turkey,BERLIN – Reuters,
Turkey has agreed to let German lawmakers visit soldiers serving at an air base in Turkey next month as part of a NATO trip, according to a letter from the German foreign minister showed on Aug. 8, after Ankara refused a visit there in July.
A letter from German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to the head of Germany’s parliamentary defense committee said Turkey had agreed to a NATO proposal for a visit to the air base near Konya on Sept. 8.
Under the plan, NATO’s Deputy General-Secretary Rose Gottemoeller would lead the delegation and take up to seven members of the parliamentary committee with her.
“The Turkish foreign minister has agreed to this proposal,” Gabriel wrote.
Details are reportedly still being worked out about which lawmakers would be included in the visit. Turkey had objected particularly strenuously to participation by members of Germany’s far-left Left party, which Ankara accuses of “supporting terrorists.”
Repeated refusals by Ankara to let lawmakers visit German soldiers at the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey prompted Berlin to relocate those troops to Jordan. Turkey also refused a visit from German MPs to the Konya base planned for mid-July.
Germany’s armed forces are under parliamentary control and Berlin insists lawmakers must have access to them.