Main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said intelligence gathered from a U.S. radar system to be stationed in eastern Turkey as part of NATO’s missile defense project will be shared with countries outside the alliance.
“We’ve learned once more that our concerns [on the radar] are genuine,” the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) told reporters Oct. 26 at the 50th anniversary reception of the Hürriyet Daily News, shortly after he met with U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone.
“Please be informed that the intelligence gathered from the radar base will be shared not only with NATO members but also with other countries,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, in a veiled reference to Israel. He said Ricciardone had expressed readiness to share “important details” of the radar deal with the CHP on condition that the government gave its consent.
A memorandum of understanding signed last month by Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu and Ricciardone envisioned the deployment of an early-warning radar system at a military installation at Kürecik in the eastern province of Malatya as part of the NATO missile-defense project.
The CHP slammed the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government over the deal, arguing that the radar base will serve the interest of Israel, not Turkey. It has been claimed that Ankara’s harsh reactions to Israel’s failure to apologize for killing nine Turks on a Gaza-bound aid ship last year was a front to cover up the real purpose of the radar deal.