Nukes in danger in Turkey? Have they been moved to Romania?

By Faye Higbee

Are the nuclear weapons we have at Incirlik airbase in Turkey in any kind of danger? According to Israeli news, they’ve been moved in a “rushed evacuation.” European news reports they’ve been moved  to Romania, which would likely cause further rifts with Russia. But the danger from having tactical nuclear weapons in a country that is openly hostile to America right now is huge.

An example – a newspaper editor demanding that Turkey take control of the nukes:

Bing Translation  -“Incirlik airbase, Turkey must be transferred to nuclear weapons. Or Turkey, you should take your own control of these weapons.”

Ibrahim Karagul is a pro-government journalist, and the editor-in-chief- of the Yeni Safak newspaper. He is also pushing the anti-American rhetoric to the max.

“I am stating this very clearly: The United States of America planned to directly murder Turkey’s president and implemented this plan.” Ibrahim Karagul

“Conspiracy culture” that  makes things up

Turkey’s news media is encouraging the anti-American sentiment on a grand scale.  

Another pro-government newspaper, Aksam, recently published  a front page piece that claimed  that Henri Barkey, a professor at Lehigh University and director of the Woodrow Wilson Center gathered a group of 16 people on an island called Buyukada, near Istanbul, on the day of the coup attempt. 

The paper accused him also of having Scott Peterson in attendance. The Scott Peterson they put in the article is on death row at San Quentin prison in California. While Mr. Barkey did hold a meeting, it was a discussion about Iran. 

Fox News reported, 

The claim that Peterson, who is on death row in San Quentin State Prison in California for the 2001 murder of his wife, was at the island gathering and has been assigned by the CIA to carry out assassinations in Turkey, underscores the bizarre nature of the media accusations.

The climate in Turkey is currently decidedly anti-American, according to Fox News. 

Bing translation: “Someone really wants to darken the FETÖ operation. EN, and CB doesn’t suit the gentleman who loved Ethem Erdogan.”

A rack of B-61 tactical nuclear bombs – DoD photo by SSgt Phil Schmitten

Moving the nukes from Incirlik to…?

The reports from Debka File in Israel say the nukes were moved in a rush evacuation without saying where. European news Euractiv says they’ve been moved to Romania.

The volatile nature of Turkey at this point, with recent weeks of protests, the attempted coup, and news articles of such an inflammatory nature are just the tip of the iceberg. Add Erdogan’s accusations and actions…you have a serious security problem.

According to Business Insider, a report was prepared for Congress 4 days ago about the security of the nukes at Incirlik. They are short range B-61 tactical nuclear weapons, primarily used to satisfy NATO demands.

It would be a good thing if the nukes were moved, but moving them to Romania  may not be the best choice of landing spot.

Euractiv news reported,

“Romania was an ally of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but it never hosted nuclear weapons during that period. Stationing tactical US nuclear weapons close to Russia’s borders is likely to infuriate Russia and lead to an escalation. The stationing of Russian nuclear missiles in Cuba in 1962 was the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war…

…The Romanian foreign ministry strongly denied the information that the country has become home of US nukes. “In response to your request, Romanian MFA firmly dismisses the information you referred to,”  a spokesperson wrote.

According to practice dating from the Cold War, leaked information regarding the presence of US nuclear weapons on European soil has never been officially confirmed. It is, however, public knowledge that Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy host US nuclear weapons.”

In other words, we may never know whether the nukes were moved or not. But it’s highly likely they would be, given the climate in Turkey at this time.