Turkish, German FMs to discuss rift over İncirlik air base: President Erdoğan
Fikret Bila – ANKARA
REUTERS photoThe foreign ministers of Turkey and Germany will discuss the latest rift between Ankara and Berlin over the refusal of a German delegation’s visit to the İncirlik air base in the southern province of Adana, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.
On May 15, Turkey rejected a group of German lawmakers’ request to visit the base on the grounds that Berlin granted asylum to former Turkish officers who allegedly took part in the July 2016 failed coup attempt. The move immediately prompted Germany to discuss whether to remove its troops stationed at the base unless the crisis is resolved, with German officials naming Jordan as one of the alternatives.
Erdoğan said Ankara would certainly allow the German lawmakers’ visit to the base on condition that the list of visitors sent by the German foreign minister is seen suitable, as it was in the past. However, he also noted that sometimes there are lawmakers who “openly supported terrorists.”
“Sometimes there may be those who openly support terrorists among German lawmakers ... We expressed that some who openly support terrorists and almost act together with them will not be welcomed. Right now, our foreign ministers will discuss the issue with each other and we will take a step accordingly,” Erdoğan said on May 26 while returning to Turkey after meeting with top EU officials and leaders in Brussels.
Ankara had previously banned German lawmakers from visiting the base for months in response to a resolution in the Bundestag describing the 1915 killings of Armenians under Ottoman rule as genocide, a term that Ankara denies.