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Germany to withdraw troops from Turkey over Incirlik visit denials

Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday, June 5 that German troops will be withdrawn from Turkey and redeployed to another nation, possibly Jordan.

Ahead of a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Gabriel said Turkey must allow Germany to visit troops at İncirlik air base or they would pull out of the country.

In a joint press conference, Cavusoglu said Ankara would continue to block German lawmakers from the base.

“At the moment, a visit to the NATO base in Konya is possible, not İncirlik,” Deutsche Welle reported Cavusoglu as saying.

“Turkey must understand that in this situation, we must transfer German soldiers out of İncirlik. The Bundestag will ask the government to find another location for the German soldiers in İncirlik.”

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel

Turkey has not allowed German delegations to visit the country’s 260 soldiers currently based at İncirlik. On May 16, Turkish media reported that officials denied a visit, saying it “was not considered appropriate at this time.”

German troops currently use the air base to conduct surveillance operations and refueling flights in support of the US-led coalition against Islamic State.

German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen said a final decision will be announced after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. She said “we are prepared for a relocation.”


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