MHP: Merkel using visa liberalization as ‘carrot’ for İncirlik

MHP: Merkel using visa liberalization as ‘carrot’ for İncirlik

MHP: Merkel using visa liberalization as ‘carrot’ for İncirlik

AA photo

Turkey’s primary nationalist opposition party leader has suggested that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been using an EU visa liberalization process with Turkey as a “carrot” to deploy her country’s forces at Turkey’s İncirlik Air Base.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli recalled remarks by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu delivered last week when he said Turkey and the United States had agreed on a new military action to push extremist jihadists away from the Turkish border by deploying U.S. missiles with a 90-kilometer range on the front line and intensifying the aerial campaign.

“As we respond to the rockets and missiles of ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] with howitzers while not being able to even fly one of our aircraft, the shape of the mentioned support is a mystery,” Bahçeli said on May 3.

“In our opinion, the reports about granting a base at İncirlik to Germany are another unfavorable … issue. In his way, the reason why Merkel has been coming to Turkey frequently has become clear. The German prime minister’s visit to refugee camps is nothing but a cover-up for the real intention,” he said, addressing the parliamentary group meeting of his party.

“As far as can be seen, Merkel has been using monetary resources along with visa exemption as a carrot in order to get settled at İncirlik,” he added.

Last week, German magazine Der Spiegel reported that Germany was planning on building a fixed location, with a command post, aviation area, guesthouse and care facility on the İncirlik base, where it has already deployed Tornado jets and an aerial refueling jet along with around 200 soldiers. It claimed that the overall cost of the building was around 65 million euros.

Turkish military sources have denied the claims, saying the German government only wanted to construct a “guesthouse” of 400 people for the roughly 200 military staff who came to İncirlik for the reconnaissance Tornado jets at the base.