About 7,000 military surrounded and blocked the Incirlik Air Base and blocked entrances and exits amid rumors of another coup attempt, Turkish Hurriyet reported on Sunday.
The U.S. military maintains an arsenal of nuclear weapons at Incirlik and it is an operational hub for the air campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
The base is used by the USA and the Turkish Air Forces, its activities are regulated by the Agreement on Military and Economic Cooperation between the two countries.
Gen. Joseph Votel, the USA military commander for the Middle East, told the Aspen Security Forum that he’s anxious the failed coup could affect US relations with the Turkish military, noting that some of its leaders have been jailed.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Saturday that the country’s intelligence agency will be under his control and military commanders will report to the defense minister.
Incirlik air base is located in the province of Adana in southern Turkey.
But according to the Turkish Minister for European Affairs, Omer Celik, this is just a routine “safety inspection”.
The massive presence of armed police supported by heavy vehicles calls into question the Turkish government’s official line that the lock down at the Incirlik base is merely a “safety inspection”.