A lot has been happening at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey since the attempted coup. Power has been cut off/on, certain police forces have surrounded the base at times, protests have erupted in both Turkey and Germany by pro-Erdogan and anti-Erdogan factions. And that is just the tip of the spear. In an effort to calm things down a bit, America’s top military officer, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Turkey to talk to American troops stationed at the base as well as talk with President Erdogan’s officials.
The ties between the US and Turkey have been strained for some time now, and these ties may be getting to the breaking point. While Turkey is a member of NATO, and is considered a vital strategic position, especially for air strikes, their political leaning, via Erdogan’s crackdown on certain Turkish civilians, has become an issue both within the country and outside. Erdogan has been working hard to bring back into his government more Islamic doctrine, reducing the current democratic policies it was once famous for the world over. His actions are thought to be the onus for the recent coup attempt by military officials.
Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr.’s message to Turkey, according to spokesman Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, will be one of solidarity. Hicks said: “He will deliver messages condemning in the strongest terms the recent coup attempt and reaffirming the importance of our enduring partnership for regional security as symbolized by coalition operations out of Incirlik in the counter-ISIL fight.” Dunford will also impress the importance of the contributions that Turkey has made in the fight against ISIS.
According to Hicks, Dunford is scheduled to talk with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Gen. Hulusi Akar, chief of the Turkish general staff. Rumors have surfaced in Turkey that the US backed the failed coup; a rumor that Erdogan has not completely dismissed, even though the US has repeatedly said it had no part in the coup. Erdogan has had very hard words against Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel, whom Erdogan accused of having sympathy for the coup leaders. Votel has rejected that claim.
To make matters worse, Turkey is now demanding that the US send back to Turkey a cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who is living in Pennsylvania. Turkish authorities claim that Gulen was the mastermind behind the coup. Gulen has denied those charges. The US has said that it will consider the action if a formal request is made.
Incirlik Air Base enables US planes to travel to Iraq and Syria in less time. In 2015, Turkey approved U.S. combat missions from Incirlik, but only after it had rejected previous requests to use the base for these combat operations.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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