Turkey’s government to brief Parliament on Patriots
Turkey’s government will brief Parliament on Feb. 5 on the deployment of NATO Patriot missiles now that the last batch of batteries has arrived in Turkey, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz told reporters Jan. 30.
The deployment of Patriot batteries in southern Turkey, ostensibly to protect the country against an attack by Syria, has attracted criticism from Turkish opposition parties, who have said the mission is merely designed to protect a NATO radar base in the eastern province of Malatya’s Kürecik area.
Meanwhile, U.S. Congressmen Rob Wittman said Jan. 30 that U.S. missile batteries were still inactive due to Turkish red tape. Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Selçuk Ünal, however, said he had not been informed about any bureaucratic hurdles.
“I don’t think we have official problems with any country [regarding Patriots],” Ünal said. The Patriot batteries were brought to Turkey based on the rules of the alliance, he said, adding that the talks were based on the framework of transfer rules established for allies that support each other.