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.
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