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    Why Turkey Feels Abandoned by Allies in Its Anti-Terror Effort

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    The head of the Directorate for International Programs of the Institute of Foreign Policy in Ankara and former ambassador of Turkey to Sweden and Finland, Oktay Aksoy, spoke to Sputnik Turkey in an interview about how Germany is neglecting Turkey’s demands.

    The crisis in Turkish-German relations continues to grow and, according to the diplomat, it is not Ankara who is responsible for this, but Berlin, because it is constantly ignoring Turkish demands.

    Turkey has provided Germany with its territory for deployment of foreign troops for the purpose of a common fight against Daesh.

    However, instead of gratitude from its NATO allies, Ankara receives rebukes.

    “We would like the Turkish-German relations to develop. There are about 3 million Turks living in Germany. In the past, we had quite a close relationship and we are NATO allies. However, unfortunately, today Berlin refuses to understand Ankara. We are very worried about this,” Aksoy told Sputnik Turkey.

    He further said that German troops were deployed on the Incirlik base within the framework of allied relations with NATO. However, given the impossibility of eliminating existing differences, it becomes increasingly problematic to continue such an allied contact.

    “I would like the Germans to look at this problem from this point of view as well,” the ex-diplomat said.

    Although both Turkey and Germany are together in their fight against terrorism, the diplomat feels that Germany should not ignore Turkish demands and should express gratitude that Turkey allows deployment of foreign troops on its territory.

    “I hope that during the NATO summit this issue will be resolved because in reality, Turkey does not benefit from the fact that it allows Germans to be deployed on its territory,” Aksoy said.

    He further said, “We have great doubts about the fact that our NATO allies are serious about cooperation within the framework of a common struggle against Daesh. On many issues related to this, Turkey is experiencing loneliness and misunderstanding from its NATO allies. In fact, Turkey has to fight Daesh alone,” the ex-diplomat said.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters Thursday after arriving at the NATO summit in Brussels that she is going to "clearly indicate" in talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Germany will leave the Incirlik air base if German lawmakers are now allowed to visit it.

    On Wednesday, when commenting on the issue, Erdogan wished Germany a "happy journey" if Berlin decides to withdraw its forces from Incirlik.

    Turkey blocked a group of German lawmakers from visiting the servicemen earlier in May prompting Chancellor Angela Merkel to suggest that Berlin may consider moving some 250 troops stationed at Incirlik to one of the neighboring countries.

    German-Turkish relations deteriorated after the German parliament’s decision in June to label the 1915 massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

    Following this decision, Ankara restricted a delegation of German lawmakers from accessing the air base in June 2016. Nonetheless, in October, Turkey allowed the delegation to visit the base.

    In November 2016, German media reported that military officials have traveled to Jordan’s capital Amman to investigate a possible relocation of Tornado spy jets from southern Turkey.

    The Turkish Incirlik air base stations hundreds of German personnel and several Tornado jets to carry out airstrikes against Daesh in Iraq and Syria alongside the United States and several other NATO member states.

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    Tags:
    military base, anti-terrorist cooperation, allies, deployment, foreign troops, interview, NATO, Turkey
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