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Iran Press TV

Turkey allows German defense minister's visit to air base

Iran Press TV

Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:27PM

Turkey has agreed to grant a visit to German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen to an air base south of the country a day after the minister reacted angrily to Ankara's refusal to allow a trip to the base by a German political delegation.

A spokesman for the German Defense Ministry welcomed on Monday Turkey's consent to the visit by Von der Leyen to Incirlik, saying the German minister would try in her visit to gain the approval for a trip to the base by lawmakers which was originally planned for July.

Von der Leyen on Sunday slammed Turkey's decision to bar Germany's state secretary for defense, Ralf Brauksiepe, and some lawmakers from making the trip to Incirlik in southern Turkey, saying she will personally go there to talk to around 250 German soldiers stationed in the camp to fight against Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

In her criticism of Turkey's blocking of the trip by lawmakers, Von der Leyen had said that she would look at the housing situation at the base before finalizing a 60-million-euro ($66-million) deal for Germany to build new barracks there.

The German minister had also said she would use her visit "to explain to Turkey what it means to have a military under parliamentary control."

Germany increased its contribution to the US-led so-called international coalition attacks against Daesh in Iraq and Syria when in December it sent Tornado surveillance jets and tanker aircraft to Incirlik.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had called the planned visit by German lawmakers as "inappropriate." The blocking of the visit by the German delegation came after the German parliament decided this month to recognize the killing of Armenians by the Ottomans in the World War I as genocide.

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