Germany to pull troops from Turkish base in spat with Ankara

Cheryl Sanders
June 7, 2017

Germany is to pull its troops and reconnaissance aircraft out of Turkey's Incirlik air base after Turkish officials refused to let members of parliament visit those stationed there.

Illustrating growing tensions between the government of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and several European countries, Turkey recently denied members of the German federal parliament access to armed forces stationed in Incirlik. "We are ready for a transfer", she said, adding that a "comparable alternative" had been identified at the Azraq air base in Jordan and that King Abdullah supported the move. Ankara responded by accusing Berlin of "Nazi-like" tactics and has since reignited a row over Incirlik.

Lawmakers are still discussing whether the proposed withdrawal should be put to a parliamentary vote.

But the government may seek approval from lawmakers for political reasons - not least to bolster its point to Ankara that the deployment was decided by parliamentarians who should therefore be able to visit the troops.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel visited Ankara on Monday in attempt to settle disagreements between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

She has said withdrawing German refueling aircraft would take two to three weeks, and the relocation of reconnaissance jets two to three months.

He said he had wanted to avoid further hurting ties with Turkey and pushing it towards Russian Federation.

Relations between Turkey and Germany began to deteriorate after a failed coup in Turkey a year ago.

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