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NATO concerned about Germany-Turkey row

NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg [File photo]
NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg [File photo]

NATO’s Secretary General spoke to the Turkish and German foreign ministers last week to urge them to resolve their differences over visits to Turkish air bases, part of a wider row between the two allies.

Germany has refused to extradite asylum seekers Turkey says were involved in last year’s coup attempt, Berlin is demanding the release of a Turkish-German journalist and Ankara has refused to let German lawmakers visit soldiers at two air bases.

German soldiers contribute to a NATO air surveillance mission at Konya, 250 km (155 miles) south of the Turkish capital Ankara, and its troops stationed at another air base, in Incirlik, have already been moved to Jordan.

NATO said Jens Stoltenberg had called German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday to ask them to settle the disputes.

Read: Turkey continues to refuse German MPs access to airbase

“We hope that Germany and Turkey are able to find a mutually acceptable date for a visit,” a NATO spokesman said.

Germany’s armed forces are under parliamentary control and Berlin says the lawmakers must have access to its soldiers.

Germany had banned some Turkish politicians from campaigning on its soil for a referendum on giving Erdogan sweeping new powers. Ankara responded by accusing Berlin of “Nazi-like” tactics and reigniting the dispute over Incirlik.

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