— The Erimtan Angle —

It was a well-known secret, but now Press TV has incontrovertible proof: a ‘report says the United States keeps about 70 B61 nuclear bombs at a military base in southern Turkey. According to a recent report published by the Arabic Nakhel news agency, Turkish sources said the bombs are kept at Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base in Adana province. The thermonuclear bomb, which is 3.53 meters long and weighs 320 kilograms, is considered as one of the most strategic weapons of the US. Between 10 to 20 of the bombs were stored at Turkey’s Balikesir and Ekinci airbases before they were transferred to Incirlik, the report said. Turkey is also home to a controversial NATO radar base manned by US forces, which is part of a larger US-led missile system. The missile system became operational in Turkey’s eastern province of Malatya in early 2012’.[1]

The missile defence system could very well be the beginning of a New Cold War, as I indicated in piece published last year.[2]  The Iranian propaganda broadcaster adds that the ‘stationing of the US-sponsored radar system in Turkey was hailed by American officials as the most significant military cooperation between Washington and Ankara since 2003, when Turkey refused to allow a US armored division to cross Turkish territory to join the military invasion of Iraq from the north’.[3]  In view of the dearth of information on the nuclear bombs stored in Turkey, Press TV presents really rather irrelevant information about the projected NATO Missile Defense Shield to deflect from the fact that more information on the U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in Turkey is just not available. On the other hand, the ironically named Voice of Russia radio station adds that the ‘greater part of these bombs is the property of the U.S. army, and Washington reserves the right to use them in case of need. Until 1995 from 10 to 20 B61 bombs were deployed on the two other air bases in the country but later all of them were transferred to the Incirlik Air Base’.[4]

In the end, it now transpires that the U.S. is deploying a number of atomic bombs on NATO ally Turkey’s territory. The Turkish news channel Habertürk adds that the majority of these missiles are under U.S. control, but that Turkey could also deploy some of them. Additionally, the channel indicates that these B-61 missiles can only be fired from high-speed airplanes and that they weigh about 320 kg.[5]  Therefore it seems that the real scoop that has been achieved now is that the presence of nuclear weapons on Turkish soil has been finally confirmed, once and for all.

[1] “US keeps nearly 70 nuclear bombs in southern Turkey: Report” Press TV (28 Oct 2012). http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/28/269141/us-keeps-70-nuclear-bombs-in-turkey/.

[2] C. Erimtan, “The New Cold War: Missile Shield Competition” IRCNL (15 Oct2011). tiny.cc/2gkny .

[3] “US keeps nearly 70 nuclear bombs in southern Turkey: Report”.

[4] “There are nearly 70 American nuclear bombs in Turkey” Voice of Russia (22 Oct 2012). http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_10_22/There-are-nearly-70-American-nuclear-bombs-in-Turkey/.

[5] “Türkiye’de atom bombası var ama…” Habertürk (21 Oct 2012). http://www.haberturk.com/dunya/haber/787236-turkiyede-atom-bombasi-var-ama.


Comments on: "Nuclear Weapons in Turkey: American Bombs Galore" (1)

  1. sitanbul said:

    Like I said, the presence of nuclear weapons has long been an open secret, a known unknown or rather known as it were. Here is, for example, an Al Jazeera report from 28 May 2010: ‘As a month-long Nuclear Non-Proliferation summit in New York draws to a close, participants are still debating how best to achieve a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East. The problem at the heart of it all is Israel, a country with an undisclosed but known nuclear-weapons capability. Israel decided not to come to the US meeting, knowing it would face scrutiny and criticism. Meanwhile, while it is still not clear whether Iran really wants or intends to militarise its fledgling nuclear industry, the potential has already increased tension throughout the Middle East and led to warnings of a new arms race there. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, has been among the most outspoken on the issue, saying many times that it is unreasonable to call just for restraints on Iran, while not dealing with the nuclear capability of Israel. But the one issue that Erdogan never mentions is Turkey’s own nuclear weapons stockpile. As a founding member of Nato, and a strategically-located state, Turkey is one of five Nato countries with nuclear weapons stationed on its soil. And as many domestic analysts are now observing, this evident contradiction is no longer helpful for Ankara’s’s newly neighbourly and avowedly peaceful foreign policy. Anita McNaught reports from Istanbul’.

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