CENTCOM Commander can’t believe it’s not his problem for once

TAMPA — General Joseph Votel, head of Central Command (CENTCOM), was reportedly “stunned” and “more than a little relieved” when the attempted coup in Turkey on Friday happened outside of his Area of Responsibility. Turkey instead belongs to European Command (EUCOM), for reasons neither country fully understands.

Votel reportedly threw a party to celebrate dodging the conflict, after double checking his list of countries “out of an abundance of caution.”

“What are the odds?” he asked his staff. “Seriously. How did we squeak out of a ‘democracy in the greater Middle East’ problem? I don’t see what Petraeus was complaining about, this job is easy.”

Intelligence staffers for Votel shared their boss’s enthusiasm. “Turkey is EUCOM’s problem so we don’t have to figure out how to lie about progress there,” Capt. James Peters, an Army analyst, said. “I can spend the weekend fudging these counter-ISIS statistics instead.”

Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti and his European Command staff were less excited by the news.

“I thought France was the only Islamic country in Europe,” intelligence officer Jason Smith confessed. “And Turkey’s Wikipedia page is super confusing.”

Scaparrotti addressed the issue briefly in a press conference this morning. “Look I came to Europe for the same reason as everyone else – to get as far away from Muslims as possible,” he said. “If this instability keeps up I’m packing my bags and heading back to Korea.”

Editor's note: Since this story first appeared, Gen. Votel was overheard screaming at his staff after a new briefing on the broader impact of the coup attempt. “What do you mean our Syria ops run out of a Turkish airbase?”