Turkey could shut down its Incirlik air base, which hosts U.S. nuclear warheads, in response to threats of U.S. sanctions and a separate U.S. Senate resolution that recognized the Armenian Genocide, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, Reuters reports.
“If it is necessary for us to take such a step, of course we have the authority … If this is necessary, together with our delegations, we will close down Incirlik if necessary,” Erdogan said on A Haber TV.
Turkey can also close down the Kurecik radar base if necessary, he added. “If they are threatening us with the implementation of these sanctions, of course we will be retaliating,” he said.
The US Senate struck a historic blow against Turkey’s century-long obstruction of justice for the Armenian Genocide, unanimously adopting S.Res.150, a measure that locks in ongoing U.S. recognition of this crime.
The resolution, identical to a measure (H.Res.296) adopted 405 to 11 in the U.S. House in October, officially rejects Turkey’s denials of its genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christian nations.
The passage of the resolution – spearheaded by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) – marks the first time that the Senate has recognized the Armenian Genocide.
The House of Representatives adopted a similar resolution on October 31.