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7/14/17

Germany: Turkey blocks German lawmakers from visiting NATO base at Konya

Ankara has denied German lawmakers permission to visit Bundeswehr troops stationed at a NATO base near the Turkish town of Konya. Similar incidents at Incirlik prompted Berlin to relocate some 250 troops to Jordan.

Germany's parliamentary defense committee was told on Friday that its trip to a NATO military base in south-western Turkey will be postponed, at the request of the Turkish government.

Committee chairman Wolfgang Hellmich told local media that Ankara had blocked the committee's trip to Konya, scheduled for Monday, on the back of worsening bilateral relations between the two countries.

This latest move from Ankara will only mark a further escalation in tensions between the two NATO allies. Turkey sparked a months-long row after it twice blocked German lawmakers from visiting the 250 Bundeswehr troops that were stationed at the southern Turkish base at Incirlik.

German parliamentarians were then again barred from visiting Incirlik in May of this year after Berlin refusal to extradite Turkish asylum seekers who find themselves on Ankara's post-coup "purge" lists.

In 2016, Turkey denied German lawmakers access in response to a resolution passed by the Bundestag declaring the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces was a "genocide."

"Under these conditions, I see no way to extend the mandate," said Hellmich, adding that Turkey's decision had been conveyed to the German Foreign Ministry a day earlier on Thursday.

Read more: Turkey blocks German lawmakers from visiting NATO base at Konya | News | DW | 14.07.2017

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