Bundestag Vice President Explains Why German MPs Canceled Visit to Turkey

© AP Photo / Michael Sohn / German flags wave in front of the Reichstag building, host of the German Federal Parliament Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany. (File)
German flags wave in front of the Reichstag building, host of the German Federal Parliament Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany. (File) - Sputnik International
A group of German lawmakers canceled this week's visit to Turkey over political pressure exerted by Ankara, a member of the delegation and Bundestag's Vice President Claudia Roth said on Wednesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Roth said Turkish authorities told the delegation that political talks with the German lawmakers would not be held.

“De facto that is equal to the rejection of political dialogue. One can say this is a red card to the German Bundestag" Roth said, as quoted by the Spiegel magazine.

She called Turkey's pressure a new stage of escalation by Turkey.

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Four German lawmakers were planning to visit the Turkish cities of Ankara, Diyarbakir and Istanbul in order to discuss internal Turkish developments as well as the nation's relations with the European Union, according to the German parliament's statement. The visit’s cancellation was announced by Roth on Tuesday.

The lawmakers planned on meeting with Turkish lawmakers, representatives of the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of EU Affairs, as well as human rights activists in Ankara. In Kurdish-dominated city of Diyarbair, meetings with the local governor, members of the city council, local lawmakers and representatives of the civil society were planned. In Istanbul, Bundestag members were set to meet artists, academics and think tanks. The lawmakers did not plan to visit the Incirlik air base where German troops are stationed.

The visit was set to be conducted amid the deterioration of relations between the two countries since Germany banned Turkish pre-referendum rallies on their soil, as well as Ankara's earlier refusal to let lawmakers from Berlin visit the Incirlik air base, where German troops are stationed. German Ambassador to Turkey Martin Erdmann said on Tuesday that Berlin and Ankara were working on resolving the issue surrounding the Incirlik base.

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