Wednesday, June 21, 2017

German MPs vote for troop withdrawal from Turkish Incirlik base after visitation row with Ankara

The German parliament has voted to approve the transfer of its troops from Turkish Incirlik Air Base to Jordan, following tensions with Ankara.

461 out of 569 lawmakers in the Bundestag (the German parliament) voted on Wednesday to transfer soldiers and equipment from Incirlik to a new site near Al-Azraq, Jordan.

The decision to pull out of Incirlik Air Base came after the refusal by Turkish authorities to allow members of the Bundestag to visit the base. It is said to be linked to Berlin’s refusal to extradite several Turkish army officers accused of involvement in last year’s attempted coup.

“The Bundeswehr is a parliamentary army, which is subject to control of the Bundestag,” read the official statement from lawmakers.

In order to carry out its constitutional duties effectively, the statement said, it must be possible for MPs to visit the troops where they are stationed.

“Visitation rights are non-negotiable for us,” said the CDU’s Henning Otte.

Over the next few weeks, the approximately 280 German troops as well as six Tornado jets and tanker aircraft stationed at Incirlik will make their way to Jordan.The contingent at Incirlik was deployed to the base in response to the Paris terrorist attacks in December 2015.

Since Germany is part of the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria and Jordan, the Bundeswehr is suspending its operations for two months...


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