Officials said NATO has informed Ankara that a Turkish military base
would host the no-fly zone mission in Libya. They identified the base as
Izmir in the Aegean region of Turkey.
"Izmir is the most suitable air base for a NATO operation in the
Mediterranean,” a Turkish diplomat said.
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Turkey has already pledged to deploy a naval force for Libya. Officials
said Ankara could contribute F-16 multi-role fighters as well as an air
tanker now deployed at the air base in Konya, Middle East Newsline reported.
On March 24, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Ankara would
join the NATO mission in Libya. Davutoglu said NATO has resolved all of
Turkey's concerns regarding combat missions around the North African state.
Officials said Izmir would serve as one of two NATO headquarters for the
Libyan mission. The other headquarters was in Larissa, Greece.
Izmir required about 48 hours to prepare to host the NATO mission.
Officials said a Turkish officer could be appointed a commander of Izmir.
"We have made it clear since the very beginning that an operation should
be launched under a single command," a Turkish diplomatic source said. "We
have asked that the coalition forces halt the air assaults and NATO
implement the no-fly zone on Libya."