NATO Cracks: Germany Withdraws Troops From Turkey's Incirlik Airbase

Two days after Germany's foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel - standing next to his Turkish colleague Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara - 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, Germany followed through on its threat and on Wednesday, the German Cabinet backed the withdrawal of the country's troops from Incirlik air base in Southern Turkey.

Incirlik air base

The decision was announced on Wednesday by Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen after a lengthy and often bitter diplomatic impasse over the visits, raising friction between the NATO allies and according to some, putting the fate of the alliance in jeopardy.

Germany now plans to redeploy the 280 military personnel stationed at Incirlik, along with surveillance planes and refueling jets to an air base in Jordan. However, it stressed it wants to minimize any disruption to the US-led coalition operation against ISIS. In light of the complete failure in diplomatic relations between the two member nations, that may be problematic.

Since foreign deployments in Germany require parliamentary approval, German lawmakers are still discussing whether the proposed withdrawal should be put to a parliamentary vote.

Von der Leyen said she would hold immediate talks with the US army and the US-led coalition fighting ISIL to minimise the impact of the move, and also brief the cabinet and parliament next week. However, to avoid giving an impression that NATO is crumbling, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said talks would continue with Turkey even after troops leave the air base.

"We have a huge range of common interests with Turkey, and also close economic relations," she told reporters after the decision.

"Discussions are very necessary". Yes they are, the only problem is that as today's announcement revealed, they lead nowehere.

The withdrawal process of refueling aircrafts would take about two to three weeks and the relocation of reconnaissance jets, two to three months.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel visited Turkey on Monday, in a last attempt to convince Ankara to avert a pullout, however Turkey had once again refused the visits for "domestic political reasons". He said he wanted to avoid further hurting ties with Turkey and pushing it towards Russia.

As discussed on Monday, Turkey was infuriated over German authorities' decision to grant asylum to soldiers and other individuals that Turkey accuses of participating in a failed coup attempt last July. Relations were further tested when Germany, citing security concerns, banned some Turkish politicians from campaigning on its soil as well as Turkey's jailing of two German journalists.

Taking a word from Hillary Clinton's dictionary, earlier this month, Merkel called Turkey’s stance on visits to Incirlik “deplorable” and warned Germany may move the warplanes based there to a location outside Turkey, possibly Jordan. Which is precisely what it has now done.

It was not clear if other NATO members would join Germany and pull their forces from the strategic airbase in sympathy.


LOL123 walküre Wed, 06/07/2017 - 19:22 Permalink

Partly correct. There is a reshuffling going on but Turkey is NOT isolated by any streatch of the imagination. They have a pact with Qatar ( to cover each others asses in times of this manufactured crisis) and. The agreement states no visas required between these two countries ( boarderless countries... Those refugees without pass ports will come in handy at some point since Turkey trained them with Qatars oil wealth... Starting to get the big piture yet?)Turkey is part of NATO which is contractually obligated to defend any nation attacked... That would only omit Syria and Iran... Oh guess what ... Yeah USA has been promoting regime change now for these two countries for how long? Turkey is a pivitol player and not alone.

In reply to by walküre

Collectivism Killz Wed, 06/07/2017 - 18:05 Permalink

WOW. So, KSA has Qatar in cross hairs. Turkey and NATO divorcing. Putin and Alex Jones first up to bat for Megan Kelly interviews. Cryptos to the moon. Record silver shorts at the Comex and still price stays above 17. Is it just me, or is the popcorn popper about to go into hyperdrive?

Escapedgoat Wed, 06/07/2017 - 18:06 Permalink

I still do not believe it, as I would like to know wheather the German Tourist companies will follow through with re -allocation of BOOKINGS in Hotels AND flights.Also, I would like to know if the German tourist or subsidiaries  of Thomson Holidays CANCEL BOOKINGS

Kefeer Wed, 06/07/2017 - 18:24 Permalink

However, it stressed it wants to minimize any disruption to the US-led coalition operation against ISIS. - end We are bad at destroying what we create, when it comes to war.

Meyer Bauer Wed, 06/07/2017 - 18:25 Permalink

Jeez - I trust the USAF will still be transporting heroin from Afganistan via Incirlik to our shores. Heaven forbid we lose such a large source of funding for our world freeing efforts.

uhland62 Ali blabla Thu, 06/08/2017 - 00:42 Permalink

Lower costs because there are fewer middlemen. Happier workforce because the gap between 1% and them is not as wide? At the time of crisis (2008/09), outside Chinese train stations there were government bureaucrats who helped the workers. The crisis had been used by many employers to sack people and not pay their wages. As the workforce went to the train stations to go home to their villages, they could have their wage claims registered with the government and were paid something. The government ensured that these unemployed people could pay for a train ticket home to their families and did not arrive with empty hands. I'm sure they clawed money back and fined the employers for taking advantage of the situation. If you mean China, it is economy of scale, too. They supply a market of more than 2 billion people so their unit costs are low and people queue to buy the stuff - and that creates a trade surplus. Look at alibaba what prices are when you take 10,000 pieces of something. 

In reply to by Ali blabla