Merkel: Germany may move troops from Turkey to Jordan

Merkel: Germany may move troops from Turkey to Jordan
2 min read
15 May, 2017
The German chancellor made the stark warning after Ankara blocked applications by a group of German lawmakers to visit soldiers at the Incirlik air base.
Actors Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans visited the air base in December [Anadolu]

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Berlin may pull its troops from Turkey following a recent deterioration in relations.

The chancellor's latest warning comes after Turkey denied visas to German lawmakers who wanted to visit troops at the Incirlik air base, located near Adana in south Turkey.

"We will continue to talk with Turkey, but in parallel we will have to explore other ways of fulfilling our mandate," Merkel said at a press conference on Monday.

"That means looking at alternatives to İncirlik, and one alternative among others is Jordan," she said.

Germany currently has 250 personnel based at Incirlik, which it uses as a base to launch air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria, as part of a US-led coalition.

Members of the German parliament's defence committee were blocked from visiting the base by Turkey, Germany's NATO ally.

But relations between the two countries have thawed in recent months after Germany refused visa applications to a group of Turkish parliamentarians in the run up to last month's referendum on extending President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers.

A spokesperson for Berlin's foreign ministry said it was "completely unacceptable" for Turkey to block the MPs' planned visit to German personnel at the base.

German media has reported that more than 400 Turkish military personnel, diplomats, and judges have sought political asylum in Germany - along with their families - since an attempted military coup last July.