Saturday, July 16, 2016

U.S. Troops at Turkish Air Base on Highest Force Protection Level

Following the failed coup in Turkey on Friday night, the US embassy in Turkey says the Incirlik air base has been placed in lockdown. The base is used by the US-led coalition, including Germany, to launch airstrikes against "Islamic State."
A message on the website of the US consulate in Adana reported on Saturday that "local authorities were denying movements [onto] and off of Incirlik air base." According to Deutsche Welt the State Department advised US citizens to avoid the facility until normal operations could be restored.

The sealing-off of the facility, which houses up to 80 nuclear bombs, follows a a failed coup attempt by a faction within Turkey's military.

It is not yet clear whether aircraft from the base were hijacked by coup plotters during the night of chaos. According to Turkish government officials, US jets were used to attack key buildings, including the parliament building in Ankara.
A US Defense Department official told Agence France-Presse that military operations against Islamic State had been suspended due to the lockdown and a closure of Turkish airspace to military aircraft.

The base is used mostly by the US, Turkish, UK and Saudi air forces. Germany also has around 400 ground troops stationed at the facility.

Earlier this month, German MPs were prevented from visiting the base as Turkey's President Erdogan tried to exert pressure on Angela Merkel to speed up the Islamic nation's accession to the EU, a move which has strained relations between Berlin and Ankara.

Also on Saturday, the US State Department warned American citizens against taking part in pro-Erdogan demonstrations in the city of Adana, amid fears of violence. Adana is just 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the Incirlik air base.

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Turkish Coup Attempt Crumbles

The news coming out of Turkey today is that last nights military coup has failed and the tyrant and wannabe Sultan of the New Ottoman Empire has regained control as thousands of ordinary citizens took to the streets to support the Islamist government. Much as we in the west might support the military faction in Turkey trying to halt the country's drift towards becoming an Islamic Republic, and to preserve it as a secular and liberal NATO member and EU candidate nation, it seems a majority of Turkish people want to live in an Islamist republic.

Crowds of Erdogan supporting civilians commandeered tanks and helped thwart the overthrow of the Islamist president (Image source: Russia Today)

How this squares with leggy Natashas on the beaches in tiny bikinis, cocktail bars and women's equality I don't know but if we are not to be as hypocritical as our enemies we should support a democratic vote over tanks and guns any day.

What we do not have to support is Turkey's human rights abuses, trade in oil and rmaments with Islamic State, ongoing genocidal war against the Kurds and manipulation of the migrant crisis to blackmail the west for cash and political favours. Turkey should be booted out of NATO and the United Nations and its EU membership application filed in the bin marked "jokes that turned out to be not very funny."

The Turkish government insists that the situation is now under control and promises the plotters will pay a heavy price for organising the military coup attempt, which has resulted in at least 265 dead and 1,140 wounded.

The uprising began in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey’s two major cities. In Ankara, military aircraft were seen flying low overhead, attacking the National Intelligence Agency’s building and police special forces HQ. Tanks also opened fire around the parliament building in the capital.

In Istanbul, tanks and armored fighting vehicles were seen around the city and outside Ataturk international airport. Military trucks blocked the bridges across the Bosporus.

Fighting also broke out between pro-coup and anti-coup forces inside the army headquarters. Chief of Staff, General Hulusi Akar, was detained by pro-coup soldiers and reportedly taken by helicopter to Akincilar air base northwest of Ankara. He was rescued from captivity later on Saturday.

There is always a caveat with any news coming out of places where the media is government controlled, and this applies especially in Turkey, where President Erdogan has recently shut down newspapers, radio stations and blogs critical of his regime (Tukish TV is state controlled) and has even demanded of German Chancellor Angela Merkel the prosecution and extradition of a German comedian who, in Germany, delivered a comic routine insulting to the Turkish president.

Russia Today has not been quite so enthusiastic about reporting the failure of the coup as the BBC and American news channels, but is reporting that Erdogan is back in control and is purging the military and civil services, the legal system and the police of people suspected of not being enthusiastic enough in their support of his human rights abusing, Islamic fundamentalist gangster regime.

It looks then as if the coup has been put down for the present, but we have a feeling this story is a long way from dead. Watch this space.


Elsewhere: [ The Original Boggart Blog] ... Daily Stirrer ...[Little Nicky Machiavelli]... [ Ian's Authorsden Pages ]... [Scribd]...[Wikinut] ... [ Boggart Abroad] ... [ Grenteeth Bites ] ... Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] ... [ Tumblr ] ... [Ian at Minds ] ... [ Authorsden blog ] ... [Daily Stirrer News Aggregator]