Turkish Army denies claims of German troops’ mistreatment

Turkish Army denies claims of German troops’ mistreatment

Turkish Army denies claims of German troops’ mistreatment

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) talks with a German soldier next to Turkish Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz (R) during a visit on the site where Patriot missile batteries are installed near the city of Kahramanmaras, on February 24, 2013. AFP PHOTO/STR

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has denied claims that German troops sent to operate Patriot batteries near the Syrian border are being treated badly.

The TSK said in a statement issued on March 3 that they have not conveyed any complaints or demands to the Turkish side over the claims.

Germany’s special commissioner for the armed forces, Hellmut Königshaus, issued a report last week on the conditions of German soldiers stationed in southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş in Turkey. The report claimed that meals were monotonous and usually cold. Toilets were described as “filthy,” most of them unable to flush. The bodies of dead dogs, shot by Turkish soldiers, had been left to decompose on the site. Soldiers’ mail was being held back so that it did not reach them for days or even weeks, according to the report, which also added that soldiers were forced to exchange euros at poor rates in currency exchange offices.

The TSK statement denied the poor accommodation conditions, saying that German troops have been staying in four or five-star hotels since they arrived in Kahramanmaraş and are using field toilets and their own mobile toilets while on the ground.

In regards to Königshaus’s claims that the ground is covered with mud, the TSK said there has been a major effort to build a new road at the request of the German side.

Denying allegations that there are problems in communication and cooperation between German and Turkish soldiers, the TSK said all services including infirmaries, sports halls, military pubs and other social facilities are being used jointly with Turkish troops.

Königshaus has also claimed that one German female soldier was pushed by the Turkish commanding officer, a general, during a physical confrontation, adding that she later complained of bruising. The TSK responded that these reports do not reflect the truth.