Dutch PM makes Patriot visit to NATO's İncirlik airbase, speaks with Turkish PM
A Dutch soldier stands in the İncirlik airbase with patriots seen in the background. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZDutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte visited NATO's İncirlik airbase in the southern Turkish province of Adana, where Patriot units sent by the Dutch army have been stationed since January. Rutte also held a phone conversation with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before leaving Turkey on Oct. 13.
The Patriot missile batteries were deployed to deter any possible threat to Turkish territory from Syria and are operated by Dutch soldiers.
Erdoğan thanked his counterpart for the Netherlands' support to Turkey's border security within NATO.
Rutte told Erdoğan that his country gave a lot of importance to Turkey's border security, while also vowing support for Ankara's EU bid ahead of the release of this year's Progress Report.
Following his visit to the İncirlik airbase, the Dutch prime minister also joined the Dutch troops at their military headquarters in Adana's Seyhan district.
Germany and the U.S. have also deployed Patriot units in the Kahramanmaraş and Gazaintep provinces respectively.