Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu mentioned Incirlik, saying that the Turks wondered why the United States and its allies were using the base if they did not provide air cover for Operation Euphrates Shield, a major Turkish-led offensive in northern Syria.
A day later, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin reiterated that Turkey had the right to close the base, but added that this issue was not on the agenda.
Moreover, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik underscored that the "fact that the international coalition is not providing support for the Turkish military in the Al-Bab offensive puts in questions the current format of use of the base."
"Turkey has repeatedly warned the US about its discontent over Washington’s ties with Syrian Kurds from the Democratic Union Party (PYD). After Ankara did not receive support in the Al-Bab offensive, the Turkish government took a more hardline position towards the US," Erkmen noted.
Commenting on the situation around the Incirlik base, the analyst pointed out that the airbase has long been an issue for debate, especially acute in periods of tensions in Washington-Ankara ties.
Speaking about the reasons behind Turkey voicing concerns over the US, Erkmen said: "There are different reasons for a raise in concerns. The main reason is that Turkey failed to win Washington’s support on the Kurdish problem. Recently, the situation in Al-Bab added to the tensions," the analyst explained.
Erkmen reminded that on the day when the Turkish military launched the Euphrates Shield military operation in northern Syria US Vice President Joe Biden was on an official visit to Turkey.
Erkmen suggested that Ankara made those statements to send a signal to the entire US presidential administration, not only to next President Donald Trump.
"Turkey sent a message to the White House. It should be translated: 'We are very concerned because Incirlik is a base important for US military activities in the Middle East and also an important component of our bilateral relations. If tensions further increase it may deal a heavy blow to our military cooperation. Don’t go too far.' We can say that by sending such a message Turkey put on the agenda its discontent over Washington’s policy towards Kurds," the analyst concluded.