The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism was signed in New York on Sept. 14, 2005, and was published in the Official Gazette on May 8, 2012, with Law No. 3010. But Turkey declared that, pursuant to Article 23(2) of the convention, it does not consider itself bound by Article 23(1) of the convention, meaning that Turkey accepts the agreement with reservation.
According to Article 23(1) of the convention, any dispute between two or more states that are party to the convention concerning the interpretation or application of the agreement and that cannot be settled through negotiations within a reasonable time frame may refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice.
Article 23(2) of the convention states that each state may, at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance or approval of the convention, declare that it does not consider itself bound by paragraph one of the present article.
When asked, Turkish officials told Today's Zaman that Turkey's reservation to the convention originates from a long-held policy under which Ankara does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Additionally, not all countries accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. Australia accepts the compulsory jurisdiction with reservations whereas Brazil has not accepted the compulsory jurisdiction.
A Turkish diplomat, who spoke under conditions of anonymity, explained that Turkey accepted the convention with reservation in order to prevent other countries from taking the dispute to the International Court of Justice, adding Turkey has accepted many international agreements with reservations in the past due to the same concerns.
Turkey also makes a declaration that the term international humanitarian law in Article 4(2) of the convention should not be interpreted as giving different status to armed forces and groups other than the armed forces of a state as currently understood and applied in international law, which would thereby create new obligations for Turkey.
According to the convention, the states party to the convention have agreed on the articles of the convention with having in mind the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations concerning the maintenance of international peace and security and the promotion of good-neighborliness and friendly relations and cooperation among states.
Additionally, states party to the convention recognize the right of all states to develop and apply nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and their legitimate interests in the potential benefits to be derived from the peaceful application of nuclear energy.