Ankara, Aug 23 (IANS) The process to relocate Turkish military bases outside of city centres after the coup attempt has begun at military barracks in Ankara and Istanbul, local NTV reported on Monday.
Six trucks carrying armoured military vehicles including tanks left the Bastabya Military Barracks, Istanbul, and headed for Corlu and Besiktepe in the Marmara province of Tekirdag, Xinhua news agency reported.
Police took security measures during the transport of the vehicles.
The Bastabya Barracks of the army’s 66th Mechanized Infantry Brigade Command was the first base to be relocated from Istanbul.
In the capital Ankara, the Etimesgut Barracks for Armoured Units was relocated to Sereflikochisar, some 148 kilometers south of the city.
Prime Minister Binali Yidirim announced earlier in August that all military barracks used by coup plotters on July 15 would be moved out of city centres, and Akinci air base, a stronghold for the coup plotters, would be shut down.
Turkish authorities plan to complete the relocation of bases in Ankara and Istanbul by Sept 11.
During the coup attempt on July 15, coup plotters were quick to mobilise their resources, from tanks and fighter jets to troops, seeking to seize strategic facilities located in city centres.
Defence Minister Fikri Isik said that bases in city centres would be relocated, and would be “opened for public use”.
Akinci air base will be converted into a “democracy park”, in a tribute to the civilians, military and police officers who were killed while resisting the coup attempt, authorities announced earlier.