Turkey maintains ban on German visits to Incirlik base

"Right now it is possible to visit the NATO base in Konya (in central Turkey), not Incirlik," Mevlut Cavusoglu told a news conference with his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel in Ankara. 

Turkey maintains ban on German visits to Incirlik base

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey will maintain a ban on visits by German politicians to a key airbase used for raids against the Islamic State group in Syria, the foreign minister said Monday.

The Incirlik base in southern Turkey has been at the centre of a spat between the NATO allies since Ankara blocked a visit last month by German parliamentarians.

Germany has 250 military personnel stationed there flying Tornado surveillance missions over Syria and refuelling flights for partner nations battling IS jihadists.

Turkey justified preventing the German parliamentary group from visiting the base by accusing Berlin of having offered political asylum to Turkish nationals who took part in the July 2016 attempted coup.

Cavusoglu said on Monday that Turkey had no problem with Germany, which is a major trade partner, adding: "If Germany takes one step forward toward us, we will always take two steps further."

But he said some facts cannot be ignored, adding that more than 400 Turkish diplomatic or official passport holders had sought asylum in Germany.

"We would not like to see members of FETO take shelter in friendly country Germany," he said, referring to a movement led by Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for masterminding the failed coup.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Haziran 2017, 13:42