World Bulletin/News Desk
The first German cargo plane carrying military equipment from Afghanistan will land in Turkey's Black Sea city of Trabzon on Thursday as the pullout of German troops is put in motion.
German diplomatic sources told reporters in Ankara on Wednesday that the agreement to use Trabzon as a transit hub to send the military equipment back to Germany was signed with the Turkish government last week.
Germany sent troops and military equipment to Afghanistan as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Some 150 German soldiers have been on the ground in Trabzon for site inspections and preparations for some time, the sources said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The agreement is for the temporary use of Trabzon as a transit hub until 2014 and is not meant as a permanent base for German soldiers.
According to the sources, each military vehicle and all army cargo will be transported from the Trabzon airport to the Port of Trabzon, and after being classified by military staff, will be transported to Germany by sea.
German military spokesperson Ludger Terbrueggen told local media earlier this month that that the growing number of German troops in Trabzon will significantly accelerate the shipment of military equipment back to Germany.
“We need to regard the issue as a business operation. In this framework, nearly 300 German military personnel will be accommodated in Trabzon for two-and-a-half years. The process will make a serious contribution to the economic development of our city; the value of the contribution to our economy probably won't be less than $50 million,” Trabzon Governor Recep Kızılcık was quoted as saying in March.
Kızılcık said the authorities had already taken all the necessary measures including arranging accommodation for the German soldiers and parking space for their vehicles.
Last Mod: 25 Nisan 2013, 14:00