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Thread: Attempted coup in Turkey

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Attempted coup in Turkey

    US nukes at Turkey base at risk of seizure: report

    Dozens of US nuclear weapons stored at a Turkish air base near Syria are at risk of being captured by "terrorists or other hostile forces," a Washington think tank claimed Monday.

    Critics have long been alarmed by America's estimated stockpile of about 50 nuclear bombs at Incirlik in southern Turkey, just 70 miles (110 kilometers) from the border with war-torn Syria.

    The issue took on fresh urgency last month following the attempted coup in Turkey, in which the base's Turkish commander was arrested on suspicion of complicity in the plot.

    "Whether the US could have maintained control of the weapons in the event of a protracted civil conflict in Turkey is an unanswerable question," said Monday's report from the Stimson Center, a nonpartisan think tank working to promote peace.

    Incirlik is a vital base for the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, with the strategically located facility affording drones and warplanes fast access to IS targets.
    But the Pentagon in March ordered families of US troops and civilian personnel stationed in southern Turkey to quit the region due to security fears.

    "From a security point of view, it's a roll of the dice to continue to have approximately 50 of America's nuclear weapons stationed at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey," report co-author Laicie Heeley said.
    "There are significant safeguards in place. ... But safeguards are just that, they don't eliminate risk. In the event of a coup, we can't say for certain that we would have been able to maintain control," she told AFP.

    - 'Avoided disaster so far' -

    While the Pentagon does not discuss where it stores nuclear assets, the bombs are believed to be kept at Incirlik as a deterrent to Russia and to demonstrate America's commitment to NATO, the 28-member military alliance that includes Turkey.

    The Incirlik nuke issue has been the subject of renewed debate in the United States since the coup attempt.

    "While we've avoided disaster so far, we have ample evidence that the security of US nuclear weapons stored in Turkey can change literally overnight," Steve Andreasen, director for defense policy and arms control on the White House National Security Council staff from 1993 to 2001, wrote in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times last week.

    Kori Schake, a fellow at the California-based Hoover Institution, noted in a written debate in the New York Times that "American nuclear forces cannot be used without codes, making the weapons impossible to set off without authorization."

    "The fact that nuclear weapons are stationed in Turkey does not make them vulnerable to capture and use, even if the country were to turn hostile to the United States," she argued.
    The Pentagon declined to comment on questions arising from the Stimson study.

    "We do not discuss the location of strategic assets. The (Department of Defense) has taken appropriate steps to maintain the safety and security of our personnel, their families, and our facilities, and we will continue to do so," it said in a statement.

    The Incirlik concerns were highlighted as part of a broader paper into the Pentagon's nuclear modernization program, through which the United States would spend hundreds of billions of dollars to update its atomic arsenal.

    The authors argue that a particular type of bomb -- the B61 gravity bomb -- should be immediately removed from Europe, where 180 of the weapons are kept in Belgium, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey.

    The report can be viewed at: http://u.afp.com/ZV9i

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/...cid=spartandhp

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  2. #42
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    Default Re: Attempted coup in Turkey

    http://sputniknews.com/military/2016...r-weapons.html

    What’s Going on? Contradictory Reports Regarding US Nukes on Incirlik Airbase

    © AP Photo/ Emrah Gurel



    MILITARY & INTELLIGENCEGet short URL
    186290304

    Contradictory reports spread across the Web regarding the relocation of US nuclear weapons from Incirlik Airbase. Sputnik provides an overview of recent developments around the base.

    On Monday, the Stimson Center, a Washington DC-based nonprofit think tank, released a report, urging policymakers in the US to remove B61 nuclear bombs from Europe and strengthen conventional forces instead.

    © PHOTO: JSC SUKHOI COMPANY
    Kremlin Presses Turkey for Access to NATO's Incirlik Air Base, Home to US Nukes

    Next day, on August 16th, Russian media outlet Izvestia cited Igor Morozov, a member of the Russia's Federation Council (upper chamber of Russian parliament), former member of parliamentary committee on international affairs, saying: "It just remains to come to an agreement with Erdogan that we get the NATO base Incirlik as [our] primary airbase… You'll see, the next base will be Incirlik." This information has been published in The Times today, on August 20th.Later, on Thursday, August 18th, Sputnik reported information initially published by Brussels-based EurActiv news outlet saying that the US forces have started an operation of relocation of its nuclear weapons from Incirlik to Deveselu base in Romania.
    In about an hour since the initial report on Sputnik, Romanian Foreign Ministry officially denied that the country is going to host the US nuclear weapons in a letter to Russian RIA Novosti news agency.
    Later that day Sputnik attempted to contact the US Department of Defense, but its spokesman Adam Stump declined to either confirm or deny the information.

    MINISTRY OF DEFENCE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
    Russia Has More Important Goals Than One-Upping US in Middle East

    Yesterday, on August 19th, Foreign Policy published an article, named "No, the the U.S. Is Not Moving Its Nukes From Turkey to Romania." The article quotes a nuclear weapons expert Jeffrey Lewis, calling the information unlikely. According to Lewis, Romania lacks the required infrastructure needed to store the weapons safely. Unfortunately, Foreign Policy did not provide any official confirmation or denial for the message.
    On August 20th, World Bulletin published an article citing Amy Woolf, a researcher for nuclear weapons policy for the U.S. Congressional Research Service. According to Woolf, the nuclear weapons at Incirlik cannot be used, because they required a massive bomber that could drop them.
    On August 20th, the Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim said that Russia could possibly use country's southern Incirlik Air Base if it becomes necessary. He also added that up to this point, Russia had no need for this base.
    What's really going on at Incirlik?
    While it's clearly impossible to say for sure, there are some more publications on the Web that drop hints at what may be happening.
    There are reports on various websites citing a Tweet posted on August 16th by Ibrahim Karagul, a chief editor of Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak, saying "Nuclear weapons at Incirlik should be transferred to Turkey. Or Turkey should take these weapons into its own hands."
    While this is solely a personal opinion of a particular Turkish citizen, it is interesting in connection with another publication.

    © YOUTUBE: MUHAMMET HALIT SAYAR
    Terror in Turkey: Major Suicide Bomb Rocks Wedding - At Least 30 Dead, 94 Injured (VIDEO)

    On August 17th, a Turkish journalist Taha Dagli has published an analytic article at Haber7 media outlet. Russian InoSMI news agency has provided a translation of the article. According to Taha Dagli, the original report by Stimson Center implies that, should unrest and chaos spike in Turkey, the nuclear weapons at Incirlik may fall into hands of Turkey, Russia and Iran.These weapons could be reverse engineered and reproduced, Dagli says. Thus, Turkey or even Iran may get their own nuclear weapons, based on reverse-engineered American bombs. But why would Turkey aim to capture these bombs if it does not have a plane capable of delivering them?
    Dagli assumes that this could be used as an excuse for actions against Turkey, as it happened with the occupation of Iraq, which was justified by "fabricated nuclear weapons reports, saying ‘Iraq produces nuclear weapons'", Dagli writes. Westerners find the journalist's concerns to be without merit.
    "There was a great hope in July 15th, and the main source of this hope was Incirlik Airbase," he writes, referring to a failed coup attempt in Turkey. "All designs have failed, but, apparently, there are new plans being constructed involving Incirlik."
    The B61 bombs stored at Incirlik, have first been put on service in 1968. But since then they have been upgraded many times, the last time being in 2012, which make an arguably contemporary weapon.
    Sputnik will continue to monitor the developments around Incirlik.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Attempted coup in Turkey

    Get Ready to Walk Away from Incirlik



    • By Charles F. Wald Retired U.S. Air Force general, former Deputy Commander of EUCOM Read bio

    October 24, 2016



    U.S. Air Force / Airman 1st Class Cory W. Bush


    As U.S.-Turkey relations cool, retaining access to the air base will require ending our dependence on it.

    Turkey’s Incirlik airbase has supported America’s most vital strategic needs for more than a half century, first during the Cold War and more recently in the fight against terrorists. Now, as its host country becomes less stable and less friendly to the United States, the best way to ensure continued access to this large and well-located base is to prepare to do without it.


    In July, the Turkish government publicly accused the U.S. of backing a failed coup. More recently, Ankara pledged to deepen military cooperation with Russia, bombed U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish units fighting ISIS, then complicated the war against ISIS by picking a fight with Baghdad over Mosul. After Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s recent tense trip to Turkey, there is no better time for Washington to rethink its reliance on Incirlik.
    The sprawling air base and its U.S. presence there have long been a tangible symbol of Washington’s commitment to defend Turkey, yet there is a perception in Ankara that the United States needs its Turkish ally more than vice versa. This has been shown by the Turkish government’s willingness to use its geostrategic role — as a neighbor to war-torn Syria, as a host to U.S. forces — to put pressure on the United States.

    Even before the failed coup, the Turkish government appeared to act without fear of censure in either domestic or foreign affairs. At home, Turkey engaged in a broad crackdown on the press and freedom of speech. Regionally, it has repeatedly refrained from supporting, at best, or undermined, at worst, U.S. attempts to defeat ISIS. All this has been fueled by the belief—unfortunately, validated by the U.S. government—that the country’s strategic importance would inoculate it from U.S. criticism.


    At the same time, Turkey’s growing instability is imperiling American operations. During the failed coup, Incirlik’s external power was cut off for a week, halting anti-ISIS operations from the air base for several days, limiting them for several more, and increasing the loads on other regional bases. This is unacceptable. The United States and its allies are making great strides in reclaiming territory from ISIS; disruptions to coalition military operations should be of the utmost concern.


    So it’s time to find an alternative to Incirlik. The best solution would be to build a new airfield in Iraq — specifically, in territory controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government. This is not a new idea; last year, the Bipartisan Policy Center, where I serve as co-chair of the National Security Program, wrote that “Seeking an alternative to Incirlik in KRG territory would reduce U.S. reliance on Turkey while also providing similar geographic advantages for operations in Iraq and Syria to combat ISIS.”


    Of course, this proposal would require approval from Iraq’s central government, and so the United States should immediately begin discussions with Baghdad and Irbil. It should be stressed to Baghdad that a KRG-located air base could help the effort to drive ISIS out of the country.


    But even if political obstacles ultimately prevent this course of action, Washington has other options. Existing bases in Jordan and Cyprus both offer suitable airfields located on the territory of allied governments and within striking distance of ISIS. Beginning diplomatic and technical preparations to shift operations to either site would be a powerful signal to Ankara as well.


    Ideally, seeking out alternatives to Incirlik will minimize the possibility that Washington is ever forced to exercise them. If Washington has options, Turkey will face the possibility that threatening to throw American forces out could backfire, leaving the country even more strategically isolated. In short, a little foresight and planning could turn Incirlik from a source of Turkish leverage over America to a source of American leverage over Turkey.

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    Default Re: Attempted coup in Turkey

    Good. Poland is where we need to be.

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    NATO Member Turkey Descends into Autocracy as Kurdish Lawmakers Arrested, Internet Apps Blocked

    November 3, 2016

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once identified by President Obama as one of his top five closest international leader friends, famously said: "Democracy is a like a train: you get off once you've reached your destination."

    Grave reports are emerging from NATO member Turkey tonight that Erdogan is getting the country off the democracy train. Kurdish lawmakers have been arrested and Internet social media applications are being blocked by the Turkish government, in an escalating crackdown that Erdogan has waged since a botched coup attempt this past July.













    Reuters reports:
    Turkey detained two co-leaders and nine other lawmakers of Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) early on Friday over reluctance to give testimony for crimes linked to "terrorist propaganda."

    The Turkish Interior Ministry said detention orders for 13 MPs were issued, but only 11 were detained as two lawmakers were abroad. Lawyers had earlier said 15 MPs were detained.

    Turkish police raided the Ankara house of co-leader Selahattin Demirtas and the house of co-leader Figen Yuksekdag in Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, the party's lawyers told Reuters.

    "HDP call international community to react against Erdogan Regime's coup," the party said on Twitter, referring to President Tayyip Erdogan.

    Police also raided and searched the party's head office in central Ankara. Television images showed party officials quarreling with police during the raid, and a Reuters witness said many police cars and armed vehicles had closed the entrances to the street of the HDP headquarters [...]

    HDP is the third largest party in the 550-seat Turkish parliament, with 59 seats. Parliamentarians in Turkey normally enjoy immunity from prosecution, but the pro-Kurdish party's immunity was lifted earlier this year.
    Arrests have been widespread since the July attempted coup, with the Erdogan regime imprisoning opponents, banning rallies, taking over media outlets, and sacking non-Islamist government employees by the thousands.

    Just a few days ago, the State Department ordered families and dependents to leave the country.




    The ostensible reason was increased fears of possible terrorism, but Erdogan has been ramping up the crackdown over the past week.









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    Turkish Air Force Pulls Student, Instructor Pilots From ENJJPT

    November 1, 2016

    The Turkish air force will not participate in pilot training in Sheppard Air Force Base's Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program, a base official confirmed.

    George Woodward, base public affairs director, said the NATO ally will not send student and instructor pilots during this fiscal year. He didn't indicate why Turkish leadership made the decision, but other countries participating in the program in recent years have done the same thing.

    "Turkey, which has been a partner nation since 1981, has decided to adjust its level of participation in the program for fiscal year 2017, and will not send any students or instructor pilots to ENJJPT," he said. "This is not unusual for the program; in fact, it mirrors the current level of involvement of other partner nations, including the United Kingdom and Portugal."

    Woodward said the partner will continue to participate in the decision-making process as a member of the ENJJPT steering committee. They could return to the program at the 80th Flying Training Wing as early as Fiscal Year 2018.

    While a reason for decision wasn't made known, the Turkish government was in turmoil earlier this year when a military coup attempt on July 15 was put down. A group called the Peace at Home Council, made up of members of the Turkish Armed Forces, sought to capture important cities such as Istanbul and Ankara.

    Video footage from international media showed military tanks rolling through streets and aircraft flying over Ankara, as reported at the time.

    The coup attempt was defeated relatively quickly, ending with more than 300 killed and another 2,100 wounded.

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an Aug. 10 statement condemned the attempted coup and voiced the Alliance's continued support of its government.

    "Turkey is a valued Ally, making substantial contributions to NATO's joint efforts. Turkey takes full part in the Alliance's consensus-based decisions as we confront the biggest security challenges in a generation. Turkey's NATO membership is not in question," he said. "Our Alliance is committed to collective defence and founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty, human rights and the rule of law. NATO counts on the continued contributions of Turkey and Turkey can count on the solidarity and support of NATO."

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    Default Re: Attempted coup in Turkey

    Turkey to Kick US Out of Incirlik Airbase if Washington Teams Up With Kurds

    Ankara could forbid Washington from using its Incirlik airbase if the United States
    cooperates with the Kurdish forces, such as the Democratic Union Party (PYD)
    and the Popular Defense Units (YPG). Ankara was also considering the possibility
    to close the country's airspace for US aircraft.

    15:17 01.03.2017(updated 19:27 01.03.2017)
    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/2...ncirlik-kurds/

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Yeni Safak newspaper reported on Wednesday,
    citing own sources, that Ankara could end the permission in case of the
    cooperation between Washington and the Kurds during operations against
    the Daesh terrorist group in the area of Raqqa. The newspaper added that
    Ankara was also considering the possibility to close the country's airspace
    for US aircraft.


    The United States, along with several other countries, uses the Incirlik base
    for aircraft involved in the anti-Daesh campaign in Syria.

    The city of Raqqa, which is the "capital" of the so-called caliphate
    proclaimed by Daesh, is a target for numerous groups fighting against
    extremists in Syria. Turkey and the Kurdish troops have voiced their plans
    to liberate the Daesh-occupied city.

    Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces
    fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including
    al-Nusra Front and Daesh, banned in a range of countries, including Russia.

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