Turkey Maintains Ban on German Vsits to Incirlik Airbase

Turkey Maintains Ban on German Vsits to Incirlik Airbase”

Germany has no choice but to pull its troops out of the key Turkish airbase of Incirlik, after failing to reach agreement with Ankara on visits by politicians, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Tuesday he did not expect a rapid normalization of ties between Germany and Turkey, due to significant differences on major issues.

Berlin will review Turkey's request for the extradition of almost 4,500 Turkish nationals living in Germany who are described as terror suspects by Ankara, according to Gabriel.

The Incirlik base in southern Turkey, used for raids against IS in Syria, has been at the centre of a dispute between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies since Ankara blocked a visit by German parliamentarians last month.

German officials said last month that 414 Turkish citizens with diplomatic passports and other government work permits had requested asylum since the attempted putsch.

Germany has over 250 military personnel stationed at Incirlik.

"If prepared well and with full support from Jordan and U.S. partners on the Jordanian base, Germany's absence would only be felt for several days or a week", Hähnlein said.

Ankara has also slammed Berlin for tolerating activities of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which has dozens of private schools, businesses and media organizations in the country.

There is no appetite in Germany, which faces elections in September, for making concessions to the Turkish government. "If Germany takes positive steps, we will always take two steps".

"We have to respect that Turkey for domestic political reasons can not approve visits".

Von der Leyen said in a statement that the ministry was prepared to move the 280 German soldiers in Incirlik to an air base in Jordan, which will pause refueling missions by two to three weeks and surveillance flights by two to three months.

However, Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Social Democrat coalition partners, said differences with Ankara would remain. A formal decision on the withdrawal of the German military from Turkey has not yet been taken, and there is no plan for how this can happen.

Turkey has reignited a row over access to German forces on its territory by imposing new restrictions on German lawmakers visiting Incirlik.

Immediately after the press conference, Turkey's Haberturk newspaper reported that a meeting between Gabriel and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had been called off. Gabriel met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for an hour later in the day, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported, without giving details on the content of their discussion.

Germany has said it may relocate troops that are based at Incirlik to Jordan over the impasse.

Turkey has been seeking to improve relations with Russian Federation. Berlin has severely criticized Ankara for a widespread crackdown that began in the wake of the coup attempt and has so far affected hundreds of thousands of people.

Commenting on the case of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, whom Turkey arrested in February on a charge of spreading terrorist propaganda, Cavusoglu said it was a matter for the courts.

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