Thursday 17 August 2017

German troops to leave Turkish base in rift with Ankara

A German Air Force cargo plane at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey (Emrah Gurel/AP file)
A German Air Force cargo plane at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey (Emrah Gurel/AP file)

Germany is to pull its troops and reconnaissance aircraft out of Turkey's Incirlik air base after Turkish officials refused to let members of parliament visit those stationed there.

The decision announced by German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen comes after a lengthy impasse over the visits and ongoing friction between Berlin and Ankara.

The rift has involved a multitude of other issues, including the arrest of German journalists in Turkey and Germany's decision to grant asylum to soldiers and others who Turkey alleges were involved in last year's failed coup.

Germany has about 270 troops stationed at Incirlik, near the Syrian border, with Tornado reconnaissance aircraft that support the international anti-Islamic State mission, and a refuelling plane.

They will now redeploy to a base in Jordan, but the move may take up to two months.

Press Association

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