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Erdogan threatens to shut down "if necessary" two strategic military bases to …

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Erdogan threatens to shut down "if necessary" two strategic military bases to ...

Turkish President Receiving Tayyip Erdogan yesterday threatened to shut down, if necessary, two strategic US military bases in Turkey following growing tensions between Ankara and Washington.

"If necessary, we can close Incirlik and Kürecik," the name of the two bases, Erdogan said in an interview with the pro-government television channel A Haber.

Base closure is systematically mentioned in Turkey at every peak of diplomatic tensions between Ankara and Washington.

Located in southern Turkey, the Incirlik air base is used by US aviation in the fight against the extremist Islamic State group in Syria. The Kürecik base in the southeast of the country is home to a major NATO radar station.

Last week, the head of Turkish diplomacy had already evoked the status of the two facilities, pointing out that their closure could be "placed on the table" in reaction to possible US sanctions against Turkey.

Indeed, Turkey is exposed to Washington sanctions for buying Russian S-400 defense systems, despite warnings from the United States.

In addition, relations between Turkey and the United States, NATO allies, have deteriorated in recent months due to Ankara's offensive in Syria against a Washington-backed Kurdish militia.

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