Close NATO radar base if you’re sincere on
ANKARAPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should suspend the activities of NATO’s radar base in eastern Turkey if he really is sincere in his harsh language toward Israel, the main opposition leader has said, arguing that the facility protects Israel.
“If Erdoğan wants to do something in favor of Gaza, he can do it very simply. If he was actually against Israel, then he would suspend the activities of the Kürecik radar base,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Nov. 20.
“Why was the radar station in Kürecik [in the eastern province of Malatya] established? It’s because of Israel’s security. Mr. Erdoğan, you are appealing to the Arab League and United Nations to take action for Gaza: Then do it yourself and be an example to the world,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in his address to the CHP’s parliamentary group meeting.
Even though Israel is not a NATO member, the U.S, a leading alliance member, shares intelligence coming from Kürecik radar, thus the radar system is effectively part of Israel’s air defense system, CHP deputy chair Faruk Loğoğlu said in a statement yesterday.
Kılıçdaroğlu also denounced Israel for its Gaza assault, calling the situation a humanitarian tragedy, adding that Palestine was fighting for its own independent state, which is a legitimate right.
Kılıçdaroğlu also responded to Erdoğan’s remarks on Turkish journalist Cüneyt Ünal’s handover to a CHP delegation. “Those who bear humanity in their hearts thanked us. However, those who bear hatred in their hearts were annoyed by it,” he said. Erdoğan had earlier slammed the CHP for allegedly turning the handover into a political show by publishing a photo taken with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.