German parliament votes to withdraw troops from Turkey's Incirlik Air Base

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 21.06.2017 19:23
Updated 21.06.2017 19:40
Army personnel board a German airforce Airbus A400M military aircraft at German army Bundeswehr airbase in Jagel, northern Germany December 10, 2015. (Reuters Photo)
Army personnel board a German airforce Airbus A400M military aircraft at German army Bundeswehr airbase in Jagel, northern Germany December 10, 2015. (Reuters Photo)

Germany's Bundestag voted late Wednesday to withdraw troops from Turkey's Incirlik Air Base. The vote came after recently strained relations between the two countries, as Berlin had announced on June 7 that German troops stationed in the southern Turkish base would be moved to a military facility in Jordan.

The German government has also decided to withdraw its refueling and reconnaissance aircraft from Incirlik base to Azraq, Jordan, after tensions between the two countries rose in late May after a German parliamentary delegation was not allowed to visit the base.

The move was in response to Germany's attitude towards Turkish deputies during the recent constitutional referendum period where Turkish officials were barred from holding meetings in Germany, drawing a strong reaction from Ankara.

PKK sympathizers have long used Germany as a safe haven for activities, including recruitment and collecting financial support, as well as openly holding rallies in German cities, despite the group being listed as a terrorist organization by the EU, U.S. and Turkey.

In addition, after the coup attempt on July 15, 2016 in Turkey, suspected FETÖ members have sought asylum in Germany despite being wanted by Ankara for their alleged involvement in the coup bid.

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