New York Times calls US to move nuclear weapons from Turkey

Illustration: The New York Times

Influential American daily the New York Times has called the US administration in an editorial article, written on the behalf of the Editorial Board, to move 50 or more nuclear weapons based in Turkey before Turkish-American relations collapse, on Saturday.

It was stated in the article titled “Some Urgent Questions About Turkey” that “It’d be smart to move the weapons before Turkish-American relations collapse. A withdrawal would probably best be done quickly and covertly after the American-led coalition captures Raqqa, Syria, from the Islamic State.”

Asking about why can’t the US simply kick Turkey out of NATO, the NYT stated that “NATO has no provision for that, and besides, the United States wants Turkey to stay. Having an influential ally in the Mideast and access to the region is critical. But Mr. Erdogan’s anti-Western behavior is sowing deep mistrust about his commitment to an alliance that is supposed to be based as much on the common values of ‘democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law’ as on a common military defense. So NATO experts are debating Turkey’s future and the wisdom of keeping the tactical nuclear weapons at İncirlik.

Reminding that the experts have long worried about the weapons’ security, NYT wrote that “During the coup attempt last summer, the Turkish government locked down the base for 24 hours, and the electricity was cut. Incirlik is near Syria, with its warring extremist forces. Mr. Erdogan’s anti-American behavior and his drift toward Russia have heightened anxiety.”

Stating that the relationship between Turkey and the United States has deteriorated dramatically in recent years, the NYT wrote “Erdogan has violated basic civil liberties and other democratic norms, is buying a Russian air defense system and is now holding Americans hostage. “Given Erdogan’s anti-American hostility as well as mounting security concerns, the Trump administration should give serious consideration to removing the United States nuclear weapons in Turkey.”

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