Turkey will not beg Germany to keep its troops at Incirlik: FM
Germany is free to withdraw its troops stationed at Turkey's Incirlik air base if it wants to, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on May 18.

Speaking with private broadcaster NTV, Cavusoglu said Ankara was not attempting to blackmail Berlin by preventing German lawmakers access to Incirlik, where some 250 German troops are stationed as part of the coalition against Islamic State (IS).

Turkish officials have told Reuters that such a visit by German lawmakers would not be appropriate at the moment.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen on May 17 said the German government had been evaluating possible alternatives to Incirlik for some time and was considering moving the troops to Jordan.

"If they want to leave, that is up to them," Cavusoglu said, adding Berlin should change its attitude towards Ankara.

"We are not going to beg. They were the ones who wanted to come and we helped them. If they want to go, we would say 'Goodbye'," he said.

Relations between NATO allies Germany and Turkey have deteriorated sharply after a series of diplomatic rows.

Reporter’s code: 50101

News Code: 15963  |  Date: 2017/05/18  |  Time: 16 : 49

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