More German troops arrive in Trabzon to coordinate military shipments from Afghanistan

Eighty more German troops tasked with coordinating military shipments from Afghanistan with the pullout of German troops arrived in Turkey's Black Sea province of Trabzon on Thursday.

Germany has sent troops and military equipments to Afghanistan as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). It will use Trabzon as a transit hub as it sends the military equipment back to Germany. The shipment is a process that is expected to last two-and-a-half years. According to 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.

Travelling onboard military jets to Germany via Trabzon along with troops who were part of a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan, German military spokesperson Ludger Terbrueggen told the local media that the growing number of German troops in Trabzon will significantly accelerate the shipment of military equipment back to Germany.

“In the coming days, the preparations for shipments from Afghanistan will be completed, and we hope that the areas to temporarily house our military equipment in Trabzon will be finalized,” Terbruggen said.

“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 Kizilcik was quoted as saying last month.

Kizilcik had stated that the shipments would significantly increase after April 1, emphasizing that the authorities had already taken all the necessary measures including arranging for accommodation and parking space for vehicles of the German soldiers.

Remarking on the hospitality displayed by the local residents in Trabzon, Terbrueggen extended his gratitude on behalf of all German troops to officials, especially police officers, in the city.