Turkey Sees Its NATO Role Boosted Amid Arab Unrest

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Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} The anticipated transformation of a NATO airbase in the Turkish city of Izmir into a major land base for the coalition reflects concerns over security amid the ongoing uprising in the Arab world, according to security experts. The reason why the Aegean base was selected for its new role is its strategic location, said Nihar Al Ozcan of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey. The vital role in NATO for Izmir comes at a time when the 28-member coalition is reducing the number of its main bases from 11 to 7 in an attempt to cut costs. As well as Izmir, another Turkish air base in the province of Konya will be subject to institutional restructuring as part of this reform strategy.

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