ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Tuesday warned that Germany’s decision to grant asylum to Turks accused of participating in last year’s failed coup has further heightened tensions between the two countries.
“Germany's decision to grant asylum to putschist soldiers is an important development that will add more tension to our relations,” he said, in comments broadcast live on television during a speech in Parliament.
German officials claim 414 Turkish citizens with diplomatic passports, and other government work permits requested asylum in Germany following the attempted coup in July 2016.
The failed coup resulted in sweeping purges in the military, judiciary, and other civil institutions.
Several requests by Turkish applicants were approved according to the German Ministry of Interior.
The move prompted Turkey to deny a German parliamentary delegation access to Turkey’s Incirlik air base.
As a response, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday suggested Germany could move troops now based at the Incirlik air base to another country should Ankara persist in preventing German lawmakers from visiting the facility.
A decision on where to move the German units is likely to be made in the next few weeks, with Jordan seen as a favorite, sources from the Bundestag committee said.
Turkey has previously used the air base as a trump card against US actions in Syria, threatening to shut down the strategic anti-Islamic State operations staging theater.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany