Turkey may close two military bases where U.S. soldiers are stationed if “necessary,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on late Sunday.
“If necessary, we will hold discussions with all our delegations, and if necessary, we may close the Incirlik (air base in southern Adana province) and Kurecik (radar station in eastern Malatya province) bases,” the Turkish president said in a televised interview with ATV broadcaster.
“We may need to make some decisions, too,” he said, elaborating a recent U.S. resolution passed by the Senate that recognized the killings of Armenians as “genocide” in 1915.
The resolution was “completely political,” he said, adding “it is very important for both sides that the U.S. does not take irreparable steps in our relations.”
“We regret that the polarization in U.S. 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 (U.S. President Donald) Trump,” he said.
U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution that formally recognizes the Ottoman Empire’s killings of the Armenian people as “genocide.”
The resolution asserts that it is U.S. policy to commemorate as genocide the killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923.
The resolution was passed in the House of Representatives in late 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.
Incirlik air base is a key military compound for the U.S. for regional operations. Kurecik Radar Station is a military installation, established in 2012 for use by NATO as an early-warning radar.
Source: Xinhua – ANKARA
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