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    A technician works on a German Tornado jet at the air base in Incirlik, Turkey, on January 21, 2016

    Relocation of German Soldiers From Incirlik is Germany's 'Most Harsh' Move

    © AFP 2019 / TOBIAS SCHWARZ / POOL
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    Germany is planning to withdraw its military from the Incirlik air base in Turkey after Ankara banned German lawmakers from entering the base. The troops are reportedly ready to be transferred; Berlin made the final decision on the issue on June 7.

    Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Ahmet Erdi Öztürk, a research assistant at the University of Strasbourg.

    Answering the question of what impact the move could have on the fight between the international coalition and Daesh, the expert said:

    "I'm not sure that there's going to be a direct effect on the fight against ISIS [Daesh]."

    "But most probably, there will be some technical and logistic problems for Germany, and at the same time there will be some problems in Incirlik air base because they'll have to re-establish their regulations and their strategies again," Öztürk explained.

    The withdrawal of German forces from the military base comes as part of the row over Turkey's decision to ban German MPs from meeting German soldiers on the Turkish facility. Turkey explained the move, citing Berlin's decision to give asylum to Turkish soldiers after last year's attempted coup.

    "The relocation of the German soldiers from Incirlik air base will be the most significant and most harsh movements of Germany," the expert said, adding that "most probably we will see many aggressive discourses," especially from Turkey.

    At the same the expert noted that countries of the international coalition are unlikely to change their strategy and that the operation against Daesh will go on. He also noted, that although relations between Turkey and Germany "are not that good," Germany will continue its strategic partnership with Turkey.

    "They can't break down these relations because Turkey… needs Europe, and one of the locomotives in Europe is Germany right now," the expert said, adding that Germany and Turkey are also important partners in terms of trade.

    Commenting on the existing options for Berlin to relocate its military, the expert said:

    "It seems that Jordan is one of the best options and possible options for Germany. But some of the rumors said that maybe they will relocate their air forces and their soldiers to Cyprus."

    At the same time he noted, that "the relocation of the soldiers will take around two months" and "this is a huge time" in terms of efficiently fighting against terrorist groups.

    German Tornado jets inspect airspace over Iraq and Syria from Incirlik in order to help US forces fight the Islamic State. According to the German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, the contingent will be relocated to Jordan's Azraq air base.

    Related:

    Ankara Keeps Incirlik Base Closed for German Lawmakers, Sigmar Gabriel Says
    Germany to Pull Out of Incirlik Base After Failure of Last Ditch Crisis Talks
    Berlin Approves Withdrawal of German Troops From Incirlik Airbase in Turkey
    Tags:
    dispute, soldiers, withdrawal, Incirlik Air Base, Germany, Turkey
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