Turkey says German politicians' base visit ‘inappropriate’

Jet fighters at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey (File Photo: AP)

Turkey has barred a German political delegation from visiting an air base used to launch coalition air raids against ISIS militants in Syria because it would be “inappropriate,” Ankara said Thursday.

Berlin said earlier this week that Ankara had cancelled the scheduled July visit to the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey by Germany’s state secretary for defense Ralf Brauksiepe and other lawmakers.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the delegation's visit “is not seen as appropriate,” although he left open the door to a non-political delegation.

“If a military, technical team from Germany wants to come, they can do so... their aircraft and soldiers are deployed there,” Cavusoglu said. “But we do not see it appropriate for others to come.”

Germany angered NATO ally Turkey when its parliament passed a resolution this month calling the World War I killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces a “genocide.”

Cavusoglu refrained from linking the government’s denial of the visit with the genocide resolution, although German media reported that Turkey had said it blocked the visit because of the Armenia vote.

Germany last December agreed to send Tornado surveillance jets and tanker aircraft to Incirlik to aid the multinational coalition fighting the ISIS group in Syria.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51