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ECONOMICS > No Israeli access to NATO data: minister

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Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz. AA Photo

Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz. AA Photo

Ümit Enginsoy Ümit Enginsoy uenginsoy@aol.com

Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz has rejected suggestions that Israel will be given access to data designed to protect alliance members against ballistic missile threats from a rogue nation.

“Any data or information produced by this system will only be available to the alliance, as in the case for other alliance systems,” Yılmaz said in an email message sent to the American defense magazine Defense News last week.

“Information-sharing with non-NATO actors is subject to specific arrangements and it is possible only if the allies consensually agree on it,” he said. NATO agreed in a summit meeting in Lisbon two years ago to devise a missile defense system to protect alliance members from a rogue nation in the area. As part of the system, Turkey agreed to allow the U.S. military to install a special X-band radar at a base in Kürecik in eastern Turkey.

Turkey and Israel bolstered their defense cooperation to a strategic level in the mid-1990s. Israeli defense industry upgraded Turkish F-4 and F-5 aircraft and a group of M-60 tanks. It has also built unmanned aerial vehicles for Turkey. But the former allies have become foes as a result of Turkey’s objections to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

In its lowest point, Israeli commandos killed eight Turks and one Turkish-American in a raid on the Mavi Marmara ship that was leading a flotilla attempting to break the Israeli embargo of the Gaza strip. Turkey last year downgraded diplomatic relations and cut all military ties with Israel as a result of the raid.

Yılmaz also said his ultimate objective as defense minister would be the development of Turkey’s national defense industry.

“The Ministry of National Defense will continue its modernization program ... and will support the national defense industry by following the scientific developments in the world,” he said. Turkey presently builds

most of its Army and Navy equipment, and is improving its Air Force industry.

June/20/2012

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rich bind

6/20/2012 9:51:21 PM

The US relationship with Israel is not really understood. Beside the fact that Israel is not awash in poverty, unemployment and a population base that is to a large extent uneducated, Israeli technology is second to none in the world and is shared with the US. As for the so called foreign aid, Egypt gets more, and the vast bulk of military aid to Israel is spent in the US, provideing jobs for US workers.

Rimon Tree

6/20/2012 6:46:32 PM

@ Carlos comments like yours make me really sad, because its exactly people like you with their indoctrinations and prejudices and distorting history and facts, who are the real barriers for people living together in a peaceful way. And now some bad news for you: Israel is there to stay, like it or not and US never will waver, because Israel is the only RELIABLE ally in the region and there is no sign of isolation except the one always existed, by the Muslims. Have a nice evening!

carlos valds

6/20/2012 5:51:19 PM

israel is not the friend of US. israel is a low life parasite sucking the life out of the US and the world. israel is based on prejudice, murder. israel only solutions to problems is murder a civilian. If Palestinians live on land israel wants they are murdered if they cannot be forced to move. If Egypt wants to control its borders israel attacks, 1956 and 1967 wars. israel is truly isolated except for US. However I believe US is wavering. The support for israel is decreasing and I want to help.

Ahmetcan Caglayan

6/20/2012 5:10:05 PM

The U.S owes nothing to Zionist Israel. $3 billion already goes from U.S taxpayers every year to Israel in foreign aid. Israel creates problems, which in turn involves America. America's real friend in the region is Turkey. Turkey has given, not taken from NATO and America. Arabs, and a good majority of other nations don't like the U.S because of Israeli control over America. This is the U.S.A, not Israel.

Thessalonian

6/20/2012 4:20:08 PM

Mr. Yilmaz must think that the Turkish public are either stupid or extremely naive to suggest what he is suggesting as it rather tacit that the US will share data with Israel should the necesity arise. This subsequently gives rise to the question as to whom is he trying to appease? Is it the dismayed Ayatollahs next door or is it the Turks who haven't as yet gotten over the humble pie serving they had to injest following the Mavi Marmara fiasco, or is it both of the above? Regards

Stephen Brunette

6/20/2012 2:16:10 PM

NATO won't share it, but the US does and will continue to. The built it and pay for it. It is in the US best interest to share this info with it's only friend in the region.

rich bind

6/20/2012 6:02:07 AM

The defense minister, even Erdogan can say what they want, if the radar system located on Turkish soil, and operated by US military, detected incomming missiles directed at Israel, the U.S. would communicate a warning to Israel. No US President could do othewise and stay a day longer in office. In the event Romney is elected President, Turkey could face even more pressure than from Obama to change its policy of excluding Israel.
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