Turkey Prevents German Delegation From Visiting Incirlik Airbase
German officials have said that Turkey is blocking a visit by a senior delegation to Turkey’s Incirlik Airbase, where Berlin has deployed planes and personnel as part of the US-led war against the Islamic State (ISIS).
“Turkish officials do not currently approve of the travel plans,” a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry told the German Spiegel magazine on Wednesday.
“There is no written statement on the reason,” the spokesman added.
The trip, he explained, was scheduled for July but cannot be carried out as originally planned since the Turkish authorities have yet to approve of it.
Germany’s Deputy Defense Minister Ralf Brauksiepe and other parliamentary members hope their trip will go ahead.
Ankara has yet to give any reason for not approving the delegations visit.
Germany currently has six Panavia Tornado reconnaissance jets, an aerial refueling tanker and 250 soldiers deployed to Incirlik.
This development comes a week after the German Defense Ministry was concluding an agreement to build new facilities at Incirlik for these planes and soldiers.
Early this month the German parliament approved a bill which officially recognized the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottomans in 1915 as genocide, a move strongly condemned by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the senior Turkish leaders.