11:48 GMT +318 November 2019
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    U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle sits after shortly landing Nov. 12, 2015, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey

    Tensions Rising Between US, Turkey Over Possible Closure of Incirlik Base

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    Washington's unwillingness to take actions toward the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, may result in Ankara closing the Incirlik airbase to the US, an adviser to the Turkish president said.

    The news came amid deepening tensions between Washington and Ankara over US support for Kurdish forces fighting in Syria.

    In late-March, US President Obama rejected Recep Tayyip Erdogan's request to participate in a joint event during a nuclear summit in Washington.
    The move to close the Icirlik base would have a number of consequences for the Turkish government, an article in the Turkish newspaper Yeni Cag read.

    Turkey has long emphasized the fact that the PYD is a Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK is designated as a terrorist group by a number of international organizations and countries, including the US.

    However, that does not prevent Washington from supporting Kurdish PYD fighters in their fight against Daesh in Syria.

    Turkey opened the Incirlik airbase to its allies in the fight against Daesh militants. At the same time, Turkey planned to intensify its fight against the PKK. But US support for Kurdish forces in Syria has forced Ankara to test Washington’s commitment to cooperation with Turkey. As a result, the presidential adviser announced that the base may be closed.

    Analysts assumed that if the air base is closed it would have a deep impact on US-Turkish ties and would have a negative effect on the fight against Daesh as well as the peaceful process in Syria.

    Moreover, the US could develop its cooperation with PYD forces and Kurdish forces in northern Iraq and continue to create new bases in the region, the article read.

    What is more, a break up between Ankara and Washington would make Turkey more vulnerable to the threats in the region. At the same time, the US would find new bases and facilities to deploy its weapons.

    Some analysts say that the US will agree with the move but will not help Turkey which would become more and more isolated within NATO.

    As a result, according to the article, Ankara should revise its policy toward Syria which has been "misguided since the very beginning."

    "From the point of view of national interests, it would be reasonable to change the course and focus on preserving the territorial integrity of Syria," the article read.

    "Such an approach would contribute to normalizing ties with Syria as well as help resolve the migrant crisis and overcome the crisis in ties with Russia," the author concluded.


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    Incirlik airbase, Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), United States, Turkey
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