Opposition protests against radar base
MALATYA - Doğan News Agency
A group of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmakers speak to repoters in front of of a military base in the eastern province of Malatya. AA photoA group of main opposition party lawmakers, accompanied by locals, have staged a protest in eastern Turkey against a planned NATO early warning radar system.
Ten deputies from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) wearing jackets reading “No to the Missile Shield,” climbed the mountain where the radar system is stationed in Kürecik in the eastern province of Malatya on March 10, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.
The lawmakers went past four barricades by soldiers before being stopped at the entrance to the radar base. The group became the first civilians to approach the base, thereby allowing reporters to take photographs of the base for the first time.
The deputies were flanked by locals opposing the installation of the NATO radar system, it added.
“The radar base is against peace,” Emine Ülker Tarhan, deputy parliamentary group leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told reporters in front of the radar base. “We are against war. To us, a shield is a symbol of war.”
Radar in Turkey, missiles in Romania, Poland
A deal with Turkey last year to station the sophisticated radar system on its territory was hailed by U.S. officials. Washington says the missile defense shield is designed to counter an Iranian missile threat.
Besides the radar in Turkey, the defense shield also contains interceptor missiles stationed in Romania and Poland, four ballistic missile defense-capable ships in Rota, Spain, and an operational headquarters in Germany.
The X-band radar in Turkey 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.