Germany preparing to have its own section at İncirlik Air Base

DAILY SABAH WITH WIRES
ISTANBUL
Published 28.04.2016 17:05

The German Air Force is believed to be preparing to have its own section at Turkey's İncirlik Air Base, which is already used by American warplanes to attack targets in Syria. The planned project will cost 65 million euros and is to be finished by summer 2017, German Der Spiegel reported.

Contrary to many reports, Ankara has reportedly approved Germany's request to build a temporary site at İncirlik. According to reports in the Turkish media, the Bundeswehr is investing about 65 million euros to build accommodation for the permanent deployment of around 400 German soldiers, a fully equipped command and control post and facilities for a full wing of Tornado fighter-jets and an Airbus tanker.

The reports also say that once Germany leaves the base, Turkey will have the option to either use the German section for its own facilities or demolish it.

The air base is located in southern Turkey east of Adana close to the Mediterranean coast. Ankara has allowed the U.S. to use it for its Syrian campaign against Daesh on the condition that it would not be used to support PKK-affiliated groups in Syria. Saudi Arabia has a presence at İncirlik as well.

When asked about stories in the German media that Berlin was seeking a base near İncirlik, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, "Such matters depend on developments. As a NATO member, such deployments benefit us. Germany or France building such a thing near İncirlik could benefit us, we should not forget," but added that such matters can only happen with Ankara's permission.

As Daesh continues to threaten the international community, Germany deployed four additional Tornado surveillance aircraft as well as nearly 100 military personnel to the İncirlik Air Base in January. In mid-December 2015, Germany sent two Tornado aircraft following parliamentary approval of a military operation as part of the U.S.-led international coalition against Daesh militants in Syria.

In December, the German Federal Parliament approved a one-year support commitment for the coalition, which includes up to 1,200 troops, six Tornado surveillance aircraft, a refueling aircraft and a Bremen-class Augsburg frigate to support a French aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean. Additionally, for 2016, Germany's mandate for anti-Daesh operations as part of the international coalition is to cost around 134 million euros.

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