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Berlin Fears Retaliation Against Forces in Turkey After Genocide Resolution

© AFP 2021 / TOBIAS SCHWARZ / POOLA technician works on a German Tornado jet at the air base in Incirlik, Turkey, on January 21, 2016
A technician works on a German Tornado jet at the air base in Incirlik, Turkey, on January 21, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The German military is fearful of Turkish 'retaliation' following the German parliament's official recognition that the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against the Armenians during the First World War, Spiegel Online reports.

According to the publication, the German Ministry of Defense fears that "out of anger" Ankara might hinder the implementation of joint projects, and in the worst case scenario, break off cooperation altogether.

Moreover, Spiegel Online noted, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen had discussed Turkey's possible reaction to the resolution on the Ottoman genocide of the Armenians before the vote even took place.

And "although Ankara is a NATO member and a partner to Germany, the Turks, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are considered capricious and unpredictable," the resource added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, offers his hand to shake hands with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel (File) - Sputnik International
Erdogan ‘Trying to Outdo Ataturk’: Germany’s Genocide Vote Sends Shockwaves
The cooperation at stake comes down, first and foremost, to the deployment of German Tornado reconnaissance aircraft at Turkey's Incirlik airbase. Earlier, Spiegel had reported that Berlin planned to spend €65 million on the construction of its own base there, including a mobile command post. The base is considered essential to the long-term German fight against Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) terrorism.

The German planes have been operating in Syria and Iraq out of the Turkish base for several months now, but formal negotiations on their deployment are still ongoing. Spiegel indicated that the negotiations have been slow, and the new diplomatic scuffle isn't likely to make the situation any easier.

Also under threat is the joint operation in the Aegean Sea to combat the illegal smuggling of refugees and migrants from Turkey to Greece. Berlin had earlier made a considerable effort to persuade Ankara on the necessity of this mission.

At the moment, several warships are patrolling, but only in a portion of the Aegean. And since it is Germany which formally heads the operation, negotiations on the mission's expansion might be even more problematic. In the worst case scenario, Spiegel noted, the operation could collapse entirely.

© AP Photo / Ingo WagnerFILE - In this Jan. 14, 2014 file picture the supply ship Bonn leaves the German navy base Wilhelmshaven , Germany. NATO's European commander on Thursday Feb. 11, 2016 ordered three warships to move immediately to the Aegean Sea to help end the deadly smuggling of migrants between Turkey and Greece
FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2014 file picture the supply ship Bonn leaves the German navy base Wilhelmshaven , Germany. NATO's European commander on Thursday Feb. 11, 2016 ordered three warships to move immediately to the Aegean Sea to help end the deadly smuggling of migrants between Turkey and Greece - Sputnik International
FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2014 file picture the supply ship Bonn leaves the German navy base Wilhelmshaven , Germany. NATO's European commander on Thursday Feb. 11, 2016 ordered three warships to move immediately to the Aegean Sea to help end the deadly smuggling of migrants between Turkey and Greece

Armenian civilians escorted by Ottoman soldiers, being marched to a prison in southeastern Turkish city of Elazig, April 1915. - Sputnik International
Turkey 'Should Get Its Head Out of the Sand' Over Armenian Genocide Vote
On Thursday, lawmakers in Germany's parliament, the Bundestag, passed a resolution recognizing the Ottoman Empire's crimes against the Armenians during the First World War as genocide. Opinion polling by the Infratest dimap polling company has found that 74% of Germans support the Bundestag's decision.

Ankara, meanwhile, has protested the resolution and recalled its Ambassador to Berlin. Erdogan warned that it would seriously affect Turkish-German relations, while Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus called the decision a "historic mistake." 

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