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Germany and Turkey spar over troops

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 01:21

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 Thursday, adding Berlin should change its attitude towards Ankara. Emily Wither reports.

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Turkey says Germany needs to change its attitude, as relations between the two countries continue to deteriorate ahead of next week's NATO meeting in Brussels. The latest disagreement over German troops stationed at Turkey's Incirlik air base. German lawmakers want to visit them and Turkey says now is not a good time. The country's foreign minister says it's not attempting to blackmail Berlin and they're free to withdraw the some 250 service members stationed there as part of the coalition against Islamic State. Germany's defense minister says they've been considering possible alternatives for some time and the troops may be moved to Jordan. Relations between these key NATO allies have been deteriorating sharply after a series of diplomatic rows. Most recently, Turkey expressed anger at Germany's granting of asylum to Turks accused of participating in a failed coup last July. On Thursday, Turkey's foreign minister complained that measures by the NATO alliance to protect Turkey's airspace have so far been insufficient. This week's developments setting the stage for a strained summit in Brussels.

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Germany and Turkey spar over troops

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 01:21