16:52 GMT17 January 2021
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    Ankara has banned German lawmakers from visiting the Turkish Incirlik military base earlier this week.

    The trip was to take place on May 16, but the Turkish authorities refused to coordinate it.

    Turkey's move contributed to deteriorating Turkish-German relations. Following the incident, German officials announced their readiness to look for alternative military bases, for example in Jordan.

    In an interview with Sputnik Turkey, Mustafa Yeneroglu, a member of the Turkish parliament from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and chairman of the parliamentary Commission on Human Rights commented on the issue.

    "There are serious difficulties in Turkish-German relations, primarily related to Germany's decision to grant permanent asylum to individuals involved in an attempted coup in Turkey, as well as Germany's policy towards the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). This policy does not correspond to the statements of the German side about allied relations with Turkey. Turkey canceled the visit of the delegation of German deputies to the Incirlik base because this delegation could include people who openly support the PKK. This is an absolutely unacceptable situation for Turkey," the politician said.

    Commenting on Germany's statements about their readiness to withdraw German armed forces from Incirlik to Jordan, Yeneroglu said:

    "I'm not sure that the German public took this statement seriously. In Germany, everyone knows that Jordan can't become an alternative to Incirlik. It is simply impossible because this would mean the transfer to Jordan not only of the German troops, but also of the forces of the whole coalition. And this is not an issue that can now be seriously discussed at the technical level. And second, this is not Turkey's problem, it is a problem of Germany. Consequently, any decision remains with the German side," the politician stated.

    The Turkish Incirlik air base is used by the United States, along with several other NATO member countries, to carry out airstrikes against Daesh in Iraq and Syria. Hundreds of German personnel are also stationed at the base.

    Many experts are confident that Turkish authorities are aware of the importance of the base for NATO countries. There is no airfield that would be more convenient for NATO allies than Incirlik.

    Most airstrikes against Daesh take place in the north and east of Syria, and Jordan borders the Arab republic on the south. German pilots would have to overcome about 1400 km to fly to Raqqa and about 1800 km to Mosul. Thus, the Turkish government uses this situation as a means to reach its political goals, experts assume.


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