08:43 GMT23 January 2021
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    Germany will decide on the redeployment of its military forces from the Turkish Incirlik base to another country by mid-June. The move is a response to Ankara's decision to ban a group of German lawmakers from visiting Incirlik.

    According to Haldun Solmaztürk, former head of the Office for International Security of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, Turkey and Germany no longer regard each other as allies.

    "Alliances of states are created in order to provide mutual support to each other. The fact that a crisis has developed between the two NATO member countries around the Incirlik base actually reflects the existing serious problems not only in Turkish-German relations, but also within NATO," the expert told Sputnik Turkey.

    At the same time, Solmaztürk noted the the Turkish-German crisis over the Incirlik military base is a superficial reflection of deep disagreements between the two countries.

    "This crisis and the unwillingness of the parties to resolve it prove that Turkey and Germany no longer treat each other as member states of the common alliance that are obliged to protect and support each other. Today the relations between Ankara and Berlin are openly hostile. It is hard to say whether the German troops will eventually be relocated from Incirlik. But the very fact that such question has arisen makes us think about the causes of this crisis," the expert noted.

    Turkey blocked a group of German lawmakers from visiting the air base earlier in May prompting Chancellor Angela Merkel to suggest that Berlin will consider moving some 250 troops stationed at Incirlik to a neighboring country.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday that Ankara would not allow German lawmakers to visit the Incirlik air base as long as Germany takes steps against Turkey.

    In particular, Turkish authorities severely criticized Germany's decision to offer asylum to a group of Turkish soldiers who sought refuge in Germany following last July's failed military putsch.

    For its turn, the German government has given Turkey two weeks to resolve issues regarding Berlin's use of the Incirlik air base, or otherwise the Bundeswehr will move its contingent to a different base in Jordan, Kuwait or Cyprus, German officials said on Friday.


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    Incirlik Air Base, NATO, Germany, Europe, Turkey
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