Turkey Surrounds, Blocks Access To NATO's Incirlik Airbase Amid Speculation Of Second Coup

Tyler Durden's picture

While it is common knowledge by now that the failed and/or staged Turkish coup two weekends ago was nothing more than an excuse for Erdogan to concentrate even more power and eradicate all political and independent opposition, a story that has gotten less attention is the sudden, and acute deterioration in US-Turkish relations. This culminated two days ago when the Commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM) General Joseph Votel was forced to deny on the record having anything to do with the attempted coup in Turkey following pointed allegations from the very top in the local government that the US orchestrated last Friday's "coup", according to a statement released by the US military on Friday.

As Stars and Stripes reported late last week, the recent failed coup and jailing of military leaders in Turkey could impact U.S. operations there against the Islamic State group, Gen. Joseph Votel said Thursday at a security conference in Colorado. Votel said the coup attempt in Turkey two weeks ago left him “concerned” about how U.S. operations and personnel at Incirlik Air Base will be affected.


Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command

"Turkey of course …sits on an extraordinarily important seam between the central region and Europe,” Votel said at the Aspen Security Forum. “It will have an impact on the operations we do along that very important seam. Obviously, we are very dependent on Turkey for basing of our resources…I am concerned it will impact the level of cooperation and collaboration that we have with Turkey.”

Yeni Safak, a daily paper known for its loyal support of Erdogan, even reported retired Army Gen. John F. Campbell, former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, was the mastermind behind the attempted overthrow. However, the paper also reported White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest called the allegations against the general unsubstantiated.

Votel said Thursday that the United States was “continuing to work through some of the friction that continues to exist” following the failed coup. He did not elaborate.

The general did say some of the arrested Turkish officers worked with U.S. personnel to coordinate airstrikes against the Islamic State group. “Yes, I think some of them are in jail,” Votel said of certain key Turkish military liaisons.

As a result of the coup attempt, U.S. air operations were temporarily suspended and the Turkish government cut power to Incirlik.

The diplomatic spat continued on Friday when comments made at an Erdogan’s rally once again blasted Votel for criticizing Turkey’s  post-coup attempt purge saying "Who are you? Know your place." Erdogan went on to hint once more that the United States planned the failed government overthrow bid.

To this Votel again responded that "any reporting that I had anything to do with the recent unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey is unfortunate and completely inaccurate," Votel said. He was responding to an interpretation of comments made at a think tank in Washington, DC by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accusing Votel of sympathizing with the coup plotters.

* * *

Meanwhile, Turkey's war of words against the US escalated on Friday, when Turkey's authoritarian despot Erdogan condemned the West for refusing to show solidarity with Ankara, accusing NATO 'allies' as being more concerned about the fate of coup supporters than the survival of Turkey are not friends of Ankara. Erdogan blasted the West for criticizing the massive purge of Turkey’s military and other state institutions which has seen 60,000 people detained, removed or suspended over suspected links with the coup and for cancelling 50,000 civilian passports which many worry is but a prelude to an expansion of the reign of terror inside the country.

"The attitude of many countries and their officials over the coup attempt in Turkey is shameful in the name of democracy," Erdogan told hundreds of supporters at the presidential palace in Ankara.

"Any country and any leader who does not worry about the life of Turkish people and our democracy as much as they worry about the fate of coupists are not our friends," said Erdogan, who narrowly escaped capture and perhaps death on the night of the coup.

As Sputnik notes, the statements come in response to US National Intelligence Director James Clapper’s statement on Thursday that the purges were harming the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq by stripping away key Turkish officers who had worked closely with the United States. 

"My people know who is behind this scheme… they know who the superior intelligence behind it is, and with these statements you are revealing yourselves, you are giving yourselves away."  The remarks come at a troubling time only one day after over 5,000 protesters yelling "death to the US" marched towards NATO’s critical Incirlik Air Base which houses between 50 and 90 US tactical nuclear weapons before security officials successfully dispersed the raging demonstrators.

* * *

Which brings us to today, and the news that NATO's critical Incirlik Air Base was hours ago completely blocked off by Turkey, with all inputs and outputs to the Adana base having been closed according to Turkey's Hurriyet among rumors of yet another coup.

 

As the Turkish Minister for European Affairs, Omar Celik, tweeted moments ago, this is just a routine "safety inspection", although it has not stopped local papers from speculating that a a second Gulen-inspired coup attempt may be underway. 

Hurriyet has raised concern that the closing may be tied to an attempt by the Erdogan regime to prevent a second coup attempt.

Some 7,000 armed police with heavy vehicles have surrounded and blocked the Incirlik air base in Adana used by NATO forces, already restricted in the aftermath of a failed coup. Unconfirmed reports say troops were sent to deal with a new coup attempt.

Hurriyet reported earlier that Adana police had been tipped off about a new coup attempt, and forces were immediately alerted. The entrance to the base was closed off.  Security forces armed with rifles and armored TOMA vehicles used by Turkish riot police could be seen at the site in photos taken by witnesses.

Indeed, the massive presence of armed police supported by heavy vehicles calls into question the Turkish government's official line that the lock down at the Incirlik base is merely a "safety inspection."?

Local media has focused on the base after the failed coup in Turkey occurred the night of July 15. Although the main scenes of the events were Istanbul and Ankara, Incirlik was shut down  for a time by local authorities shortly after the putsch, and several Turkish soldiers from the base were deemed by Turkish officials to be involved in the overthrow attempt.

The lockdown at Incirlik follows a massive wave of protests on Thursday when pro-Erdogan nationalists took to the streets yelling "death to the US" and called for the immediate closure of the Incirlik base. Security personnel dispersed the protesters before they were able to make it to the base.

And while there has been no official statement from US armed forces stationed at Incirlik at this time, the situation continues to develop in front of the air bBase as more heavy trucks have been dispatched to surround and block access to the critical military facility.

It is unclear if Erdogan is naive enough to think that he can out-bluff and out-bully the US and keep Incirlik hostage until he gets Gulen repatriated by Obama on a silver platter, a hostage "tit for tat" we first described two weeks ago. If so, one wonders, if he is doing so alone, or with the moral support of others, perhaps such recently prominent enemies of Erdogan as Vladimir Putin. Recall that just over a month ago Erdogan publicly apologized to Putin for downing the Russian Su-24 fighter jet in November, and called Putin "a friend."

Finally, at least as of this moment, it appears that theairspace around Incirlik is closed.

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Looney's picture

 

The new numbers of Erdogan’s post-coup purge have been released.

Ministry of Education – 43,000

Police – 8,800

Healthcare – 5,600

Finance Ministry – 1,500

Council on Religion – 1,100

Foreign Ministry – 88

Total (without the Military) – 66,000 people

It looks like Erdogan is scrapping his plans to rebuild the Ottoman Empire, for good.

His cleansing of the Education System, Police, and the Council on Religion is a sign of his cutting all ties with the Saudis, who were behind the recent failed coup attempt.

Right after the coup, Erdogan had an ass-saving choice to make – stick with the Old Allies (the US, Saudi Arabia, the EU, Germany, etc.) who have tried to get him overthrown or… re-align and re-ally with Russia.

Erdogan has known and worked with Putin since 2002 and, although they’ve had major differences on some issues, the relationship between Turkey and Russia during these years has never been better and stronger than at any point since the break-up of the Ottoman Empire in 1922.

Besides, Putin has never broken any promises to Erdogan, never stabbed him in the back, or interfered with Turkey’s internal affairs. Even the unfortunate downing of the Russian plane seems to be forgiven.

Erdogan is no angel and his purging of the Education and Religion ministries doesn’t mean that he is going back to Ataturk’s SECULAR Turkey. Most likely, the Asshole will push the Islamization of Turkey even further, but the post-Coup Purge is the only way of getting rid of the Saudi Wahhabism and the Saudi influence in Turkey.

What’s Putin’s reason for the unholy alliance with the soon-to-be-out-of-NATO-Turkey? Oh, where do I start?   ;-)

Looney

Tallest Skil's picture

Kick them out of NATO, recover our nukes immediately, and then reconquer Constantinople for Christendom.

NoDebt's picture

"recover our nukes immediately"

Agreed, that should be Job 1.  Watch it end up NOT being Job 1.

And, by the way, why the FUCK would we bring nukes into the ME EVER?  Fighting a bunch of camel jockeys driving around in white Toyota pickups with machine guns mounted to the bed doesn't seem like nuclear weapons would be needed in any event.  And if for some unknown reason they WERE needed they could be delivered just as easily by cruise missile from a ship in the Med.

 

 

CheapBastard's picture

Well, if one of those nukes goes off in Turkey the refugee "problem" may solve itself.

Keyser's picture

It appears that Turkey's EU membership and further membership in NATO is a risk... Couldn't happen to a nicer sultan... 

"Nuke them from space, it's the only way to be sure"

Dark Daze's picture

Actually, the Rods of God are much more effective.

BuddyEffed's picture

Erdo passing new decree and job security initiative to relocate population to farms and mines in 3,2,1...

BaBaBouy's picture

Turkees Vants Dem Nukes Baaaaad ~~~

Leverage For Negotiating with Mukrel ~~~

Motasaurus's picture

The best lies are the truth.

The coup was clearly intended to fail from the start, and the purge was clearly prepared before the coup began. But that doesn't mean that the US wasn't behind it. From supporting ISIS to shooting down a Russian jet, Erdogan has been doing the bidding of the US. Why would we assume this is different?

 

What if staging a farcical coup attempt to drum up anti-US sentiment was the way the US planned on having incirlik stormed by "protesters" and then they happen to "lose" some nukes. What if this is how the US and Israel plans on nuking Damascus to fulfill some two and a half thousand year old prophecy?

Stuck on Zero's picture

You may depend on the U.S. Air Force placing B2s in a pattern over Turkey - in case.

beemasters's picture

"the Commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM) General Joseph Votel was forced to deny on the record having anything to do with the attempted coup in Turkey"

I guess when it's officially on record denied, it's must be true.
Besides, if you think about it, there's really no benefit whatsoever for Turkey to falsely accuse the US for masterminding the coup.

Billy the Poet's picture

Final year of the Paul administration. Those fellows should have been home by now.

orelius's picture
jefferson32's picture

Tyler, you reminded us that Erdogan patched things up with Putin a few days before the pseudo-coup. He did he same with Netanyahu! Israel even paid compensation for the Navi Marmara (barely reported of course, if at all, by Western propaganda).

http://www.timesofisrael.com/pm-lambasted-over-turkey-reconciliation-deal/

HowdyDoody's picture

The two F-16s that took off to take down Erdogan's plane were refuelled in air by a NATO KC-135 Stratotanker. One othese F-16s was flowin by the pilot that shot down the Russian Su-24. The SU-24 shoot down was also aided by active AWACS controlers one to the east and one to the west. US/NATO is up to its neck in this.

 

BobEore's picture

Sorry,

can't let that one pass. ALL the KC-135s which took off from Asena were 101 Filo TAF tankers. Confirmed even by regime-friendly Arda Mevlutoglu. No Nato birds involved.

Those who WANT to find "US/NATO is up to its neck in this" will need credible source material - rather than regime agitprop of the kind now flowing from the pages of Turco-Russo psyop organs to back their case.

But the bigger issue will continue to be - WHY so many exceptionalists need to find a role for a USA now actually marginalised from the plotline. Is it the desire that -right or wrong - good or bad - any news story has gotta be "MADE IN THE USA?" Is it better to be able to hate their own kind than to have to follow a story without any of the familiar comic book characters present?

Who knows. Watching the threads this week pour forth evidence of a flagellatory guilt complex here which implicates an American villain in every corner of the world, it's hard not to wonder at the pathos of it all. Either raa raa USA - or "AmerikamustDie" pyrotechnics. NO MIDDLE GROUND = from whenceforth the truth of any situation usually springs. No critical thinking.

Speaking of which - the "Gulenist" pilot shot down the Russian SU 24 plane trope... please - ask yourself... how they would have figured that out>

Aristotle of Greece's picture

If you're NO GOOD for Israel, you gotta go.

Warning to Erdogan: http://bit.ly/1SpGAhB

SofaPapa's picture

Contingency plans are great...

But what if this is a contingency they never planned for?

Ecclesia Militans's picture

Talked to a friend who was an operator with Christians In Action in Vietnam, the Sinai, and ME up until recently.

We staged the coup.  We set up our own friends in Turkey and let Erdogan take them down.

We need Turkey's military off the table.  Russia will get their friendly government in the Bosphorous in exchange for backing away on Kaliningrad, but more importantly, Turkey's military is done.  No longer a factor in Syria.

That is what this is all about.

monk27's picture

Russia will never "back away" from Kaliningrad. Give your head a shake...

researchfix's picture

"Backing away on Kaliningrad"

Something wrong with your grammatic and sense of geopolitic and who owns what?

Twodogs's picture

You couldn't plan it more half-arsed. Two planes. FMD. Couldn't organise more? Really? That's a nice tinfoil hat you're wearing. Did you make it yourself? 

WordSmith2013's picture

"U.S. Chief of Staff Joseph Dunford arrived in Turkey hours later to visit the base."

 

http://themillenniumreport.com/2016/07/u-s-base-in-turkey-on-lockdown-am...

BobEore's picture

Luv it!

Millenniumreport... after going full tard the other day with "sources" SUPERSTATION95... AND official regime rag yenisafak...

returns to the battle today with more ummm.... credible material from """""Telesur""""""

Venezuela's version of version of Cuba's Granma.

"Quoting foreign sources...the unnamed official///we picked this up via our high-powered microphones.....

wtf... just throw it out there and see what sticks! It's the new "internet journalism" Midnight Star with a DOTCOM address.

BobEore's picture

Mummy?

If I hit this button hard enough....will the bad man go away?

No son. But the doctor did say it's useful as a compensatory mechanism which will stave off feelings of worthlessness and rage.

Sturm und Drang's picture

..."Mother, do you think they'll try to break my balls?"

BobEore's picture

Son, Zheeple don't have 'balls'///

they're part of a new, transgendered hyper-reality where what were once men float around in abandonment to their own feelings of despair and disentitlement...

in search of suitable compensation and targets for their angst. It's kinda weird to watch.

WillyGroper's picture

if that's not confirmation they're all in this together, i don't know what is.

Oquities's picture

makes sense.  the anti-Christ is flying in for a tete-a-tete on the local progress of the islamic caliphate, and he doesn't want the rioters disrupting it.

seataka's picture

A politically correct way of saying our assets are being hung out to dry....because we officially were not involved, we will not object when you kill them all.

BobEore's picture

if you think about it, there's really no benefit whatsoever for Turkey to falsely accuse the US for masterminding the coup.

Ummm...

you're joking right?

I know it's been a while since Randy Hearst told the scribes to stir up public opinion against the Spanish so as to justify the invasion of Cuba... at the behest of State...

but surely even American Exceptionalists will not have forgotten the principle of playing to the domestic audience so as to achieve acceptance of one's foreign adventures?

Or is it really just "anything goes" here now when harping on a new approved Zheeple meme?????

Remember the Maine! AND...Gentlemen - to your buttons! The enemy is amongst us!

 

 

peddling-fiction's picture

"there's really no benefit whatsoever for Turkey to falsely accuse the US for masterminding the coup."

Wrong beemasters. There is a great reason to always blame the U.S. to gather public support in Turkey.

And that is exactly what is being done now.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

"Besides, if you think about it, there's really no benefit whatsoever for Turkey to falsely accuse the US for masterminding the coup."

Sarc or are you insane?

researchfix's picture

You can always put a bet in, that USA is in the cup, you win by 90 %.

 

fleur de lis's picture

NATO overplayed its hand.

Now Ergodan is a loose cannon.

A major headache looking for a place to happen.

ebworthen's picture

No worries, just 51 nukes.

Turkey is a great nation; pure as the driven snow.

beemasters's picture

Give him Gullen in exchange for the nukes. The Us has no business keeping/protecting him....or is there??? Hmmm.

BlindMonkey's picture

That dude will get a few nailgun rounds in the back of the head before he goes back to Turkey.  

 

Self-inflicted, of course...

East Indian's picture

"What if staging a farcical coup attempt to drum up anti-US sentiment was the way the US planned on having incirlik stormed by "protesters" and then they happen to "lose" some nukes. What if this is how the US and Israel plans on nuking Damascus to fulfill some two and a half thousand year old prophecy?"

 

100% possible; this could be the way Saudi's hired killers end up with nuclear weapons, nuke Syria, and then threaten the west, and that will form the basis for the next round of Enduring Freedom Redux...

 

On the other hand, what if Putin, becoming wiser to this plan, interferes in this "losing" game, and gathers the nukes for himself ?? Apoplexy everywhere, I guess.

Philthy_Stacker's picture

Russia can 'negotiate' the return of the nukes after Erdogan seizes them, expelling the US from the country. Turkey strengthens its 'Islamation' and Putin gets a huge 'bump',  for saving the world.

BobEore's picture

Strong start ...

miserable finish. Israel and the USA aren't on the same team anymore. And the bidding being done by Erdo is that of the former, not the latter. So we can rework your question ...

Why would we assume this is different?

to avoid stretching things into the realm of total christian-sionist make-believe what-if bible prophecy and reverse logic induction...

by staying on point -

The coup was clearly intended to fail from the start, and the purge was clearly prepared before the coup began. Giving orders to several military units that were directed to take over non-strategic positions - such as the Bosphorus Bridge - while other patsies went to a phony hotel address, or bombed and strafed other non-strategic targets... created the impression of a real coup in the making - at which point the "President" came out of his assigned hidey hole and made the prearranged call in to CNNTurk announcing his return to Istanbul and calling everyone into the streets to defend "democracy."

And Israel's new puppet president was reinstalled in "power," averting a crisis which sprang from an increasing uneasiness within the ranks of the governing parties supporters that the bizarre pivots towards both Israel and Russia were a sign that something was very wrong with the nation's leadership. A rumble of discontent that was showing all the signs of becoming an earthquake.

Now you've got something!

 

You Only Live Twice's picture

What if staging a farcical coup attempt to drum up anti-US sentiment was the way the US planned on having incirlik stormed by "protesters" and then they happen to "lose" some nukes. What if this is how the US and Israel plans on nuking Damascus to fulfill some two and a half thousand year old prophecy?

Could be. Could also be a setup to get a nuclear false flag in Turkey somehow to justify other end goals.

bonderøven-farm ass's picture

I certainly hope our troops aren't expecting reinforcements if Ergodan makes a move against (errrr, 'inspects') the base.

Our SoS is busy campaigning; she can't be bothered with 'protests' at the moment. 

Perimetr's picture

The B61 nuclear weapons stored on the base are variable yield weapons ("Dial-a-yield"), you can set the explosive power.

The lower end yield is 0.3 kilotons (300 tons of TNT explosive equivalent).

The upper yield is either 50 kilotons (50,000 tons TNT) for the Mod 4 weapons, or

170 kilotons (170,000 tons of TNT) for the Mod 3 weapons.

One company of Marines there to guard them against thousands of Turks. 

Airspace closed. 

Prepare for "inspection" please.

ebworthen's picture

If the U.S. Military has 1/2 a brain they'll have 10,000 there by tomorrow - but the Generals and Politicians...well...Benghazi?

Blankone's picture

Sure, fly without permission into an aggitated country, into closed airspace, to a closed off airbase in THEIR country, and airbase that housed nukes that could be used against the country the just defeated a coup that they believe the US helped plan and supported.

Just how do you plan to land 10,000 US troups by tomorrow.  Do you not expect Turkey to see the first planes as proof that the US is now going to attack from within Turkey and do a coup directly?  If Erdogan see that a fight is definate will he be a fool and sit while the US gets those forces in place or will he shoot down the planes and quickly turn to Russia?  Would he not immediately raid the base with massive force and take the nukes?

Calmyourself's picture

Very few of the people on here "get" logistics of troop movements or the military force required to safeguard those weapons and most importantly their pits.  Last time this was brought up some idiot says we will just bomb the city and the base they'll save the bombs, aircraft carriers would control ground for the first time in history apparently..

Twodogs's picture

Reagan would've had everything in place long before now with a quiet word to not so much as glance sideways at the base, or else. Likely is that Putin, if deemed in his interests, wouldn't told Erdo?an that Obozo can be played liked a fiddle and that the nukes are his for the taking. Hey, Obozo's given nukes to Iran already,  so why not Turkey?

king leon's picture

Is 10.000 US troops enough against a country full of crazy Turk's?