A Dec. 26, 2019 article in the Turkish daily Yeni Akit, titled “There Is No Place Left That They Have Not Messed Up! The ‘Great Satan’ Is Occupying The World With Bases” read: “The U.S., which brings disasters to the places it sees with drunken shouts of ‘We are bringing humanity!’ and is turning the Middle East into a place of fire, has 800 military bases around the world.”

The article gives a list of the major U.S. military bases in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Turkish media have been discussing the U.S. bases in Turkey following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement in a Dec. 15, 2019 interview that “if it needs to be shut down, we will shut down Incirlik [Airbase]. If it needs to be shut down, we will shut down Kürecik [Radar Station]” (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 7661 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: We Have the Authority to Shut Down U.S.-Run Airbase, Radar Station in Turkey; If Measures Such As Sanctions Are Taken Against Us, We Will Respond as Necessary, Dec. 15, 2019).

Following is the text of the Yeni Akit article:

‘There Are About 180,000 Military Personnel at These Bases, With 60,000 to 70,000 in the Middle East’

“In recent years, despite having bases covering regions including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, the U.S. has approximately 800 bases around the world, some of which are small radar stations, others are the size of cities. Maintaining these bases costs $200 billion. According to data from the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. bases cost $749 billion in 2018.

“The U.S. bases include all U.S. military structures connected to the Department of Defense, from enemy observation points to naval supply points, from training bases to radar bases. There are about 180,000 military personnel at these bases, with 60,000 to 70,000 in the Middle East. These numbers become more important when it is understood that they are found primarily in 17 countries that have permanent bases, and approximately 70 countries in total.”

‘In the List of Countries With U.S. Bases, Turkey Comes Ninth With Nine Military Structures’

“It appears that the basic reason why the number of U.S. bases is so high is that the U.S. rarely abandons a base that it establishes in a country. The U.S.’s Ramstein base in Germany is an example of this. This base, which the U.S. established in 1949 after the Second World War, still serves the U.S. Air Force and, with 53,000 personnel, it is the U.S.’s largest base outside of its territory.

“Aside from Ramstein, the U.S. has 87 more bases in Germany. Germany is also the country, aside from the U.S., that has the most U.S. bases. After Germany comes Japan with 86, South Korea with 64, Italy with 29, and the United Kingdom with 16. In the list of countries with U.S. bases, Turkey comes ninth with nine military structures. Incirlik Airbase is the largest and most well-known military structure in Turkey. There are about 2,500 personnel and units belonging to the U.S. Air Force at the base, which was established in the 1950s after Turkey joined NATO.”

Read the rest of the article at MEMRI.

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