BERLIN—Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier rejected Ankara’s demand that official Berlin distance itself from the Bundestag’s Armenian Genocide recognition as a precondition for German lawmakers to gain access to the Incirlik air base to visit German soldiers stationed there.
On Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mehmet Cavusogly said that Turkish permission for German lawmakers to visit the Incirlik air base will depend on the German government distancing itself from a resolution recognizing the 1915 massacre of Armenians as genocide, reported Reuters.
Turkey, angered by a resolution passed by the German parliament in June that described the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as a genocide, has denied German lawmakers access to the base near the Syrian frontier.
“I don’t think this has anything to do with the matter and I have told this to my Turkish counterpart,” Steinmeier was quoted by the Deutsche Welle publication.
Steinmeier added that if Turkey continues denying German lawmakers access to the airbase, German troops dispatched there to fight ISIS will be withdrawn, reported Deutsche Welle.
“Since the federal parliament affirms the issue of foreign military missions in Incirlik, then it is necessary for the lawmakers to be able to visit the mission,” he asserted.
Also on Tuesday, Germany’s European Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, told the Bild newspaper that Turkey would probably not join the European Union while Recep Tayyip Erdogan was president.