Turkey has promised to consider closing the Incirlik airbase for the United States if Washington imposes sanctions against Ankara for the purchase of Russian C-400 air defense systems. This was stated by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, reports Hurriyet.
The Minister noted that the Turkish side appreciated the worst-case scenario and was ready for retaliatory measures.
“If the United States imposes sanctions against Turkey, then the issue of the Incirlik and Kureggik bases may be on the agenda,” Cavusoglu said.
In addition, he noted that if the United States refused to supply the fifth generation F-35 fighter-bombers to Ankara, the Russian market could become an alternative.
Earlier, Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar answered the question about the possible purchase of Russian fighters.
“At this stage it is too early to say whether we will purchase Russian fighters. We must wait and see how events develop. Turkey is an independent state, and it will do what it sees fit. If the US refuses to fulfill its obligations for the supply of F-35, we can find other suppliers, ”he said.
Recall that Russia and Turkey signed a contract for the supply of four S-400 divisions in the amount of $ 2.5 billion. Deliveries began in July.
The deal led to increased tensions between Turkey and the United States, as Washington demanded that Ankara abandon the purchase of Russian air defense systems and acquire American Patriot systems instead. The United States also threatened to cancel the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey and impose sanctions on the country, but Ankara refused to cancel the deal with Russia.
Akar confirmed that Ankara did not intend to abandon the Russian S-400 air defense systems, and added that Washington would have to accept this fact.
“Turkey expects the United States to act in accordance with the spirit of partnership within NATO. We must concentrate on finding ways out of this situation, taking into account the presence of S-400 in Turkey, ”Akara quoted Anadolu.
Corresponding Member of the Academy of Military Sciences Sergey Sudakov, in an interview with RT, expressed the opinion that Turkey, making such statements, is ahead of the curve. According to him, Turkey scares Washington with the closure of the Incirlik base and may begin to threaten a possible exit from NATO.
“This is a bluff. But Incirlik is a very important object for the United States, because it is the base, which is the base of the jump. This is a military term that allows you to quickly transfer people and equipment to those points that are most interesting from the point of view of geopolitics for the United States, ”he said.
The expert explained that the loss of Incirlik for the United States is a serious loss, and Turkey knows about it, therefore, it has taken the so-called middle position. In addition, Turkey understands that its geopolitical position is the guarantor of its security, and the US cannot fully impose sanctions and start a “full-fledged” hybrid war.
- © Press Service of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
“It is impossible to strangle the country that controls the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. In the event of a conflict, it will simply block these straits, and shipping there will only be possible through active hostilities. The US, led by Trump, is now not ready for war. Sanctions are sanctions, and war is war, and hardly anyone wants to fight with Turkey, ”he added.
Victor Nadein-Raevsky, senior researcher at the Institute for World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, director of the Institute for Political and Social Studies of the Black Sea-Caspian Region, in conversation with RT agreed that the loss of Incirlik would be a serious loss for the US, so Washington is unlikely to destroy relations with Turkey.
“For Americans, this is a serious argument, this is the largest base. I would not expect to continue to destroy relations with Turkey. Most likely, in front of a certain red line, both sides will stop. Because for the USA, the loss of Turkey as the eastern outpost of NATO is an irreplaceable loss ... For Turkey itself, leaving NATO is an extremely undesirable process, because the entire arms system sags .. Not to mention the geopolitical losses, ”the expert summed up.