In a report on Oct. 11, Hurriyet reported that the Iranian support for
Chinese warplane refueling took place in September. The Turkish newspaper
said the Chinese participation in Anatolian Eagle has alarmed the United
"Official letters were sent to the two countries prior to the military
exercise requesting the use of air space and passage and refueling
privileges," Hurriyet said. "The warplanes refueled a second time in Iran on
their return to China."
Turkish sources said Iran and Turkey have joined to expand military
cooperation with China. They said the Turkish cooperation with Beijing would
include military training, exercises and technology development.
Hurriyet said Chinese participation in Anatolian Eagle came after
two years of negotiations with Beijing. The report said Turkey has sought to
enhance cooperation with China in defense and energy.
The United States tried to stop Turkey from allowing China to
participate in Anatolian Eagle, the sources said. They said Washington
demanded that the Turkish Air Force ground its F-16 multi-role fighter fleet
during maneuvers with the Chinese Su-27.
"We expect you to honor the agreement article that requires the exercise
of caution regarding the transfer of technology to third countries," a U.S.
message to Ankara, quoted by Hurriyet, read.
In the end, the Turkish Air Force flew its older U.S.-origin F-4
fighter-jets with the Chinese aircraft during Anatolian Eagle. Israel, which
has been banned from the exercise since 2009, modernized Turkey's F-4 fleet
in the late 1990s.