Turkish FM: Germany can visit Incirlik if it stops supporting Armenian Genocide resolution
Turkish FM: Germany can visit Incirlik if it stops supporting Armenian Genocide resolution –
(Rudaw) – Turkey will grant permission to German lawmakers to visit its Incirlik airbase, where German planes partaking in the international coalition’s campaign against Islamic State (ISIS) are stationed, if the German government distances itself from its parliament’s resolution recognizing the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide.
“It depends on the steps taken by Germany. If they take the necessary steps, we will enable this visit,” said Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, in a press conference in Ankara on Monday.
“But unfortunately, I have to say that those that mingle and manipulate our history in an unfair manner cannot be allowed on this visit,” he said.
Foreign ministry officials confirmed to Reuters that “necessary steps” meant a clear indication from the German government that it did not support the parliament’s resolution on the genocide.
In early June, the German parliament, with a large majority vote, recognized the Armenian genocide. Turkey, which accepts that many Armenians were killed, denies that genocide took place. Ankara reacted to the vote quickly and angrily, withdrawing its ambassador in Berlin.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned at the time that the decision would have a serious impact on relations between the two countries and later that month, Turkey blocked the visit of a senior German delegation to Incirlik airbase, originally scheduled for July.
Germany is now readying to withdraw its planes from the airbase. “We would like to continue the mission from Turkey, but there are alternatives to the base in Incirlik,” the German Defense Ministry told Der Spiegel magazine last week.
Germany has six Panavia Tornado reconnaissance jets, an aerial refueling tanker, and 250 soldiers deployed to Incirlik.