Update- Incirlik Blocked by Turkish Forces for 4 Hours

 In Foreign, Military

July 30, 2016 – Two days after protesters chanted “Death to America” and demanded we leave Turkey, thousands of heavy trucks surrounded Incirlik Air base for what the government called a “safety inspection.”

1,00o or 7,000 trucks

As the rumors frantically circulated, some media even claimed that 7,000 trucks had encircled the airbase. The actual number is unknown. When some people couldn’t reach the base, it seemed that Incirlik was cut off from the world. Eventually things got back to sort of normal and access was restored. It turned out that Turkish authorities said they were worried about another coup attempt.

Note: power was restored to the airbase on July 22.

Bloomberg reported,

Turkish authorities restored access to and from a key air base used in operations against Islamic State militants, local media reported on Sunday, one day before the U.S. top military official is scheduled to visit the country.

Incirlik air base in southern Turkey reopened following a meeting with security officials. Police used armored cars to block the gates earlier Sunday following intelligence that raised suspicion another coup was being plotted following the failed July 15 putsch, Ihlas News Agency reported, without saying where it got the information. The ban lasted four hours, the agency said.

incirlik

Twitter photo of Turkish trucks in blockade of Incirlik Airbase

Messy diplomacy

Sunday is the day that General Joseph Dunford, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is scheduled to visit the air base, and engage in talks in Ankara. He has called Turkey’s Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar several times since the coup attempt.

Turkey is angry that US Military officials didn’t side more forcefully against the coup.  They are especially unhappy with General Joseph Votel, head of US CENTCOM. His remarks at the Aspen Security Forum raised Erdogan’s hackles severely.

Votel: “We’ve certainly had relationships with a lot of Turkish leaders, military leaders in particular. And so I’m concerned about what the impact is on those relationships as we continue to move forward.” 

He also remarked that the purge of Turkish military officers was “wrong” and that “frictions” had already caused some issues with the fight against Daesh/ISIS.

Erdogan: “It’s not up to you to make that decision. Who are you? Know your place.”

They also want Fetullah Gulen extradited and planned to talk to General Dunford about that situation. According to local news media, Erdogan says that Gulen is “even more dangerous than Osama bin Laden.”

As usual, people bent on a personal vendetta  only want what they want, and to h*** with everyone else. Hopefully, General Dunford can sort out all the trash talk.

 

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