Turkey ‘blocking’ German MPs’ visit to Incirlik air base

Turkey is blocking plans by a senior German delegation to visit the Incirlik air base, German officials have said.

Germany has 250 soldiers and several planes at the base in southern Turkey, from where they carry out operations against so-called Islamic State (IS).

But ties between Berlin and Ankara have been strained by a German parliamentary vote to label as genocide the 1915 killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.

Turkey has not commented on why it has not approved the German plans.

The visit had been expected to take place in July.

“The Turkish authorities at the moment are not approving the travel plans,” a German defence ministry spokesman said.

“There is no written statement on the reason.” He added that the delegation, headed by deputy defence minister Ralf Brauksiepe and including other members of parliament, still hoped the trip could go ahead.

Last week, Germany’s defence ministry said it was finalising an agreement with Turkey on building new housing and aircraft facilities for the German troops at Incirlik.

The latest sign of troubled relations between the two Nato allies comes three weeks after the German parliament’s declaration about genocide.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced the vote, recalled his ambassador from Berlin and said he was considering further action in response.

Source: BBC

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