BERLIN — German defense authorities have finally ordered the start of withdrawal of troops from a base in southern Turkey after the two countries failed to settle disputes on how Berlin could access the base.
Tornado reconnaissance jets stationed at Incirlik will be sent back to Germany as the Jordanian base is not yet fully ready to accommodate the aircraft.
According to German news magazine Der Spiegel, two supply airplanes will be transferred to an air base near al Azraq in Jordan as part of a step-by-step withdrawal from the Turkish air base.
The German government has made a decision to withdraw its refueling and reconnaissance aircraft from Incirlik to Azraq, after tensions between the two countries rose late May over Turkey’s refusal to allow a German parliamentary delegation to visit the base.
Germany had banned some Turkish politicians from campaigning on its soil for a referendum on giving Erdogan sweeping new powers, while Ankara responded by accusing Berlin of “Nazi-like” tactics and reigniting the dispute over Incirlik.
Germany, as a member of the US-led global coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and per its agreement with Turkey, used the airbase to station its jets.
A vote in Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, on referring to the 1915 Turkish massacre of Armenians as genocide also influenced the diplomatic stand-off directly.
The Turkish government confirmed that the withdrawal of German troops had began, with an official saying Germany’s defense minister had informed her Turkish counterpart about the day the action could start at a recent summit of North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance in Brussels.