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World Erdogan Warns Turkey May Shut Down Key NATO Air Base and Radar

10:07  16 december  2019
10:07  16 december  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey could shut down two of the most critical NATO installations on its territory if the U.S. imposes sanctions over An early- warning radar at Kurecik is a critical part of NATO ’s ballistic-missile defense capabilities. Incirlik Air Base , close to Syria, is used by

Incirlik is an air base in southern Turkey that has played a major role in US military operations in the Middle The US military also stores around 50 B-61 gravity nuclear bombs at the base . Kurecik in eastern Turkey houses a NATO radar station. Earlier this week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut

(Bloomberg) -- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey could shut down two of the most critical NATO installations on its territory if the U.S. imposes sanctions over its purchase of an advanced Russian missile-defense system.

ANKARA, TURKEY - DECEMBER 12: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY  MANDATORY CREDIT - © CETINMUHURDAR / HANDOUT/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images ANKARA, TURKEY - DECEMBER 12: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - "TURKISH PRESIDENCY / MURAT CETINMUHURDAR / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during a meeting on social project of 100,000 houses for low-income people, on December 12, 2019 at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey. (Photo by TURKISH PRESIDENCY / MURAT CETINMUHURDAR / HANDOUT/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“If it is necessary to shut it down, we would shut down Incirlik,” Erdogan told AHaber television on Sunday. “If it is necessary to shut it down, we would shut down Kurecik, too.”

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Turkey 's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday said Ankara may close two bases in Turkey where U.S "If necessary, we will discuss with all our delegations, and if necessary, we may close Incirlik [ air base in southern Adana province] and Kürecik [ radar station in eastern Malatya province]

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It’s the clearest sign yet that the standoff with the U.S. risks spreading and further damaging Turkey’s relations with the western alliance.

An early-warning radar at Kurecik is a critical part of NATO’s ballistic-missile defense capabilities. Incirlik Air Base, close to Syria, is used by the Pentagon to store tactical nuclear weapons and conduct strikes against Islamic State. Decades earlier, it was the main operating location for the American U-2 spy plane -- until American pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960.

Turkey hints it could bar US from using key air bases

  Turkey hints it could bar US from using key air bases Turkey's foreign minister suggested Wednesday that the United States could be barred from using two strategic air bases in retaliation to possible U.S. sanctions against his country, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. Mevlut Cavusoglu comments came amid reports that U.S. lawmakers had agreed on a defense bill that also includes calls to sanction Turkey over its decision to proceed with the purchase and deployment of Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems.

Turkey could shut down its Incirlik air base , which hosts U.S. nuclear warheads, in response to threats of U.S. sanctions and a separate U.S. Senate resolution that recognized mass killings of Armenians a century ago as genocide, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.

In addition to the air base in Turkey ’s southern province of Adana, Ankara would also consider closing down the Kürecik Radar Station in eastern Malatya Ankara retains the option of shutting down the İncirlik air base used by the United States in retaliation to threats of U.S. sanctions and a U.S. Senate

Turkey is pushing ahead with the Russian deal and also plans to sign an agreement with Moscow to jointly produce the S-400 missiles even as the purchase strains ties with NATO and increases the risk of U.S. sanctions that could plunge Turkey into renewed economic turmoil.

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“If they put measures such as sanctions in force, then we would respond based on reciprocity,” Erdogan said. “It is very important for both sides that the U.S. should not take irreparable steps in our relations.”

The accord with Moscow highlights both Turkey’s aspirations for an increasingly independent role in regional policies and the mutual erosion of trust with Washington.

Over the weekend, Turkey decided to deploy drones in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state, raising the stakes in a growing dispute over energy in the eastern Mediterranean. Erdogan also met Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj after expressing readiness to deploy Turkish troops in the North African country, if asked. Erdogan’s government also submitted a separate military cooperation deal with Libya to parliament for approval.

Putin, Erdogan pledge to continue military cooperation: Kremlin

  Putin, Erdogan pledge to continue military cooperation: Kremlin Putin, Erdogan pledge to continue military cooperation: KremlinThe pledge, made in a phone call, comes after a Turkish presidential spokesman said American legislation to impose sanctions against Turkey will not affect Ankara's use of the Russian S-400 missile defense system even if it passes the U.S. Congress.

Turkish President threatens to shut down air base which hosts US nuclear warheads. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Sunday that his country could shut down its Incirlik air base , which hosts US Turkey can also close down the Kurecik radar base if necessary, he added.

Turkey might only need NATO membership to deter a nuclear Iran, but it is a distant future that may well not materialize. This is why Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is not scared by anyone’s threats to kick Turkey out of NATO . He knows they are empty.

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Turkey’s assertiveness as a regional power makes it less willing to compromise in its dispute with its chief NATO ally. The U.S. has warned that Turkey could face expulsion from Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 program and also face sanctions under two pieces of legislation that allow punishment of entities doing business with parts of the Russian state.

Turkey took delivery of one S-400 missile-defense battery, which has advanced radars and isn’t compatible with NATO technology. The system is expected to be ready for use by April. Its deployment would mark a further advance in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to engineer a bigger role in the Middle East.

Chief among U.S. concerns is that the Russian system could be used to collect intelligence on the stealth capabilities of the F-35 fighter jet that Turkey wanted to buy and has helped to build.

Understanding the Feuds Plaguing U.S.-Turkey Alliance: QuickTake

Erdogan also warned the U.S. against recognizing as “genocide” the mass killing of Armenians during the final years of the Ottoman Empire a century ago. He said Turkey’s parliament could investigate whether the U.S. carried out a policy of systematic genocide of native Americans.

To contact the reporter on this story: Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara at shacaoglu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Onur Ant at oant@bloomberg.net, Taylan Bilgic, Paul Abelsky

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

NATO Faces a Fresh Quandary as Turkey Tips Toward Russia .
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to evict U.S. bases if the Trump administration imposes new sanctions, putting the alliance on edge.In a television interview this month, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said if the U.S. punishes Turkey for its purchase of a Russian air-defense system, then, “if necessary, we may close Incirlik and Kureci,” installations where the U.S. keeps nuclear weapons and operates critical radar.

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