A report says Germany
is preparing for the possible removal of its six Tornado reconnaissance jets from Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base as Ankara continues blocking German parliamentarians’ access to the compound.
According to a report published by Der Spiegel
magazine on Thursday, the German military
is analyzing the possibility of moving its planes to Jordan or Cyprus.
Some 250 German troops are stationed at the base, along with six Tornado reconnaissance jets and a refueling plane, as part of the US-led coalition allegedly battling the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.
The report cites unnamed military sources as saying that such measures would disrupt reconnaissance flights for at least two months.
“We would like to continue the mission from Turkey, but there are alternatives to the base in Incirlik,” said a Defense Ministry spokesman.
The German Social Democratic Party insists that Berlin must withdraw its planes and forces from the base.
“The German government must immediately find other bases for the German soldiers,” said Rainer Arnold, the party’s defense spokesman.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (seen below) has also called on Turkey to grant MPs access to the base, as approving military spending and investment in its infrastructure is among their responsibilities.
Ties between Berlin and Ankara have been strained over the last few months after the German parliament approved a resolution recognizing the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago as “genocide.”
Germany’s sluggish condemnation of a quashed coup in Turkey last month has also had a negative impact on the two NATO allies’ relations.