Germany will have to pull its forces out of the Incirlik air force base in southern Turkey because of Turkish government restrictions on German lawmakers seeking to visit troops there, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday. Gabriel was speaking after a meeting in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, which had aimed to address the standoff over Incirlik and other diplomatic tensions between the two NATO allies.
“My Turkish colleague explained to me that in the current situation, Turkey is not able to allow every visit by German parliamentarians to Incirlik – for domestic reasons,” Gabriel told a news conference. “I regret that. Conversely, I ask for understanding that we – for domestic political reasons – must transfer soldiers out of Incirlik, because the German parliament has a parliamentary army and places value on German lawmakers being able to visit Bundeswehr soldiers at any time.”
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