German deputies to visit air base in Konya next month
The visit of German deputies to the NATO air base in Konya has been agreed and will take place on September 8.
A delegation of German deputies, accompanied by a senior NATO official, will visit German soldiers serving at the air base in Turkey on Sept. 8 as part of a NATO trip, Turkey’s foreign ministry said today.
NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller will lead the delegation which will reportedly consist of seven members of Germany’s Parliamentary Committee.
Between 20 and 30 German troops are currently stationed at the base in support of NATO’s operations against the ISIS in Syria.
A row over access to German soldiers at Turkish bases has heightened tensions between the NATO allies and fueled a wider row.
Turkey on July 14 refused to give permission to seven German deputies who were planning to visit German soldiers stationed at a NATO base in the central Turkish province of Konya, after Germany did not allow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to address Turkish expats when he visited Hamburg for the G20 summit.
Germany’s armed forces are under parliamentary control and Berlin insists deputies must have access to them.
Ankara’s repeated refusals to allow deputies visit German soldiers at Turkey’s İncirlik air base prompted Berlin to relocate those troops to Jordan.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had previously said that Jordan would be one possible host country. On his way to Turkey Monday, Gabriel had tweeted that German soldiers should not be at “the mercy of the political weather.” (EVRENSEL DAILY)