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

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.

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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.


GUS100CORRINA Pure Evil Mon, 06/05/2017 - 14:22 Permalink

NATO Splinters: Germany Says "Has No Choice But To Pull Out" Troops From Turkey's Incirlik AirbaseMy response: GOOD!! And now the 25% TARIFF on GERMAN CARS and PRODUCTS to pay for NATO!!This should be a good solution to Germany's ultimatum "MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY!|Germany is very quickly going to find that their BEHAVIOR is unacceptable!!

In reply to by Pure Evil

Haus-Targaryen GUS100CORRINA Mon, 06/05/2017 - 14:40 Permalink

Believe it or not, it often times is in a nations best interest to tell the United States to ball-gag themselves.  Regrettably in recent memory there have been very few countries to actually do this, and those that have end up getting bombed or color-revolutioned into oblivion. The world does not exist to serve the needs of the United States.  I look forward to the vacuum the U.S. creates in its wake. 

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

TeethVillage88s Haus-Targaryen Mon, 06/05/2017 - 14:54 Permalink

Hey you been to Spain?

Guy says Spain is great from Mountains to the Coasts... just avoid the Tourist Areas.

They were invaded by the Moors and they remember. So I wonder if they are keeping Islamic Terror out.

Of course a Military Guy told me he spent time there and was kept under guns by serious looking guys... maybe 1970s. I kind of took it that this was Fascism, Franco & the King and all.

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

Publicus_Reanimated Haus-Targaryen Mon, 06/05/2017 - 15:00 Permalink

So what you're saying is Merkel should tell Trump "I don't care what the NATO treaty says, Germany has been cheating for decades funding my beloved welfare state and I'm going to tell every European country that still cheats to do the same"?  Oh, yeah, that'll show the U.S. who's boss.  Wie sagt man auf Deutsch "Don't bite the hand that feeds you"?  If you don't like it, stop taking our handouts and cowboy up!

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

Haus-Targaryen Publicus_Reanimated Mon, 06/05/2017 - 15:10 Permalink

I hope Merkel tells Trump exactly that.  Then thereafter Trump packs up all our shit and brings it all home. Oy vey! How can the U.S. be a superpower and shit all over everything unless its military is all over the globe? See, the U.S. military isn't here to protect the Germans, its there to exert power.  Why should Germany pay the U.S. to exert power? 

In reply to by Publicus_Reanimated

techpriest Haus-Targaryen Mon, 06/05/2017 - 19:25 Permalink

I hope Merkel tells Trump exactly that. Then thereafter Trump packs up all our shit and brings it all home.

And a lot of Americans would agree with you. We are sick of the DC/NY/LA Elites spending our money, lives, and reputation overseas.

If Trump pulls this off by making it look like the EU backed out of NATO, then he keeps his promise without it looking like it was his doing. I wonder if that's how its going to go down.

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

techpriest LiteBeeer Mon, 06/05/2017 - 19:27 Permalink

At one time there were some old churches and certain sects of Christians living in the Islamic lands. Look at the Copts in Egypt for example, along with the Syrian Christians and certain Christian groups in Iraq. It seems that with the recent radicalism, there was an explicit move to purge these peoples who had been around for centuries.

I wonder who would want that?

In reply to by LiteBeeer

TeethVillage88s Ms. Erable Mon, 06/05/2017 - 14:59 Permalink

We employ a lot of Germans. Or we used to. Ramstein has a Hospital and there was another we used. We probably have CIA mingled with the people we call govt or military. We have so much Fiat it is great to have relationships with other militaries... to compare ideas, to see what their traditions are, to see how they train.

They say Austria is really an extension of Germany I don't know. But other people say Germany is an extension of the US-Anglo Empire.

In reply to by Ms. Erable

Justin Case tmosley Mon, 06/05/2017 - 15:46 Permalink

If NATO is so concerned about the welfare of its member states in Europe, then why doesn't NATO come to the aide of all the EU countries that are being invaded by the Muslim Hordes?After all, NATO is supposed to be all about SECURITY, FOR ALL THEIR MEMBER STATES - SO WHERE'S THE REAL MILITARY PROTECTION THAT NATO PROMISED TO EVERY NATO ALLY - ISN'T THAT WHY THESE IDIOT NATIONS JOINED UP?Oh but I forgot, the real goal of NATO was always just to destabilize all of Europe to make it easier to crush Russia, which these NATO-Barbarians are there to insure.The takedown of the European way of life is just an added bonus which playing fake war-games assists NATO in destabilizing Europe even faster than that could have happened, if the men had been home to defend their loved ones and take back their nations - but since no one is noticing what's really going on - I guess no one will bother to demand the use of NATO's military weapons to remove the bastards that their own cops and states won't act against?

In reply to by tmosley

Justin Case any_mouse Mon, 06/05/2017 - 17:43 Permalink

They almost had the resourses when Boris Yeltsin was in power. He sold off state assets for nickles and dimes.Mikhail Khodorkovsky, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, in the mid-1990s, he accumulated considerable wealth through obtaining control of a series of Siberian oil fields unified under the name Yukos, one of the major companies to emerge from the privatization of state assets during the 1990s (a scheme known as "Loans for Shares"). Khodorkovsky also served as an economic adviser to the first government of Boris Yeltsin. Ya, and got $400 mil from the bank buddies to buy Yukos Oil for peanuts.Putin told him that he can keep what he got, but don't mess in politics of Russia. But Mikhail became buddies with the deep state that wanted to put Mikhail into politics in Russia.In 2014, Khodorkovsky re-launched Open Russia to promote several reforms to Russian civil society, including free and fair elections, political education, protection of journalists and activists, endorsing the rule of law, and ensuring media independence. DC wanted this puppet to get elected, then they could take over the resources of Russia, but Putin wasn't stupid. DC hates the Guy.

In reply to by any_mouse