Turkish, German defense ministers pledge ‘unity against terrorism’
AA PhotoThe defense ministers of Turkey and Germany have pledged “unity” in the fight against terrorism, little more than a week after 10 German tourists were killed in Istanbul’s historic quarter by an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suicide bomber.
“The presence of my esteemed colleague here is an important and concrete sign of the cooperation and unity shown in the fight against terrorism on the global scale,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz as saying at the İncirlik air base in the southern province of Adana during a joint press conference with German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Jan. 21.
“As a member of the international coalition against Daesh, Turkey is using the opportunity and capabilities it possesses at a maximum level and is also sharing them with other countries. Opening the İncirlik base to the use of friendly and allied states should be evaluated from this perspective,” said Yılmaz, using an Arabic acronym to refer to ISIL.
Von der Leyen said the cooperation between Turkey and Germany in the fight against ISIL was being “consolidated.”
“Our countries are portraying unity in alliance in [the international fight against ISIL]. We are shoulder to shoulder in counter-terrorism. That’s why our warplanes and tanker aircraft are here at İncirlik. We know the refugees in Europe are fleeing from terrorism,” said von der Leyen.