New questions about Turkey’s secret military exercise with China

F-16 in the Turkish Air Force

From Lale Kemal, Zaman: China and Turkey secretly held joint aerial exercises at Turkey’s training range in the Central Anatolian town of Konya during the second half of last month, where Anatolian Eagle exercises are taking place between NATO allies and friendly countries.

The idea of holding bilateral aerial exercises with China was not a last minute decision, but matured over the past few years in line with changing Turkish perceptions of its security policies. The maneuvers also come just before Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Ankara on Oct. 8.

But the White House was irritated by the Turkish-Chinese aerial maneuvers. In addition, Washington has reportedly prevented Turkey from flying the US, Lockheed Martin made, advanced F-16s in its inventory during the training exercises with China, stemming from concerns that Beijing would have an access to US technology and collect intelligence to a certain extent. That explains why the Turkish Air Forces flew older US made F-4 fighters during the maneuvers and why the Chinese Air Force has reportedly used Russian made Su 27 as well as either Mig 29s or the older version of Mig 20s.

From Iran’s PressTV:  The Islamic Republic of Iran has reportedly opened its airspace to Chinese warplanes taking part in joint military maneuvers with Turkey.  (photo: Hurriyet)

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