After S-400 Deal, Is Putin Planning a Russian Military Base in Turkey?

Will Turkish President Erdogan upset the US and allow a Russian Military Base in Turkey? As part of the contract to supply of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey, Russia might request to set up a military base Turkey. 

As previously reported by EurAsian Times, before the S-400 systems are installed in Turkey, Ankara will sign an agreement on military-technical cooperation with Moscow. In accordance with this agreement, Russia (before the transfer of the S-400) can request a military base in Turkey, which may make the NATO very anxious.

S-400 and Possible Russian Military Base

During the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Ankara, significant progress was made on the purchase of long-range S-400 air defense systems. As the newspaper writes, Russia is interested in ensuring airspace security along the Crimea – Black Sea – Turkey – Syria axis and strengthening its integrated strategy in the Middle East.

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Proceeding from this, Russia is ready to hand over four divisions of S-400 to Turkey. The Russian military should be stationed at the deployment sites of the complexes. The expected service life and other details will be spelled out in the agreement.

Turkey with the help of the S-400 expects to suppress the operations carried out by the US Central Command in conjunction with the People’s Self-Defense Forces (YPG) in Syria, to prevent the blockade of the Armed Forces of Turkey, which the US might plan from the air.

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The US Central Command, on the one hand, renders significant support to the YPG in Syria from the air, on the other hand, it supports this organization with technical intelligence capable of neutralizing the Turkish Armed Forces. All available material, intelligence, technological means of the US use the apparatus of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) / YPG, according to the Russian side.

It should be noted that the information disseminated by Russian experts raises serious doubts about its reliability. In fact, the Turkish publication is trying to predict the military and political consequences of implementing the agreement on the S-400. But this turns out to be extremely improbable.

The Russian-Turkish transaction on the S-400 goes into the stage of practical implementation. So, more recently, the parties agreed on the financial part of the issue: the terms of the Russian loan for Turkey’s purchase of anti-aircraft missile systems (SAMs). According to the Ministry of Defense of Turkey, the delivery of the first division of S-400 is expected in 2019.

Turkey remains a vital member of NATO and, despite all the current difficulties in its relations with the US and the European allies, Ankara does not intend to withdraw from defense arrangement. Russian military base in the Turkish territory and Ankara’s membership in the Euro-Atlantic bloc are absolutely incompatible.

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Turkey has a number of serious contentions against the United States on Syria, primarily about the Kurdish issue. A major arms deal with Russia for the purchase of long-range air defense systems like S-400 is intended to emphasize this discontent. However, the creation of a Russian military base on the territory of a NATO ally (NATO was formed to counter Russia) will be a major escalation of conflict between Turkey and the United States, which has potential to completely jeopardize Turkey’s NATO membership.

The delivery of the S-400 or any other offensive or defensive equipment does not require consent from NATO as per the treaty. Thus, the appearance of Russian military experts in Turkey, together with the S-400 missile defense systems is quite expected.