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Patriot systems commander completes service in Turkey

A German commander of Patriot air defense system in Turkey which was deployed in Kahramanmaras, an eastern province, by NATO six months ago against a potential threat from Syria, Marcus Ellerman said he was leaving Turkey happily completing his service in Turkey because of positivie attitude of local people he met. A 46 year old new commander serving in Afghanistan beforehand, Colonel Bernd Stöckmann will succeed Ellerman and begin to serve on July 12, 2013. Ellerman said to Anadolu Agency, "We have been protecting Kahramanmaras since January. We are displaying a solidarity which is a symbol for NATO alliance. I proudly look to what we have done here." Saying all preparations were made in a short time and this situation caused some hardships both for them and Turkey, Ellerman added: "The system should be ready as soon as possible. Accommodation and nourishment were important issues for us, but we solved this matter in a short time. However, we have left a six-month work behind us and I find this extremely constructive. We have resolved all problems that we confronted at first."

Expressing the German soldiers defined the slogan of 'Solidarity in Friendship' for their duties in Turkey, Ellerman said German soldiers were met in a friendly manner by Turkish people and public institutions in Kahramanmaras.

"People have met us favorably. We have a friendly relation. They immediately know us, greet and present gifts. For instance, I did not go to barber in the barrack. I preferred to go a Turkish barber and we were chatting and this was a good experience for me", said Ellerman.

Ellerman stated he returned Germany with good feelings at the end of his duty.

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