Turkish FM says it is not appropriate for politicians to visit US base in İncirlik

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a press conference on Thursday that visits by politicians to the NATO military air base of İncirlik is not appropriate, in response to Turkey’s recent refusal of a German delegation’s visit.

Çavuşoğlu added that Ankara approves visits to the İncirlik base in Turkey’s south by military and technical delegations.

The statement came after a recent row, where Turkey did not grant permission to a German delegation, including an official of the Ministry of Defense and a number of German lawmakers, who were planning to visit the military base in July.

Currently, the base is primarily used by the US-led coalition forces for launching airstrikes over terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets on Iraqi and Syrian soil.

Germany claims that Turkey’s denial of visit to the İncirlik base stems from a recent resolution which passed German parliament on June 2 and recognized 1915’s mass killing of Armenians by Ottomans as “genocide.” Germany’s move strained ties between the two countries as Turkey immediately called back Turkish Ambassador to Berlin.

The resolution also prompted outrage among the Turkish public as Turkey does not consider the killings as genocide and says that there had been casualties from both sides during a time of war.

In response to the resolution, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made harsh remarks targeting Turkish-German lawmakers in the German parliament, who backed the decision.

 

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