NATO Splinters: Germany Says "Has No Choice But To Pull Out" Troops From Turkey's Incirlik Airbase

Tyler Durden's picture

Diplomatic relations between NATO members Germany and Turkey hit rock bottom on Monday when Germany's foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said his country has no choice but to begin the process of pulling its forces out of Turkey's Incirlik air force base as the Turkish government will not allow all German lawmakers to visit troops there.

"Turkey has made clear that, for domestic political reasons, it cannot approve visits of all lawmakers," Gabriel told a news conference after meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara.

The scandal erupted last Thursday, when Turkey's foreign minister said it is not possible to allow German lawmakers to visit troops stationed at Turkey's Incirlik air base now, although he said Ankara may reconsider if it sees "positive steps" from Berlin. It was not immediately clear just what Turkey's "demands" or expectations, monetary or otherwise, were from Merkel for it to change its view. Ties between the NATO allies deteriorated sharply in the run-up to Turkey's April 16 referendum that handed President Tayyip Erdogan stronger presidential powers.

"We see that Germany supports everything that is against Turkey," Mevlut Cavusoglu told a news conference in Ankara last week. "Under these circumstances it is not possible for us to open Incirlik to German lawmakers right now ... If they take positive steps in the future we can reconsider."

The recent deterioration in relations between Germany and Turkey developed when Germany, citing security concerns, banned some Turkish politicians from addressing rallies of expatriate Turks ahead of the referendum, infuriating Erdogan. Ankara responded by accusing Berlin of "Nazi-like" tactics. Germany also expressed concern about the widespread security crackdown that followed last year's failed coup in Turkey as a result of which more than 100,000 people have been sacked or suspended from their jobs and more than 40,000 people jailed.

* * *

Fast forward to Monday morning, when cracks in NATO's unity, if not its brand new steel-and-glass headquarters emerged, when speaking in a press conference in Ankara with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said German lawmakers can visit a military base in Konya, but not the main NATO base, Incirlik, in southern Turkey.  Cavusoglu said Turkey-Germany ties are in a distressed period, blaming PKK activity in Germany and saying the presence of followers of Gulen movement are harming relations.

Cavusoglu also said secret services have started to "use journalists" in Turkey and added that journalist Deniz Yucel was arrested on terrorism charges, not due to his reporting.

In comments via live translation to Turkish, Gabriel said German military can’t constitutionally remain at a base abroad if lawmakers cannot visit them and said that since its operations are approved by parliament, German lawmakers must be able to visit the Bundeswehr, Gabriel added.

"Turkey must understand that in this situation, we must transfer German soldiers out of Incirlik," he said. "In this situation, the Bundestag (parliament) will ask the government to find another location for the German soldiers in Incirlik."

In the last week of May, Angela Merkel gave her strongest signal yet that she’ll pull German troops out of Turkey unless President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lets lawmakers in Berlin visit them, further cracking a show of unity at a NATO summit. At the North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting where U.S. President Donald Trump hectored European allies to pay more for defense, Merkel confronted Erdogan about access to the soldiers at the NATO base in Incirlik where Germany stations reconnaissance jets that fly missions over Iraq and Syria.

“I’ll make very clear in my discussion with the Turkish president that it’s essential for us, because we have a parliamentary army, that our soldiers can be visited by members of the German parliament,” Merkel told reporters before the bilateral meeting. “Otherwise, we’ll have to leave Incirlik."

Earlier this month, Merkel called Turkey’s stance on visits to Incirlik “deplorable” and said Germany may move the warplanes based there to a location outside Turkey, possibly Jordan.

It appears that in addition to its Trump-related headaches, NATO may be splintering on its own as Turkey increasingly defies the most powerful nation in Europe.

It was not immediately clear if and when Germany would follow through on its threat and begin the withdrawal of troops from Incirlik; it was also not clear if other NATO members would join Germany and pull their forces from the strategic airbase in sympathy.

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Omen IV's picture

The next tennant of the Base is leaving as well - USA!


the ME will shortly become a new place with new players dominating the final chapter

francis scott falseflag's picture



Bases with the advantages of Incirlik are a dime a dozen in the Middle East

serotonindumptruck's picture

Is Turkey considered a European or Middle Eastern (Asian) nation?

venturen's picture

muslim...terrorist backer. Next question?

serotonindumptruck's picture


Good thing we got that cleared up.

Jim in MN's picture

Body in the pool, nose out of the water.

Can't you read maps on acid? 

serotonindumptruck's picture

The geographical lines of delineation seem so arbitrary!

The latitude and longitude lines are downright hysterical.

besnook's picture

europe has told them to fuck off for the last 60 years when turkey has tried to enter europe so i think they have gone home to asia and joined the russia/ china alliance.

Winston Churchill's picture

North of the Bosphurus is europe, south of the river is asia, or thats how it was in school long ago.

CuttingEdge's picture

Europe takes all and sundry these days - they ain't fussy if it makes their empire appear larger. Israel and Australia in the Eurovision song contest spring to mind.

ipso_facto's picture

Is Albania a 'European nation'?

besnook's picture

that's in the usa between mississippi and georgia.

OliverAnd's picture

Geographically Albania is a European nation; however the country is run by Muslims (many ISIS 'admirers') that established themselves in the area during Ottoman/Turkish rule.  Albania and Kosovo are two VERY troubling areas because it is known that in these two nations there are many ISIS sympathizers and may be a source of future terrorist attacks within Europe and possibly elsewhere too.

francis scott falseflag's picture


I guess Turkey is Bicontinental.

ElTerco's picture

Putin got his wish with the Manchurian Candidate. NATO dissolves.

jmack's picture

That is the most ignorant thing uttered on here in a while. and that is a high bar to tackle.


ElTerco's picture

I don't know... I think it's kind of funny.

Cman5000's picture

The kind of funny that you type out from your group home computer ? 

ElTerco's picture

Putin called his boy at some point before the NATO trip to have a position on NATO at odds with all of Trump's top advisors. BTW Qatar is where the B-52s are stationed -- kind of convenient for Russia to get those bases closed.

"... the president also disappointed—and surprised—his own top national security officials by failing to include the language reaffirming the so-called Article 5 provision in his speech. National security adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson all supported Trump doing so and had worked in the weeks leading up to the trip to make sure it was included in the speech, according to five sources familiar with the episode. They thought it was, and a White House aide even told The New York Times the day before the line was definitely included.

It was not until the next day, Thursday, May 25, when Trump started talking at an opening ceremony for NATO’s new Brussels headquarters, that the president’s national security team realized their boss had made a decision with major consequences—without consulting or even informing them in advance of the change.

“They had the right speech and it was cleared through McMaster,” said a source briefed by National Security Council officials in the immediate aftermath of the NATO meeting. “As late as that same morning, it was the right one.”

Added a senior White House official, “There was a fully coordinated other speech everybody else had worked on”—and it wasn’t the one Trump gave. “They didn’t know it had been removed,” said a third source of the Trump national security officials on hand for the ceremony. “It was only upon delivery.”

techpriest's picture

So based on your avatar, you are the reincarnation of someone who really wants to get back at the big bad Russians?

ElTerco's picture

What *are* you?? Some kind of *Communist*??? ... kidding.

Even if Trump wanted to get out of NATO because of costs and the fact that he didn't see its value to the USA, you have to admit that the dissolution of NATO is near the top of the wish list for Russia.

Even if they are not in bed together, they are certainly holding hands.

HedgeJunkie's picture

Withdraw OUR US Forces. Put them on our borders armed to their teeth.

Making Merica Great Again's picture

Don't let the door hit you.

monoloco's picture

Good riddance to NATO. It's just a tool of the US military/industrial/congressional complex.


Hulk's picture

Get us out of NATO NOW Trump. We provide 72 percent of its budget and Social Security is Bankrupt???
Bull fucking SHit...

TeethVillage88s's picture

It is probably worse that a MIC Corporation, and Worse that US Army, US Navy, and US Air Force. Think operational Intel Agency.

new game's picture

"Good riddance to NATO. It's just a tool of the US military/industrial/congressional complex."

translation beyond hopey wish/think crap is this:

IT WONT HAPPEN! all a bunch of shit and posturing. to believe the deep state/MIC is going to let their vassel armies be unfunded is absurd thinking...

sorry for that splash of ice water on your brain dead thought...

Justin Case's picture

It's just a tool of the US military

The hammer?

RedBaron616's picture

Do it, Germany!  It is Erdogan who is acting like a Hitler, while he accuses everyone else of being one. I think every NATO military unit should pull out of Turkey and Turkey should be thrown out of NATO.  Of course, NATO itself should be dissolved.

researchfix's picture

Cannot give you down and up vote...

apoplectic query's picture

Shut it down. Shut it down now!

besnook's picture

turkey is belong to russia and china now.

shovelhead's picture

"In this situation, the Bundestag (parliament) will ask the government to find another location for the German soldiers in Incirlik."


Watch out France.

Cman5000's picture

Fuck Turkey. 

besnook's picture

nutandyahoo must be wearing depends full time now for all the shitting in his pants.

Vardaman's picture

Turk pisslamists who want to come to Germany to rape, murder and collect dole will of course remain welcome...

Salsa Verde's picture

In chaos there is much opportunity; the MIC must be loving this.

HalinCA's picture




ipso_facto's picture

Reality check:  How many Germans are currently stationed at Incirlik?

ToSoft4Truth's picture

What do the pizza delivery guy and a gynecologist have in common?

They can both smell it, but neither can eat it.

Justin Case's picture

What does a Literature Graduate and pizza have in common?

They can both feed a family of 4.

Griffin's picture

What happened to the nuclear bomb arsenal that Obama left in Turkey ?



you_are_cleared_hot's picture

Screw you Turkey you ungrateful high-maintenance girlfriend. It's time to show Bulgaria and Greece some love now. Seriously, Turkey should be kicked out of NATO.