President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to close down an American air force base and a radar station in Turkey in the event that Washington imposes sanctions against Ankara due to its recent military incursion into northeastern Syria.
“If necessary, we'll close İncirlik and Kürecik,” Erdoğan said, referring to the İncirlik Air Force Base in the southern province of Adana and the Kürecik Radar Station in the southeastern province of Malatya.
“Besides, aren't we strategic partners? Aren't we together in NATO? Are these things possible in strategic partnership? If these things continue, we will of course respond,” Erdoğan said.
Though Erdoğan and US President Donald Trump appear to have a friendly relationship, relations between Turkey and the US have become increasingly fraught following Turkey's purchase of the S-400 missile defense system from Russia, Turkey's Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria, and the US Senate's recent recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
On Sunday, Erdoğan lashed out at the latter decision, threatening to recognize the mass killing of Native Americans that occurred in North America during the colonial era as genocide.
“Like I told Mr. Trump, American-Turkish relations are not worth sacrificing for the purpose of America's domestic politics. I would invite the US congress to stop doing things that don't have anything to do with the core of our relations,” Erdoğan said.