Turkey blocks German official’s visit to Incirlik base
Humanitarian aid transported on board an air force Transall C-160 aircraft of the German armed forces at the Incirlik Airbase near Adana in Turkey on 15 August, 2014 (AFP/file)
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Ankara has blocked the plans of a German Defense Ministry delegation to visit German soldiers stationed at the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey.
"Turkish officials do not currently approve of the travel plans," said German Defense Ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff on Wednesday, adding that Ankara did not provide an explanation for the refusal.
The announcement was made after a report was published in German media which said German Deputy Defense Minister Ralf Brauksiepe had been planning an official visit to the base along with several German lawmakers.
Some 250 German troops are stationed at the base, along with six Tornado reconnaissance jets and a refueling plane as part of the US-led coalition allegedly battling the Daesh militant group in Syria and Iraq.
Ties between Berlin and Ankara have been strained over the last few weeks after the German parliament approved a resolution recognizing the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago as genocide.
Armenians say up to 1.5 million Armenian Christians were systematically slaughtered in eastern Turkey through mass killing, forced relocations and starvation, a process that began in 1915 and took over several years during World War I and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.
Ankara rejects the term “genocide” and says 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians, and at least as many Turks perished between 1915 and 1917, in what the Turkish government sees as the “casualties” of World War I. Only a few countries, including France and Russia, officially recognize the events as genocide.
Meanwhile, a Turkish television station has stopped broadcasting a German program, citing viewer complaints of the parliament's genocide vote.
ZDF's German-language "logo!" program had been broadcast in Turkey for nearly a decade.
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material
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