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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, address the media during a news conference after a meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.

    Critics Push for Germany to Look for Alternatives to Turkey Airbase

    © AP Photo / Michael Sohn
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    In the fight against Daesh, Germany is weighing alternative locations for its key base, currently located at Incirlik, Turkey.

    Turkish army tanks make their way towards the Syrian border town of Jarablus, Syria August 24, 2016. Picture taken August 24, 2016.
    © REUTERS / Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office
    As tensions between Berlin and Ankara have escalated, the German government said it's found eight possible alternatives to the Incirlik base, including three suitable sites each in Kuwait and Jordan, and two in Cyprus, namely Akrotiri and Pahpos.

    The government said the available locations had been visited "within the framework of a military exploration for the purpose of reviewing their fundamental suitability," but pointed out that "no conversations with respect to a possible stationing" had yet been undertaken.

    The announcement was met with sharp criticism from the left.  

    "The government obviously has no interest in relocating the German armed forces from Incirlik if they have not even had a conversation with the other countries where stationing is possible," the Left Party's foreign affairs spokesperson Jan van Aken told German daily Die Welt.

    The review of alternative locations comes as German-Turkish relations have been strained, after Erdogan accused Berlin of resorting to Nazi-era tactics. Several German municipalities have canceled Turkish politicians' campaigns for the upcoming Turkish referendum, on April 16, which is expected to vastly expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Most recently, Ankara has been accused of spying on hundreds of individuals and organizations in Germany.

    In light of the worsening relations and an escalating war-of-words between Berlin and Ankara, politicians from across the political spectrum have called on the Bundeswehr to withdraw its troops and jets from the airbase.

    Incirlik has been a point of contention between the two nations since June, when the Bundestag unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the 1915 Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire. The controversial vote sparked anger in Turkey and resulted in Ankara blocking German politicians' visits to the military base.    


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