Germany to announce decision on İncirlik on Wednesday
German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen stated that final decision regarding the German troops in İncirlik will be made during the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
After German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel's efforts in Ankara yielded no results, it was announced that the German troops in Turkey's İncirlik base will likely be withdrawn. However, German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen stated that final decision regarding the German troops in İncirlik will be made during the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The İncirlik issue that raised tensions between Germany and Turkey is nearing an end. Despite German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel giving positive messages to the AKP regime during his talks in Ankara, he still was not able to get permission for German parliamentarians to pay a visit to İncirlik.
Speaking to the German daily Die Welt following his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Gabriel said there is no decision, nor a concrete plan yet. Still, he stated that: “For domestic political reasons, we will have to withdraw the soldiers.”
In the meantime, Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen stated today that the Cabinet decision on the relocation of the troops in İncirlik will be announced on Wednesday.
“We will discuss and decide together on future action at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. We are prepared for a relocation.”
The CDU politician remarked that:“In the battle against ISIS, İncirlik was a good air force base. However, it is not acceptable that our deputies are not allowed to visit the soldiers there.”
She noted that “With the Al Azraq air base in Jordan, we have found a comparable alternative.”
On the other hand, the coalition parties SPD and CDU that opposed the appeal of the Left Party and the Greens for “immediate withdrawal from İncirlik” last week have backpedalled following Gabriel's disappointment in Ankara.
The opposition parties are, on the other hand, of the opinion that the Merkel government should take a tougher line on the matter.
Left Party Leader Bernd Riexinger described the Turkish government's approach as “degrading”, and urged an immediate withdrawal of the German soldiers from İncirlik in response.
Left Party MP Claudia Roth called for a review of Turkey-Germany relations and an end to the arms sale to Turkey, arguing that Ankara was no more a strategic and military ally for Berlin.