NATO's Rasmussen fails to persuade Turkey to close Izmir BASEV
Visiting Ankara on Monday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen failed to persuade Turkey to shut down the alliance's command base in the Aegean city of Izmir as part of its decision last year to scale down the number of command bases. Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul reportedly told Rasmussen, "We are against closing the Izmir base. If you shut it down, you will estrange Turkey from the North Atlantic, which is a key point for Turkey to Europe. This wouldn't be problem if we were a member of the European Union."