Chancellor threatens to pull German troops out of Turkey

Chancellor Angela Merkel is considering withdrawing German troops stationed in Turkey after a diplomatic row with Ankara, potentially disrupting the international mission against Isis. Financial Times reports in its article Merkel threatens to pull German troops out of Turkey that Ms Merkel was responding to Turkey’s decision to block a visit by German parliamentarians to the Incirlik air base, where about 250 German troops are operating reconnaissance and refuelling flights linked to the anti-IS campaign.

The chancellor said on Monday that it was essential for lawmakers to visit the soldiers as parliament controls German military deployments. “We will continue to talk with Turkey, but in parallel we will have to explore other ways of fulfilling our mission,” Ms Merkel said. “That means looking at alternatives to Incirlik, and one alternative among others is Jordan.”

Ankara’s move followed the German authorities’ decisions to grant asylum to 414 Turkish military officers and diplomats, and their families. They had sought sanctuary in Germany after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a crackdown following last summer’s failed military coup. Berlin is also protesting against the detention on terrorism-related charges of two German citizens: journalist Deniz Yucel, who has been held since February, and translator Mesale Tolu, who was arrested last month. Germany has repeatedly expressed concern about the scale of Mr Erdogan’s purge and about anti-German rhetoric in the recent referendum in which Mr Erdogan successfully sought support for bolstering his presidential powers. Earlier this year, German authorities prevented a number of Turkish politicians from campaigning for Mr Erdogan in the country. Ms Merkel has further warned that she sees as a “red line” any attempt by Ankara to hold a referendum on reintroducing the death penalty, as Mr Erdogan is reportedly considering. Such a move would almost certainly mark the end of negotiations for Turkey’s EU accession — talks which have been frozen since last summer’s crackdown.

The German-backed EU-Turkey refugee agreement, which aimed to stop migrants leaving Turkey for the EU, has remained in place despite threats from Mr Erdogan to pull out. Ankara is angry that a crucial aspect of the agreement — visa-free travel for Turks — has not been implemented. But Brussels says that even before the coup Turkey did not meet the conditions, including reforms of its anti-terror laws. In Brussels’ view, the position has deteriorated further since last summer with tens of thousands detained.

Ms Merkel and Mr Erdogan are due to meet in Brussels next week during a Nato summit.

The German lawmakers’ visits to Incirlik have been blocked once before: last summer, they were banned for months after the Bundestag approved a motion condemning the 1915 massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

2685 views


More Turkey News

Turkey rejects appeal against ban on Booking.com

Turkey rejects appeal against ban on Booking.com

Turkish court has rejected online travel agent Booking.com's appeal against a ban on its activities, broadcaster NTV and the pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper reported. An Istanbul court banned Booking.com on March 29 for an …

Main issues of NATO summit in Brussels

Main issues of NATO summit in Brussels

German–Turkish relations, the Americans rely on the Kurds, the Europeans do not want to pay

 Authorities warn of possible terrorist attack in Ankara

Authorities warn of possible terrorist attack in Ankara

The governorate of the Turkish province of Ankara has warned of a possible terror attack in the country’s capital. The governorate noted that terrorists may hit citizens’ rallies, and in this regard it has banned holding any …

 Merkel and Erdgoan to discuss Incirlik airbase in Brussels

Merkel and Erdgoan to discuss Incirlik airbase in Brussels

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she is going to "clearly indicate" in talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Germany will leave the Incirlik airbase if German lawmakers are now …

 Two Turkish servicemen killed in Agri

Two Turkish servicemen killed in Agri

Two Turkish soldiers and a policeman have been killed in two separate clashes with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in eastern Turkey, security sources said. Early on Thursday, PKK fighters opened fire in a mountainous area of …

Moscow allows supplies of Turkish vegetables to Russia

Moscow allows supplies of Turkish vegetables to Russia

Turkish products will be supplied to the Russian market immediately after the politically motivated trade restrictions are lifted, the head of Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) …

Erdogan: NATO should give more support to member states in their fight against terrorism

Erdogan: NATO should give more support to member states in their fight against terrorism

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will have a packed schedule during a visit to Brussels, where he will attend a NATO summit, and reiterate Turkey's determination to seek support and cooperation from …

Erdogan: Turkey highly appreciates Azerbaijan’s achievements in all areas

Erdogan: Turkey highly appreciates Azerbaijan’s achievements in all areas

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent a congratulatory letter to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. “I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Your Excellency …

Angela Merkel-Tayyip Erdogan meet likely at NATO summit

Angela Merkel-Tayyip Erdogan meet likely at NATO summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is planning to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a NATO summit tomorrow in Brussels, her spokesman said, Zee News reported. "It is quite likely …

Turkey limits imports of all Russian agricultural products

Turkey limits imports of all Russian agricultural products

Turkish exporters decided to limit the import of all types of Russian agricultural products to 20-25% of the total volume of imports, the member of the Management Board of the Istanbul Association of Exporters Zekeriya Mete …

more Turkey News