Turkey’s foreign policy prompting U.S. to weigh nuclear bomb relocation to Greece – Greek Reporter
There is mounting speculation that the United States may be preparing to move to Greece the 50 nuclear warheads it stores in Turkey’s southern İncirlik base, the Greek City Times said on Saturday.
The article pointed to remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that he could kick out the Americans from the air base and efforts by officials in Washington to withdraw from İncirlik over Ankara’s increasingly “disturbing” foreign policy.
Questions have been looming over the future of the İncirlik base, which hosts U.S. nuclear warheads about 100 miles from Turkey’s border with Syria, particularly following a period of soaring tensions between Washington and Ankara last year.
Erdoğan in December said Turkey could shut down the base, in response to threats of U.S. sanctions and a separate U.S. Senate resolution that recognising the mass killings of Armenians a century ago as genocide.
Erdoğan’s recent foreign policy has caused U.S officials to intensify preparations to withdraw from İncirlik Air Force base, a senior Republican senator and American analysts told the Washington Examiner.
“We’re already looking at Greece as an alternative,” Johnson said. “It’s very unfortunate the path that Erdoğan is taking Turkey, or has put Turkey on.’’
Johnson’s statements arrive during an increase in tensions between Ankara, on the one side, and Athens and Nicosia, on the other, over hydrocarbon resources the east Mediterranean, where Turkey has dispatched the seismic survey vessel Oruş Reis to an area of sea claimed by both sides, in a move that has enraged Greece. A number of countries, including France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Spain have expressed support for Greece and Cyprus’ claims to the contested waters.
Meanwhile, the United States has been increasing and improving its military cooperation with Greece, Johnson noted.
The Turkish president is finding himself increasingly alone in this escalation, the Greek Times said, noting that Turkey has failed to receive the support of a single state against its “aggressive actions against Greece and Cyprus.’’
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to arrive in Cyprus on Saturday.
But Cyprus is not the only country the United States is eyeing for the move, according to Turkey analyst Aykan Erdemir of the D.C.-based research institute, Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
“Washington is not necessarily thinking of one alternative to İncirlik, but a number of rebasing options which are complementary as a contingency plan to İncirlik,’’ the Greek City Times quoted Erdemir as saying.