CHP presidential candidate warns ‘key US base to close if Gülen not extradited’
ISTANBUL – Agence France-Presse
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate in Turkey’s upcoming presidential elections has threatened to shut down a key American military base by Christmas unless the United States extradites Fethullah Gülen, who is widely believed have orchestrated the coup attempt in 2016.
“If you [the United States] don’t return him, we will shut down İncirlik and send U.S. soldiers back on Dec. 24 and they can celebrate Christmas with their families,” he added.
The U.S. maintains a key base at İncirlik, a military airport located in southern Turkey, as a hub for operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
It also houses a stockpile of dozens of American tactical nuclear weapons.
İnce, 54, is seeking to convince voters he is a credible choice as he runs against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the June 24 elections, which will be a landmark in modern Turkish history.