Daily: NATO Airbase in Turkey to Assume Central Role in Possible War on Syria
November 2, 2012
Compiled by Cem Ertür
According to plans prepared by the US and Turkey, Pirinclik Air Base (*) , which is the closest NATO air base to Syria, will assume a central role in the event of an operation against Syria; reports Hurriyet daily.
A delegation of 20 officials from the United States European Command (EUCOM) inspected the air base in Diyarbakir for two days to assess its current readiness for a possible military action.
*Hurriyet’s report refers to the NATO base in Diyarbakir as “2nd Air Force Command” [headquarters], instead of ‘Pirinclik Air Base’. Although the US Department of Defence announced the return of the Pirinclik Air Base to the Turkish Armed Forces in 1997, the base is still being used as one of the 24 NATO bases across Turkey and hosts NATO’s early-warning radar system.
It is also worth noting that another NATO’s Incirlik Air Base in Adana (southern Turkey) is in a similar proximity to Turkey’s border with Syria. Incirlik is currently being used as a command center of NATO-led covert operations against Syria.
1) Operasyonel mekanizmada ilk adım
[The first step through the operational mechanism]
Hurriyet, 31 October 2012
2) Turkish military denies presence of US troops in Diyarbakır
Today’s Zaman, 31 October 2012
[Notes: Excerpts from Hurriyet’s report have been translated and edited by Cem Ertür. Today's Zaman is the English version of the Turkish newspaper Zaman]
From the archives:
“Diyarbakir may become a star, a focal point of the US project for a Greater Middle East. We should make that happen.”
[Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, TV interview on ‘Kanal D’ channel’s 'Teke Tek’ programme, 14 February 2004. This interview was conducted four months before the launch of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative during the 2004 NATO Summit in Istanbul] (*)
(*) Erdogan: Kürtler benim canim cigerim
[Erdogan: The Kurds are my nearest and dearest]
Hurriyet, 18 February 2004
“We struck Syria”: Turkish press jubilant as Turkey marches to war
By Cem Ertür, San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center, 4 October 2012
Top US general: Turkey is facing an immediate threat to its Syrian border
By Cem Ertür, San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center, 19 September 2012