Berlin on Monday slammed Ankara’s refusal to allow German lawmakers to visit a NATO base near Syria and warned it could move its troops elsewhere.
The German foreign ministry described as “absolutely unacceptable” Turkey’s latest ban on a visit to the Incirlik base in southern Turkey, used by the international coalition fighting the Islamic State group.
Germany has about 250 military personnel stationed there, flying Tornado surveillance missions over Syria and refuelling flights for partner nations battling IS jihadists.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said Turkey’s position was “unfortunate” and that Germany, while continuing talks to resolve the issue, would also “search for alternatives to Incirlik”, including in Jordan.
A defence ministry spokesman said Jordan offered “the best conditions” after Berlin had also looked at Kuwait and Cyprus since Turkey first denied such visits to German MPs for several months last year.
The spokesman cautioned however that any move would involve shifting hundreds of containers of materiel and would take several months.
Another row last year, centred on a sensitive historical question, had led Turkey to deny German lawmakers the right to visit Incirlik for several months.
The German parliament had voted in June to recognise the Ottoman Empire’s World War I-era massacre of Armenians as a genocide.
After the vote, a furious Erdogan accused German lawmakers of Turkish origin of having “tainted blood”.
Armenians say up to 1.5 million people were killed between 1915 and 1917 as the Ottoman Empire was falling apart.
Full article: Germany warns it could pull its NATO troops out of Turkey base (Spacewar)