Ankara did not purchase patriots deployed in southern Turkey, says Davutoglu
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said Turkey did not pay for the Patriots that were deployed by NATO allies months ago upon the request of Ankara in provinces in southern Turkey. Answering a parliamentary inquiry about the cost of the deployed Patriot batteries from the opposition's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Hatay deputy Sefik Cirkin, Davutoglu said the batteries, which amount to a total of six -- two each from the US, Germany and the Netherlands -- were not purchased by Turkey, but are simply being hosted in the country. "According to NATO's basic rule, a system's arrival, deployment and operation costs are paid by the provider ally," Davutoglu said, adding Turkey is providing hosting on the level that is standard for allies. Davutoglu said that Germany had indicated that the arrival, deployment and operation cost of their battery deployment was 25 million euros, and the Netherlands announced its cost was 40 million euros. Noting that Turkey has been following the developments and security situation in Syria closely, Davutoglu said that the deployment of Patriots in Turkey was assessed by NATO allies. The minister also said that around 200 personnel from Germany, the Netherlands and the US are in Turkey for the deployment and the operation of the batteries, adding that 10 troops each from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Denmark and the US, carrying the title of "NATO quarter personnel" are also in Turkey to enable the integration of batteries with NATO information systems.