Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned if the US imposes sanctions, Incirlik Air Base and Kurecik Radar Station, where US soldiers are stationed, in Turkey would come into question.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (pictured) said US Congress members will not achieve anything by imposing sanctions.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (pictured) said US Congress members will not achieve anything by imposing sanctions. (AA)

Turkey's foreign minister suggested on Wednesday that the United States could be barred from using two strategic air bases in retaliation to possible US sanctions against his country.

Mevlut Cavusoglu comments came amid reports that US lawmakers had agreed on a defence bill that also includes calls to sanction Turkey over its decision to proceed with the purchase and deployment of Russian-made S-400 missile defence systems. He was talking to A Haber, a local Turkish television channel.

"In the event of a decision to sanction Turkey, the Incirlik and Kurecik air bases can be brought to the agenda," Cavusoglu said.

"Congress members must understand that it is not possible to get anywhere with sanctions," he said.

Incirlik air base in southern Turkey has been a main base for US operations in the Middle East and more recently in the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, while Kurecik, in eastern Turkey, is a key NATO base.

Turkey's decision to proceed with the purchase of the Russian system has added to growing tensions between the two NATO allies. Washington claims the Russian system poses a threat to NATO and has removed Turkey from the US-led F-35 stealth fighter jet programme. Ankara denies the S-400 will conflict with NATO systems.

Turkey 'will stop' unauthorised drilling off its coast

Turkey will not allow any activities within its continental shelf without permission granted, the foreign minister said.

“Within our continental shelf, no one can conduct any activity without our permission. If it happens, we will prevent it,” Cavusoglu said.

On November 27, Turkey and Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord seated in Tripoli signed a bilateral memorandum.

The memorandum asserts Turkey’s rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus also has rights to the resources in the area.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies