Berlin regrets Turkey's decision on Incirlik base

Berlin regrets Turkey's decision on Incirlik base

Berlin regrets Turkey's government restrictions on German lawmakers seeking to visit troops at the Incirlik air force base, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

"My Turkish colleague explained to me that in the current situation, Turkey is not able to allow every visit by German parliamentarians to Incirlik - for domestic reasons," Gabriel told a news conference after a meeting in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu.

"I regret that. Conversely, I ask for understanding that we - for domestic political reasons - must transfer soldiers out of Incirlik, because the German parliament has a parliamentary army and places value on German lawmakers being able to visit Bundeswehr soldiers at any time," Reuters cited Gabriel as saying.

Gabriel said that visits by parliamentarians are a requirement of the German constitution and parliamentary system, and it will not be possible for Berlin to retain troops in Incirlik under the circumstances. He said, however, that Germany had no concrete plans yet for the withdrawal of troops.

Gabriel added that Berlin welcomed Turkey's decision to allow visits to Konya and that Germany did not want to escalate the tensions.

"Turkey and Germany are going through a troubled period," he added.