German parliament votes to pull out troops from Turkey’s İncirlik

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German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen (R) casts her ballot in German parliament on the withdrawal of troops from Turkey's Incirlik base near the Syrian border, on June 21, 2017 in Berlin. / AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL

The German Bundestag on Wednesday voted in favor of moving its Bundeswehr troops at Turkey’s İncirlik Airbase to Jordan.

According to the vote, the Bundeswehr, which has about 280 military personnel stationed at İncirlik, from where they fly Tornado surveillance missions over Syria and refuel flights for partner nations in the coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), will be moved to Jordan’s Azraq airbase.

After Turkey repeatedly rejected requests from German parliamentarians to visit the troops at İncirlik, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would move its troops to Jordan as it has no more patience with Ankara.

We need an unlimited right to visit for a parliamentary army. We will go to Jordan. Of course, beforehand, we will speak to our partners in the anti-IS coalition about how to provide replacement services during the relocation period,” she said in a video shared by DW on Twitter.

Tension between Germany and Turkey escalated over the arrest of two Turkish-German journalists on terrorism charges and Berlin’s decision to grant asylum to military officers and other diplomatic passport holders who Ankara accuses of involvement in a failed coup attempt on July 15.

The tension turned into a crisis when the Turkish government blocked a group of German lawmakers from visiting troops stationed at Turkey’s İncirlik Airbase on May 15.

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