Incirlik Crisis: Are German Armed Forces Really Planning to Leave Military Base?

© AP Photo / Emrah GurelIncirlik Air Base, on the outskirts of the city of Adana, southern Turkey (File)
Incirlik Air Base, on the outskirts of the city of Adana, southern Turkey (File) - Sputnik International
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Berlin will consider other options for the placement of its armed forces following Ankara's decision to ban German lawmakers from visiting the Turkish Incirlik military base.

A military aircraft is pictured on the runway at Incirlik Air Base, in the outskirts of the city of Adana, southeastern Turkey - Sputnik International
Eye for an Eye: Why Ankara Doesn't Allow German Lawmakers to Visit Incirlik Base
The trip was to take place on May 16, but the Turkish authorities refused to coordinate it. Following the incident, German officials announced their readiness to look for alternative military bases, for example in Jordan.

According to political expert Azhdar Kurtov, Erdogan is perfectly aware of the importance of the base for its NATO allies. Thus, the Turkish leader uses it as a means to reach his political goals, the expert argued.

"Erdogan, in fact, is bargaining with the US and the EU. When he hears criticism in his address or gets information about someone's intentions to help the Kurds, there are immediately reports of Ankara's readiness to close the Incirlik base for the allies. The situation with Germany is additional proof of this tactic," the expert told RT.

In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, an F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, as the U.S. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, launched its first airstrikes by Turkey-based F-16 fighter jets against Islamic State targets in Syria - Sputnik International
Turkey to Kick US Out of Incirlik Airbase if Washington Teams Up With Kurds
The Turkish Incirlik air base is used by the United States, along with several other NATO member countries, to carry out airstrikes against Daesh in Iraq and Syria. Hundreds of German personnel are also stationed at the base.

According to Kurtov, at the end, Erdogan is unlikely to demand Berlin or Washington leave the air base. The expert believes that the so-called Euro-Atlantic solidarity still plays a primary role for Turkey.

"In addition, we shouldn't forget that Ankara receives money for the rent. Erdogan's bravado is of a political nature. He keeps the allies tense and at the same time promotes the image of a strong leader in the eyes of his citizens, demonstrating that Turkey at any time can break up with NATO, although this is unlikely to happen," Kurtov said.

Germany, in turn, refrained from attacking Turkey, with Angela Merkel making an important remark: "We will continue negotiations."

The western coalition understands that there is no airfield that would be more convenient for them than Incirlik.

Most airstrikes against Daesh take place in the north and east of Syria, and Jordan borders the Arab republic on the south. German pilots would have to overcome about 1400 km to fly to Raqqa and about 1800 km to Mosul.

Thus, if Germany has to withdraw its military from the base, the Middle East campaign for the German Air Force might be over, RT concluded.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала