(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
BERLIN/ANKARA - Germany began on Sunday to pull its troops out of a Turkish air base where they have supported international operations against Islamic State following a row with Ankara over access, a German defense ministry spokesman said.
The withdrawal from the Incirlik base, approved by the German parliament last month, marks a further step in one of many bilateral disputes, ranging from a post-coup clampdown by Ankara to Turkish political campaigning in Germany.
German tornado jets were due to keep operating out of Incirlik at least until the end of July as part of a mission providing reconnaissance aircraft to support US-led coalition operations against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
In the meantime the necessary material was to be moved to a new air base in Jordan, where the planes are scheduled to be deployed by October.
A German air tanker refueller left Incirlik for the Jordan base on Sunday, the ministry spokesman told Reuters.