Germany demands guesthouse at Turkey’s İncirlik, not a fixed base: Sources
Uğur Ergan – ANKARA
DHA photoTurkish military sources have denied claims made by German magazine Der Spiegel that the German government wanted to build a fixed base inside Turkey’s İncirlik Air Base, saying they only wanted to construct a “guesthouse.”
“Germany wants to construct a guesthouse of 400 people for around the 200 military staff, who came to İncirlik for the reconnaissance Tornado jets on the base,” said Turkish military sources talking on condition of anonymity.
Der Spiegel reported on April 25 that Germany was planning on building a fixed location, with a command post, aviation area, guesthouse and a care facility, inside the İncirlik base, where it is already deploying Tornado jets and an aerial refueling jet along with around 200 soldiers. It claimed that the overall cost of the building was around 65 million euros.
However, sources said German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen had conveyed the Germans’ wish for the construction of just a “guesthouse” to her Turkish counterpart, İsmet Yılmaz, while visiting İncirlik back in January.
“İncirlik’s status is clear. Germany does not have a demand to construct a base inside [İncirlik] or anywhere else in İncirlik. It has been conveyed to the German authorities that this wouldn’t be a problem if the expenses for building the guesthouse are covered by the German state,” said one of the sources, adding that there could be closer meetings on the issue in the coming days.
Another source said Ankara was OK with the idea so long as Germany transferred the property of the building to Turkey after the German Tornados have left the air base.