| 27 May 2024, Monday |

Turkey Denies Moving S-400 to Incirlik Base

Turkey has denied reports that the S-400 missile defense system was moved to Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey.


“The claims on social media that the S-400s were taken to Incirlik are not true,” a statement from the Defense Ministry said Thursday.


The Incirlik base, which is under NATO supervision, hosts US nuclear warheads. Washington uses the base under an agreement with Turkey approved by its parliament.


The allegations of transferring the batteries of the Russian system to the base came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met his US counterpart Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome last Sunday.


Turkey refused to get rid of the Russian missiles, as demanded by Washington, which fears that they could be used to collect information about the capabilities of the advanced F-35 warplane.


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that a joint working group on disagreements would be established with the US, including the issue of the Russian-made advanced S-400 defense system, the Gulenist Group (FETO).


During a parliamentary session, Cavusoglu presented the 2022 budget of the Foreign Ministry and related institutions at the Planning and Budget Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM).


The minister stated that Turkey remains in contact with the US, adding that the meeting between Erdogan and Biden was in a constructive atmosphere.


Cavusoglu said that the US cooperation with the PKK/YPG, FETO’s presence in the US, and its stance on the S-400-related sanctions are incompatible with the spirit of alliance.


He pointed out that relevant institutions and ministries related to forming the working group and discussing issues are carrying out studies.


Meanwhile, Turkish authorities detained 17 people on Wednesday for attacking a visiting US Navy civilian employee in Istanbul.


The group that carried out the act, the Turkey Youth Union (TGB), put a hood over the head of the US civilian in a protest against US policy in the Middle East.


They shared images on Twitter of the incident, in which a group of people chanted anti-US slogans.


“You are our enemy, and you are not wanted here. We will not allow US soldiers to roam free in our lands. Yankee go home,” the group said.


The group also criticized US support for Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters who are considered terrorists by Ankara.


The 17 people detained had targeted a civilian employee of a US Navy ship that “came to our city as part of a port visit,” the governor’s office said in a statement. It did not elaborate on any possible charges against the group.


The governor’s office said that “the 17 detainees targeted a civilian employee of a US Navy ship who came to our city as part of a visit to the port.”

  • Asharq Al-Awsat