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Merkel Delivers Ultimatum to Erdogan Over Incirlik Airbase in Turkey


Merkel told reporters Thursday after arriving at the NATO summit in Brussels that she is set to discuss the dispute over Bundestag members' visit to the airbase in Turkey where German military is stationed.

"I will clearly indicate in the conversation with the Turkish president that, since we have a parliamentary army, members of the German Bundestag should be able to visit our soldiers. Otherwise we will have to leave Incirlik," Merkel said.

On Wednesday, when commenting on the issue, Erdogan wished Germany a "happy journey" if Berlin decides to withdraw its forces from Incirlik.

Turkey blocked a group of German lawmakers from visiting the servicemen earlier in May prompting Chancellor Angela Merkel to suggest that Berlin may consider moving some 250 troops stationed at Incirlik to one of the neighboring countries.

In 2016, Berlin prolonged until the end of 2017 the deployment of six Tornado jets and hundreds of German personnel at the airbase despite strained relations between the two countries.

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