Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday threatened to close two strategic military bases which are being used by the US should Washington impose sanctions for buying Russian missile systems.
"If necessary, we'll close Incirlik and also Kurecik," Erdogan said in a televised interview, referring to the bases located in the southwest of the country, close to the Syrian border. "If the threat of sanctions is implemented against us, we'll respond to them in the framework of reciprocity."
Additionally, the president spoke about a resolution passed in the US Senate on the Armenian genocide of 1915, Erdogan said the bill was "completely political", adding: "It is very important for both sides that the US does not take irreparable steps in our relations."
Threats to close the bases have been made in the past and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu raised the issue last week, warning that their closure could be "put on the table" in the face of fresh sanctions. Turkey has defied threats by Washington to proceed with purchases of Russian S-400 missile defences.
The US Air Force has used the air base at Incirlik for raids on Daesh positions in Syria, whilst the Kurecik base hosts a major NATO radar station.