CHP asks Pentagon for permission to visit radar

CHP asks Pentagon for permission to visit radar

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
CHP asks Pentagon for permission to visit radar

CHP deputies are seen near the radar base during a protests on March 10, when they were not allowed inside. AA photo

Turkey’s main opposition has applied to the Pentagon to visit NATO’s early warning radar system installed in the Kürecik province of Malatya, in an application that was communicated to the Pentagon through the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) had previously applied to the Turkish Chief of Staff, Prime Ministry, Presidency, as well as the Foreign, Interior and Defense ministries and decided to send their request directly to the source after hitting local roadblocks, said Deputy Veli Ağababa to the Hürriyet Daily News. “Only the Defense Ministry wrote back to us, but they denied our request without giving any reasons,” he said.

“As the Turkish Deputy of Malatya, I would like to visit the radar base in the Turkish province of Malatya/Kürecik. I request that a written response is sent back to us, and that the necessary permissions are given,” wrote Ağababa to the Pentagon on May 7. Ağababa told the Daily News he would resend his application every 15 days until the United States responded.

“We were forced to do this because the ministries are not responding to us. This proves that the radar system is under complete control of the United States. Therefore, I sent my application to them, even though I was embarrassed to ask for permission from a foreign country to enter our own soil in the province for which I am deputy of. Government officials should also be ashamed of this,” said Ağababa.

“We will continue our fight until the radar shield is removed from Kürecik,” he said.

Ağababa and other CHP deputies have been protesting the radar system since its early stages of conception, and got as far as the radar base’s front gates during the protests on March 10, but were not allowed inside.

Washington says the missile defense shield is designed to counter an Iranian missile threat and is part of a system designed to intercept short and medium-range missiles at extremely high altitudes.
Kürecik is about 700 kilometers west of the Iranian border.