Turkey and Germany are working to resolve a bilateral crisis over Ankara’s rejection of a number of German lawmakers’ visit to the Incirlik base, where German troops are based, German Ambassador to Turkey Martin Erdmann has said.
“We are continuing our work to resolve this saddening problem. I have visited İncirlik twice in the past but not this time,” Erdmann told reporters on May 23 during a visit to Adana, a southern province where the İncirlik base is also located.
“The fact that my visit to is Adana happening at the same time as the ongoing İncirlik crisis is just a coincidence. My visit to Adana was arranged long ago,” he added.
Germany has about 250 military personnel stationed at the İncirlik base that fly Tornado surveillance missions over Syria, as well as refueling flights for partner nations battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Turkey rejected a group of German lawmakers’ request to visit the base on the grounds that Berlin granted asylum to former Turkish officers who allegedly took part in the failed July 2016 coup attempt.
Germany is discussing whether to remove its troops from Turkey if the crisis is not resolved, while also looking for other options to station its soldiers and Tornados.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has reportedly intensified his efforts to resolve the problem between the two allies, ahead of the alliance’s annual summit in Brussels on May 24 and 25.