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Incirlik Air Base: Power Restored to Key U.S. Site After Coup

The Turkish government restored power to an air base widely believed to house U.S. nuclear weapons on Friday, according to the Department of Defense.
Image: A United States Navy aeroplane about to land at the Incirlik Air Base
A U.S. Navy plane lands at Incirlik Air Base on the outskirts of Adana, southern Turkey, on July 29, 2015.Emrah Gurel / AP, file

Turkey has restored power to an air base used by U.S. forces for anti-ISIS strikes almost a week after it was cut following the failed coup, the Defense Department announced Friday.

Commercial power was cut to Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey and the airspace above it closed within hours of the July 15 attempted military takeover. Turkish commanders at the site were later arrested and led away, accused of allowing at least one tanker aircraft to refuel jets involved in the thwarted mutiny.

The base, which is also rumored to hold U.S. nuclear weapons, relied on generators after commercial power was interrupted.

"We will retain this capability should the power be interrupted again," said a statement from the U.S. European Command. "Meanwhile, there is a steady flow of hot food, water, and fuel to support our service members and civilians in Turkey."

Air conditioners, food storage and preparation, and other daily living requirements on the base depend on power as much as the runway lighting and air operations systems do.

The disruptions at Incirlik may not be over, according to a senior military officer in the region.

The large local workforce was being vetted as part of an unprecedented nationwide purge by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdgan, and many have not returned to work nearly a week after the attempted coup, said the officer who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity.