OSCE is assumed by the Chairmanship. The Chairmanship is held for one calendar year by the OSCE participating State designated as such by a decision of the Ministerial Council. The function of the Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) is exercised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of that State. The executive structures assist the Chairmanship in running the Organization and fulfilling the tasks. The OSCE decisions are taken by the decision-making bodies of the Organization by consensus.

Decision-Making Bodies
Summits and Ministerial Councils
Permanent Council
Forum for Security and Cooperation

Executive Structures
Secretary General
- Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
- High Commissioner on National Minorities
- Representative on Freedom of Media
- Field Operations

Other Structures and Institutions
Parliamentary Assembly
Court of Conciliation and Arbitration
Minsk Group

OSCE-Related Bodies
Joint Consultative Group
Open Skies Consultative Commission


Turkey is a member of the OSCE since its very inception in 1975, when it was formed as a standing conference (CSCE), and has actively supported its development and strengthening.

As a proof of particular importance attached to this Organization, Turkey hosted the OSCE Summit Meeting in Istanbul in 1999. The Istanbul Summit at which the Charter for European Security, the Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and the revised Vienna Document (VD 99) were signed and adopted, has become a milestone and point of reference for the OSCE activities since that date.

Today, Turkey’s contribution to the work of the OSCE covers all three dimensions. Turkish Government has provided technical and financial assistance as well as expertise to the OSCE projects especially in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Balkans in areas such as democratic policing, border management, counter-terrorism, customs control, anti-drug trafficking, institution building, post-conflict rehabilitation, good governance, specialized training, minority protection and public order. There are currently around twenty Turkish citizens employed at the OSCE secretariat, field missions and institutions. Turkey also actively contributes to the efforts aimed at enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the OSCE and tries to avoid a further polarization within the Organization between West and East. Turkey attaches importance to maintain the balance among the three pillars of the OSCE and the consensus rule in the decision making process.

The OSCE has all the attributes to act as the primary organization to consolidate the security and stability of the geographies excluded from NATO and the EU enlargement processes. Moreover, the OSCE is an important international framework that links many of its participating States with the Euro-Atlantic area as equal members around common norms, principles and commitments. The OSCE serves as a valuable tool in consolidating their Euro-Atlantic orientation. The OSCE is entrusted with resolution of the protracted conflicts namely, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transdnistria, South Ossetia, Georgia and Abkhasia. In the context of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the Minsk Group continues to function within the OSCE framework. Turkey tries to channel the activities and resources of the OSCE towards bolstering the settlement processes of the protracted conflicts in order to achieve concrete results, particularly with regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Turkey remains committed to contribute to the peaceful resolution of all protracted conflicts in the OSCE region on the basis of unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Concerning the human dimension, we support the efforts that resonate intolerance, discrimination, xenophobia, racism and hatred acts that Turkish citizens living in the OSCE area, especially in Europe, are subject to. Ambassador Mehmet Paçacı is the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims.

The conventional security arrangements that operate under the OSCE umbrella play a pivotal role in strengthening military security and stability of the Black Sea and the Caucasus regions. Therefore, Turkey was among those States who were influential in shaping these arrangements. Turkey now actively contributes to their effective implementation as well as their processes of modernization.

On the other hand, the crisis in and around Ukraine is also an important security challenge in the region. OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine was established by the OSCE Permanent Council’s decision dated 21 March 2014 and it contributes to peace, stability and security by monitoring throughout Ukraine and facilitating the dialogue on the ground in order to reduce tension and promote normalization of the situation. H.E. Ertuğrul Apakan, Retired Ambassador and Former Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, served as the SMM’s Chief Monitor between 2 April 2014 and 1 June 2019. Ambassador Apakan’s work was appreciated by all. Retired Ambassador Halit Çevik was appointed as the Chief Monitor of the SMM) following a selection process among six candidates. His appointment was a testament to the sense of confidence in Turkey as well Ambassador Çevik’s professional expertise and experience. Turkey’s strong support to the SMM operating under the principles of impartiality and transparency will continue.