The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday stated that a planned NATO long-range radar system would be deployed in the southeastern sector of the country, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, Sept. 6).
Ankara announced last week it had agreed to host the system that is considered a crucial component of NATO's planned European missile defense system, which is aimed at thwarting potential ballistic missile attacks from the Middle East. Turkey's neighbor, Iran, is viewed as the likeliest source of such a strike.
Tehran has responded harshly to the news. The United States hopes to see the radar in place this year.
"The site surveys and relevant legal arrangements have ... been finalized, and accordingly a military installation in Kurecik has been designated as the radar site," Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said. "That installation was used in the past for similar purposes."
The military base is located 435 miles to the west of the Iranian border (Associated Press/London Guardian, Sept. 14).