German pull over from İncirlik won’t hinder anti-ISIL fight: PM
ANKARA / BERLİN
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said late on June 6 that the withdrawal of German troops stationed at the İncirlik air base in the southern Turkish province of Adana, a decision approved by the German cabinet on June 7, will not effect the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) negatively.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for her part, said Berlin and Ankara should continue talks despite problems.
“Although there are mutual rubs with one of our partners over [İncirlik], our contribution in the struggle against terrorism will not be affected by that. Our door is open to all friends that fight against terrorism,” Yıldırım said.
It is important that Germany and its NATO ally Turkey keep talking even after German troops leave the İncirlik air base due to Ankara’s refusal to allow German lawmakers access to its soldiers there, Merkel said on June 7.
“We have a huge range of common interests with Turkey and also close economic relations, so discussions are very necessary,” Merkel told reporters after her cabinet backed the withdrawal of troops from the İncirlik base.
Yıldırım had said the German government could “remove its troops however it wants” and the decision has “nothing to do with Turkey,” adding that German soldiers’ probable leaving of the İncirlik air base in southern Turkey would be of little consequence.
Meanwhile, German Defense Minister Ursula Von der Leyen called his Turkish counterpart Fikri Işık on June 7 after the decision to withdraw its troops stationed at the İncirlik air base.
The two ministers discussed the air base row in the phone call initiated by Leyen.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel held talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on June 5 in a bid to solve the problem, but he could only get Turkish consent for a visit to a base in Konya, where German troops are stationed as part of a NATO mission.