U.S. Orders Families of Military Personnel Out of Southern Turkey

Families of State Department employees also leaving.



The United States has ordered the families of military personnel station in southern Turkey to leave the country, according to a statement posted on the U.S. European Command's blog. Family members of State Department employees in southern Turkey will also be departing.

"The decision to move our families and civilians was made in consultation with the Government of Turkey, our State Department, and our Secretary of Defense," General Philip Breedlove, the commander of the European Command is quoted by the blog as saying. "We understand this is disruptive to our military families, but we must keep them safe and ensure the combat effectiveness of our forces to support our strong Ally Turkey in the fight against terrorism."

The order applies to Americans in Adana, which includes the Incirlik Air Base from which sorties against the Islamic State (ISIS) are launched, as well as Ismir, and Mugla. Families of American personnel in Ankara and Istanbul, the site of at least four terrorist attacks since last October, are not yet affected.

The State Department issued a travel warning for Turkey earlier this month, which cautioned about "increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey" and advised Americans to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey, which is adjacent to Syria, all together.

Turkey continued its counterterrorism campaign against Kurdish separatist groups last week, after the most recent bombing in Ankara, for which a splinter group of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) took responsibility.

Whether the Obama administration describes the order as a victory in the struggle against ISIS remains to be seen. Secretary of State John Kerry last week suggested the ISIS attack in Brussels and the shift by the terror group to "soft targets" meant ISIS was losing on its home turf in the Middle East, an argument parroted by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who insisted the Taliban bombing of a park on Easter Sunday meant counterterrorism efforts aimed at radical Islamist groups in that country were successful.

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  1. Whether the Obama administration describes the order as a victory in the struggle against ISIS remains to be seen.

    I wish I owned a Mission Accomplished banner store in DC.

  2. “strong Ally Turkey” I keep getting the feeling we have different interests. just a sneaking suspicion. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them invade Syria to prevent the Kurds from getting a continuous strip of land.

  3. Shit just keeps getting better and better

    1. Whatever were are doing, I’d think you’d have to say it’s working.

  4. The Kurds have been the only consistent pro-western civilization in the area besides the Jooooooosss. I wish we had backed them early on, might have avoided a bit of the shit storm currently.

    1. Note: yes, we should not be there except where are interests are involved. *libertarian side of the mess I call my brain

      1. “American interests” = “whatever we need it to mean”

        1. “American interests” = 1. Oil, and 2. Not having suicide bombers blow themselves up on planes/subways/airports, insofar as suicide bombers tend to have ties to shitholes, be they of the geographically original shithole variety or the exported and ghetto-ized variety.

    2. We fucked them good and hard in Gulf War 1.

    3. The Kurds have been the only consistent pro-western civilization in the area besides the Jooooooosss.

      Uhm! What?!?!?

      Dude: the PKK is a stalinist organization! Just because many of them opportunistically allied with the US in 1990’s because everyone else hates them and wants their oil doesn’t make them
      a) a civilization
      b) consistently pro western!

      Nobody there is particularly pro-western, and most of them aren’t civilized. And I say that as one of “them”.

      1. I’ve got my eye on you.

      2. Turkey just says PKK for western audiences since we have them listed as a terrorist org. They are bombing normal Kurdish targets that are gaining land in Syria. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33690060

      3. And I say that as one of “them”.

        A Kurd?

        I agree the Kurds don’t represent consistent pro-westernism or whatever else people want to project onto them owing to their usefulness as regional allies. But I will say this; they seem to be the only group remotely capable of providing security and some semblance of stability in their region. During the initial insurgency against US occupation, their territory was the only one that could be described as relatively stable and secure which is impressive considering the shit storm all around them.

        1. No, a Turk. OK a semi-Turk. Actually, a 7/16ths Turk (a Circassian ancestor fled a very murderously pissed off clique in the Tsar’s court and ended up in exile in the Ottoman empire and married his daughter into my family).

          So, what’s the word? Turk-ish, I guess.. 😉

      4. Yes Kurds don’t equal the PKK anymore than, say, Jews equal Likud. Bacon was speaking of the Kurds as a cultural group. Kurdish organizations run from Communist to more centrist-populist to Western-style liberal democracy to Islamist (Turkish Hezbollah is a thing).

        1. That says better what I was imperfectly expressing.

          There are pro western Kurds, just as there are pro-western Turks, and pro western Iranians etc. And there are aspects of both Turkish and Iranian culture that show great affinity to the western outlook (albeit the bits of Iranian culture and the bits of Turkish culture that show affinity are somewhat different).

          But, the notion that there is a monolithic pro-western culture out there is pretty inaccurate. Thinking that and basing policy on it will just get a nation into trouble.

          1. monolithic pro-western culture out there is pretty inaccurate

            Not even Western cultures are monolithically pro-Western.

            1. I’m monolithically culturally Western.

              1. Are you sure you have no Mongol Tartar in you?

        2. Thanks HM. I NO COMMUNICATE NO GOOD.

    4. To be fair, the Kurds only like us because we’re their only ally, and by killing off their enemies we’ve indirectly helped them.

      I don’t doubt that the Kurds are capable of being just as awful as ISIS or the Sadrists or any other middle-eastern group if they needed to be.

      That said, we should help them because they are helping us. It’s called reciprocity. It’s sort of a fundamental touchstone of diplomacy. They keep their end of the deal, and we keep ours. Fair is fair.

  5. That alt text seems little phoned in, Ed.

    1. “You can ride my tail any time, X.”

    2. More masturbation euphemisms?

    3. they can’t all be A-1

    4. “You can’t take the photoshopped sky from me…”

  6. And this is what I don’t like about NATO. Erdogan seems to be losing his mind and we have to fight any war that crazy dude gets us into?? Screw that. he definitely has been peeling the secularism away and returning Turkey to more islamist.

    1. If turkey gets into a fight with the broader kurds and kills one of our JSOC guys inbeded with them, do we then fight ourselves?

      1. Self-blowback?

        1. These euphemisms etc.

        2. NutraSweet just got himself a Posturepedic and has trying a certain something on his mind.

          1. He’s finally getting those lower ribs removed, huh?

    2. Erdogan isn’t losing his mind.

      He has a strategy. Granted it’s not a very smart one; he thinks he is much smarter than he actually is, and that the Iranians are far stupider than they actually are. Also the Iranians are playing him like a fiddle.

      Think of him as being less corrupt than Hillary and better at statecraft.

      1. They were the most prominent advocates of overthrowing assad and it has blown up in their face. Now they are facing a real possibility of their nightmare, which is a Kurdish state. Now supported by Israel and some in the US. Don’t have time at work but will try to find the articles I saw about him being a little nuts lately

        Iran has been playing everyone like a fiddle this century so far.

      2. You know who else the Iranians are playing like a fiddle?

  7. Further proof that ISIS is on the verge of collapse.

    – John Kerry

    1. I strongly doubt this is about ISIS but suspect that it is, in fact about the Kurds.

      If a US citizen were killed in a Kurdish terrorist attack it would be . . . awkward.

    2. We’re turning a corner.

  8. Well, if Incirlik wasn’t already a shitty place to be…

  9. In other news, chocolate rations have increased!

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