German MPs in Turkey after air base row

German MPs in Turkey after air base row

German MPs in Turkey after air base row

AFP photo

German parliamentarians arrived in Ankara on Oct. 4 to pay a visit to the İncirlik Air Base, where German troops are stationed in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), after a row between Turkey and Germany over the parliamentarians’ visit. 
A team consisting of six members of the Bundestag’s Defense Committee came to Ankara on Oct. 4 as part of a two-day visit to Turkey. The delegation was scheduled to hold talks with their counterparts at the Turkish Parliament’s Defense Committee before flying to İncirlik, which currently hosts around 250 German soldiers, six Tornado surveillance aircraft and one tanker aircraft.

Relations between Ankara and Berlin became strained after the Bundestag passed a bill that labeled the World War I-era killing of Anatolian Armenians as “genocide.”

Strained relations between Ankara and Berlin due to the Armenian bill worsened after Turkey rejected a German parliamentary delegation’s visit in late June to the base.

Berlin had threatened the removal of its military presence at the base to another regional country in response. 
The German troops and jets at İncirlik contribute to the U.S.-led coalition against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, along with jets from other countries, including the United States, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Denmark and Qatar.

In September, the Turkish government issued permission for the German MPs to conduct the visit. 

Turkey is expecting Germany’s parliament to approve the deployment of NATO’s Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) surveillance aircraft to support the international coalition’s fight against jihadists in Syria.