Germany’s Gabriel warns Turkey against ‘blackmail’ over Incirlik base

Germany’s foreign minister has said Berlin may pull its troops out of a base in Turkey if lawmakers aren’t allowed to visit. The latest spat comes as two Turkish generals reportedly applied for asylum in Frankfurt, Deutsche Welle reports.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel sharply criticized Turkey’s decision to block a parliament delegation from visiting Bundeswehr soldiers stationed at Turkey’s Incirlik base in an interview on Wednesday.

If “the German parliament is to be blackmailed, then the limit of tolerance has been reached,” Gabriel told German newspaper the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

“I can only hope that the Turkish government will change its mind in the coming days,” he said. “Otherwise, the German Bundestag will certainly not leave soldiers in Turkey.”

Gabriel noted that if cooperative work is no longer possible out of Incirlik, including that members of parliament can visit soldiers at the base, “then we have to consider alternatives.”

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