Ankara: Turkey might shut down two military bases where US soldiers were currently stationed if “necessary”, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
“If necessary, we will hold discussions with all our delegations, and if necessary, we may close the Incirlik (air base in Adana) and Kurecik (radar station in Malatya) bases,” Xinhua news agency reported citing the President as saying on Sunday in a TV interview.
Incirlik air base is a key military compound for the US for regional operations. Kurecik Radar Station is a military installation, established in 2012 for use by NATO as an early-warning radar.
“We may need to make some decisions, too,” he said, elaborating a recent US resolution passed by the Senate that recognized the killings of Armenians as “genocide” in 1915.
The resolution was “completely political”, Erdogan said, adding that “it is very important for both sides that the US does not take irreparable steps in our relations”.
“We regret that the polarization in US domestic politics has had negative consequences on us and that some groups abuse developments of our country for their own interests in order to weaken (President Donald) Trump,” he added.
On December 12, the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution that formally recognizes the Ottoman Empire’s killings of the Armenian people as “genocide”.
The resolution asserts that it is US policy to commemorate as genocide the killing of Armenians from 1915 to 1923.
The resolution was passed in the House of Representatives in October but had been blocked by Republican Senators several times at the request of the White House, which feared that its passage would infuriate Turkey.