Germany, Turkey fail to break deadlock over air base visit
Turkey on Monday refused to budge on its decision to refuse German lawmakers permission to visit troops stationed at a Turkish air base, saying it expected "positive steps" on Turkey's requests for Germany to crackdown on Kurdish rebels and alleged coup plotters.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his visiting German counterpart, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey would allow German legislators to visit a NATO base in the central province of Konya, but not Incirlik Air Base, where some 270 German troops are stationed with Tornado reconnaissance jets and a refueling plane. The German troops are part of the international coalition against the Islamic State group.
"At the moment, a visit to Konya is possible but not to Incirlik," Cavusoglu said during the news conference with Germany's Sigmar Gabriel. "In the future, if the conditions are there and there is normalization (a visit to) Incirlik may be possible." "If Germany takes positive steps, we will always take two (positive) steps. But we cannot ignore the current situation," he said.
Turkey blocked the visit to Incirlik, angered by German authorities' decision to grant asylum to soldiers and other individuals that Turkey accuses of participating in last year's failed coup and also accuses of harboring Kurdish militant groups.