New Russian Ambassador to Turkey Visits Ankara For Special Parliamentary Session

Pauline Gross
July 17, 2017

Germany has refused to extradite asylum seekers Turkey says were involved in a coup attempt past year, Berlin is demanding the release of a Turkish-German journalist, and Ankara has refused to let German lawmakers visit soldiers at two air bases.

"We hope that Germany and Turkey are able to find a mutually acceptable date for a visit", a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokesman said.

"Under these conditions, I see no way to extend the mandate", said Hellmich, adding that Turkey's decision had been conveyed to the German Foreign Ministry a day earlier on Thursday.

Turkey asked the legislators to postpone a scheduled visit next Monday to a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation base in Konya, the German foreign ministry said, adding that it regretted the decision.

For historical reasons, Germany's armed forces remain under parliamentary control, with Berlin insisting that lawmakers must have access to its soldiers at all times.

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The dispute comes after Germany last month pulled out 260 troops from Turkey's Incirlik base, from where a multinational coalition is fighting the Islamic State group, and redeployed them and their Tornado surveillance jets to Jordan.

German parliamentarians were then again barred from visiting Incirlik in May of this year after Berlin refusal to extradite Turkish asylum seekers who find themselves on Ankara's post-coup "purge" lists.

Prior to the potential S-400 deal, Turkey had purchased only minor weaponry including rocket-propelled grenades from Russian Federation.

With a German parliamentary election due in September, relations with Turkey are an especially sensitive issue, exposing her to criticism from other parties that hope to unseat her.

"This whole issue is unfortunate, very unfortunate", Merkel told public broadcaster ARD, adding that more talks were needed to find a solution, also with the help of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Other reports by GizPress

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