US Considers Setting up Naval Bases in Turkey

ANKARA (RIA Novosti)–The United States is considering setting up three naval bases in Turkey–a Turkish newspaper reported Monday.

Cumhuriyet said the bases would have the same legal status as the American-Turkish Air Force base at Incirlik–where the presence of Turkish representatives is mandated and all activities must be coordinated with the local authorities.

The paper said the port of Iskenderun on the Mediterranean coast and Urla in the Aegean Sea–as well as Mordogan on the Aegean Sea coast are possible locations for the bases–which are likely to host large naval ships including aircraft carriers.

The US has been searching for appropriate locations for the last eight months–the paper said–and had been considering the use of current Turkish ports or establishing new ones.

Initially–Washington wanted one of the three bases to be located on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. But the request was denied because Turkey is a signatory to the 1936 Montreux Convention–which regulates navigation in the Black Sea straits and bans non-littoral states from maintaining a permanent naval presence in the Black Sea.

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