Turkey could shut down İncirlik Airbase in response to US sanctions: Erdoğan

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PHOTO: AP

Turkey could shut down its İncirlik Airbase, which hosts US nuclear warheads, in response to threats of US sanctions and a separate US Senate resolution that recognized mass killings of Armenians a century ago as genocide, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday, Reuters reported.

“If it is necessary for us to take such a step, of course we have the authority. … If this is necessary … we will close down İncirlik,” Erdoğan said on the A Haber TV news channel.

Turkey could also close down the Kürecik radar base, he added. “If they are threatening us with the implementation of these sanctions, of course we will be retaliating,” he said.

Turkey condemned the US Senate measure last week. Erdoğan suggested on Sunday that Turkey could respond with parliamentary resolutions recognizing the killings of indigenous Americans in past centuries as genocide.

President Erdoğan also reiterated that Turkey is ready to provide with Tripoli any military support it needs after Ankara and Libya’s internationally recognized government signed a security deal.

“We will be protecting the rights of Libya and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean,” he said. “We are more than ready to give whatever support necessary to Libya.”

Khalifa Haftar, who leads forces in eastern Libya, “is not a legitimate leader … and is representative of an illegal structure,” Erdoğan said after meeting in İstanbul with Fayez al-Sarraj, prime minister of Libya’s Government of National Accord.

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