Turkey won't allow US to use its bases

FM Abdullah Gul doesn't expect US to take military action against Iran.

rice, abdullah gul 298 (photo credit: AP)
rice, abdullah gul 298
(photo credit: AP)
Turkey does not intend to allow the United States to launch an attack against Iran from the Inchirlik military base, Turkish news agencies reported Sunday. Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told the Dubai-based al-Bayan that he doubted the US would ultimately choose to take military action, as "Iran has its own strategic advantages." Gul said that facilitating an attack against a neighboring country was "not an option," despite the US offer to build Turkey a nuclear reactor as a counterbalance to Iran's expanding nuclear facilities. Turkey has long sought to develop nuclear power to make up for a limited supply of domestic energy and to reduce dependence on energy supplies from Iran and Russia and has chosen the coastal city of Sinop as the site of the country's first nuclear power plant. However, only Saturday, thousands rallied in Sinop to protest the planned nuclear facility. Calls for Turkey to develop alternative energy sources were widespread during the past winter, when unexplained cuts in the supply of natural gas from Iran forced many companies to lower or entirely stop production. Turkey first announced plans to build a reactor in 1996, but the project has repeatedly been put on hold due to financial problems. Turkey's refusal to comply with the US request was another indication of the growing tension between the two nations, which, according to Gul, have not "seen a single day of positive stability since the Islamic party was elected to power [in 2002]."