US air base in Turkey surrounded by police as rumors of another coup swirl

The US air base in Incirlik, Turkey is on lockdown as police have blocked all entrances and exits. There has been no explanation from the Turkish government, but rumors have been rampant in Ankara of another coup plot being hatched.

Daily Caller:

Secular elements of the Turkish military attempted a coup against Erdogan July 15, alleging the Turkish president was amassing too much power and becoming too Islamist. Erdogan publicly criticized Friday the head of U.S. military operations in the Middle East, after he told an audience at the Aspen Foundation that many of U.S. military’s allies in the Turkish military had been imprisoned.

After the failed coup, Turkey cut power to Incirlik airbase for nearly a week, deeply worrying the U.S. military. Dr. Michael Rubin, a middle east expert at the American Enterprise Institute, previously told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the Turkish government’s actions were akin to taking Incirlik airbase “hostage.”

While no reports suggest another active coup attempt is underway, the move is a surprising action taken against an important U.S. strategic asset. Some have speculated that the move could be a preemptive action taken before another coup attempt is launched.

President Erdogan has launched an assault on every secular institution in Turkey. Tens of thousands of people have been detained, fired, or suspended from their jobs, thousands of soldiers included. While about 800 of the military detainees have apparently been released, that leaves thousands still under arrest, including many senior officers. It probably isn't coincidence that most of those officers had good working relationships with their US counterparts.

The radical military reforms initiated by Erdogan include bringing the entire military under his control, the closing of service academies, and the purge of the officer ranks. The one institution still capable of stopping him is what's left of the military. Another coup is not out of the question.

There has been speculation that the lockdown is preceding the arrival of  chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, who arrived today for talks. But would thousands of police guarding the entrances and exits be necessary to secure a facility that US and Turkish forces inside the base are perfectly capable of doing?

Regardless, while the base is on lockdown, the effect on our air campaign against Islamic State hangs in the balance.

 

 

 

The US air base in Incirlik, Turkey is on lockdown as police have blocked all entrances and exits. There has been no explanation from the Turkish government, but rumors have been rampant in Ankara of another coup plot being hatched.

Daily Caller:

Secular elements of the Turkish military attempted a coup against Erdogan July 15, alleging the Turkish president was amassing too much power and becoming too Islamist. Erdogan publicly criticized Friday the head of U.S. military operations in the Middle East, after he told an audience at the Aspen Foundation that many of U.S. military’s allies in the Turkish military had been imprisoned.

After the failed coup, Turkey cut power to Incirlik airbase for nearly a week, deeply worrying the U.S. military. Dr. Michael Rubin, a middle east expert at the American Enterprise Institute, previously told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the Turkish government’s actions were akin to taking Incirlik airbase “hostage.”

While no reports suggest another active coup attempt is underway, the move is a surprising action taken against an important U.S. strategic asset. Some have speculated that the move could be a preemptive action taken before another coup attempt is launched.

President Erdogan has launched an assault on every secular institution in Turkey. Tens of thousands of people have been detained, fired, or suspended from their jobs, thousands of soldiers included. While about 800 of the military detainees have apparently been released, that leaves thousands still under arrest, including many senior officers. It probably isn't coincidence that most of those officers had good working relationships with their US counterparts.

The radical military reforms initiated by Erdogan include bringing the entire military under his control, the closing of service academies, and the purge of the officer ranks. The one institution still capable of stopping him is what's left of the military. Another coup is not out of the question.

There has been speculation that the lockdown is preceding the arrival of  chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, who arrived today for talks. But would thousands of police guarding the entrances and exits be necessary to secure a facility that US and Turkish forces inside the base are perfectly capable of doing?

Regardless, while the base is on lockdown, the effect on our air campaign against Islamic State hangs in the balance.