Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Germany
May 18, 2017 Thursday
Germany asks US to intervene in Turkish airbase row
DPA POLITICS US diplomacy Germany Turkey Germany asks US to intervene
in Turkish airbase row Washington
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel turned
Wednesday to the United States for help in resolving a spat with
Ankara over access to a Turkish air base.
During a meeting in Washington, Gabriel asked US Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson to use his influence after Turkey denied German
lawmakers access to the Incirlik base, which is hosting 268 German
troops who are part of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic
The decision to block the delegation, which had been scheduled to
arrive on Tuesday, was taken in part as a response to Germany's
decision to grant political asylum to Turkish soldiers in the wake of
last year's failed coup.
"I believe that the Americans will also use the opportunities they
have to talk to the Turkish side to say that we must have a different
relationship with each other than the current one," Gabriel said.
A delegation of German lawmakers including members of a parliamentary
defence committee were last year denied access to Incirlik, but were
later allowed to visit.
The dispute first arose after the German parliament voted to
designate the mass killing of Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans
a genocide. Turkey is the Ottoman Empire's successor state and
disputes the designation.
The German government is now considering withdrawing its troops from
Incirlik, with Jordan a likely alternative.
Gabriel's discussions in Washington also focused on the conflict in
Ukraine and the Syrian war.
According to Gabriel, there was no discussion of reports that US
President Donald Trump may have passed on sensitive information from
Israeli intelligence sources to Russia.
The German foreign minister emphasized that this would not have any
effect on the cooperation between the US and the German intelligence
Their close cooperation was "absolutely necessary" for security in
Germany and Europe, he said.
“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS