German parliament votes to withdraw troops from Turkey

Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, on Wednesday backed the plan to move some 260 soldiers currently at Incirlik to an air base in Jordan. There were 461 votes in favor of the withdrawal, 85 against and 23 abstentions, Deutsche Welle reports.

In a statement, the parliament said it expected the redeployment to proceed swiftly. “With the move out of Incirlik, we’ve reached a temporary low point in our relations with Turkey,” said SPD lawmaker Niels Annen. The Left party’s Gregor Gysi described Turkey’s decision to ban German parliamentarians from visiting the strategic base as an “affront.”

Ankara has refused to allow German politicians to make what they see as a routine visit to Incirlik, saying that Berlin needs to improve its attitude toward Turkey first.

“The German Bundestag regrets very much that conditions for the continued stationing of the Bundeswehr in Incirlik are not met,” the Bundestag said in a statement. The parliament added that its members must have access to troops stationed abroad in order to fulfill its constitutional duties.

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