Germany’s lawmakers will once again be able to visit troops stationed at an airbase in Turkey, after Ankara softened its stance against Berlin. EurActiv Germany reports.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that he welcomed the Turkish government’s approval of a planned visit by the defence committee. “Members of parliament have to be able to visit a parliamentary army (the Bundeswehr). The Turkish government’s decision is a step in the right direction,” Steinmeier said.
Social Democratic defence expert Rainer Arnold is hopeful a visit will happen between 4 and 6 October.
The German government is seeking to distance itself from a recent resolution that saw the Armenian massacre recognised as genocide, according to media reports. Berlin hopes Turkey will overturn its ban on MPs visiting troops stationed in the country as a result. EurActiv Germany reports.
Turkey had banned German politicians from visiting its Incirlik base after the Bundestag voted to officially recognise the Armenian Genocide. The German government has since reiterated that the resolution is not legally binding, which perhaps was a contributing factor to Ankara repealing its ban.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the G20 summit in China that, after talks with Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, that she expected positive news on the issue within the coming days.
The Incirlik base is currently hosting around 200 soldiers and a number of reconnaissance aircraft, as Germany is participating in the US-led fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.