The German military is preparing for a possible withdrawal of six Tornado reconnaissance jets from Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base given Ankara’s continued refusal to allow German lawmakers to visit the facility, Der Spiegel magazine reported Thursday.
The German Defense Ministry gave no details about its plans.
“We would like to continue the mission from Turkey, but there are alternatives to the base in Incirlik,” the magazine quoted a ministry spokesman as saying.
The Social Democrats, junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government, are now insisting that Germany should withdraw its aircraft and troops from the base given Turkey’s refusal to allow German lawmakers to visit the base.
“The German government must immediately find other bases for the German soldiers,” the magazine quoted Rainer Arnold, defense spokesman for the Social Democrats in parliament, as saying.
Incirlik Air Base is an air base of slightly more than1335 ha, located in the İncirlik quarter of the city of Adana, Turkey. The base is within an urban area of 1.7 million people,10 km east of the city core, and 32 km (20 mi) inland from the Mediterranean Sea. The United States Air Force and the Turkish Air Force are the primary users of the air base, although it is also used by the Royal Air Force and by Royal Saudi Air Force.