00:11 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Demonstrators protest against resolution that labels the killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide in Berlin.

    Turkey Will Permit German MPs at Incirlik if They Stop ‘Manipulating’ History

    © REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke
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    After banning a delegation of high-ranking German officials from entering Incirlik Air Base in July, Turkey now says that German parliament members can enter if the country amends its stance on some of the darker points of the country’s history.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that a German delegation would be allowed on the Incirlik Air Base if "Germany takes the necessary steps."He didn’t specify what these steps should be at first, but the officials were denied entry after Germany passed a resolution declaring the 1915 mass killing of millions of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (current day Turkey) as "genocide." 

    Cavusoglu’s insistence that people who "manipulate" the history of Turkey "in an unfair manner" would not be allowed on the base lent credence to the notion that the resolution concerning the Armenian Genocide is at the root of the issue. On Monday the Turkish government confirmed that "necessary steps" would entail the German government renouncing the resolution, and then declaring that they do not support it.

    The blockage caused some German MPs to call for the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, to pull their troops from the base and shift operations to another locale. Cem Özdemir, co-leader of Germany's Green Party said, "As lawmakers who send soldiers to places, we must know where they are, how they are and be able to talk to the soldiers…If that is not possible in Turkey, then the soldiers must come back to Germany." 

    Germany’s European Affairs Minister Michael Roth visited Ankara and said the two nations have begun to take steps toward reconciliation. He told German broadcast company SWR, "I have the impression that there is great movement here," adding that "I hope and wish that parliamentarians from our Bundestag will soon be able to visit our soldiers."

    Incirlik houses about 240 German troops, a refueling tanker, and six German surveillance jets, used as part of a US-led coalition fighting Daesh.


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