In a move that slides Ankara further outside the NATO circle of countries, Turkey has decided to launch its new space venture with Russian, Chinese and Indian assistance.

Recently, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced a draft law that would establish the Turkish Space Agency. The legislation was submitted to the Turkish Parliamentary Commission for Industry, Commerce, Energy and Technology in February 2016, and it passed during the current legislative session.

“I hope the process of creating this structure will be well planned. Turkey really needs a space agency. Recently, the state opened a large research laboratory in which, as planned, 1,000 engineers will work. In addition, an institute was created, where the process of creating and testing satellites will take place,” said astronomer and professor Ethem Derman.

“Cooperation with Russia, China or India will allow us to move faster and more efficiently in this matter,” he added.

Analyst Comment: I don’t think it’s imminent, but I can envision a day when Turkey leaves the NATO alliance or is ejected outright, having moved far too close to Moscow and Beijing. That would also likely mean the loss of a vital U.S. airbase in the region at Incirlik. Turkish President Racip Erdogan obviously believes Turkish national interests are more aligned with those of Moscow than of Washington.

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