Europe

German MPs back pullout from Turkey's Incirlik airbase amid row

A technician works on a German Tornado jet at Incirlik airbase, Turkey, January 21, 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption German Tornado aircraft fly reconnaissance missions over Syria from Incirlik

Germany's parliament has approved plans to move aircraft and military personnel out of Turkey's Incirlik airbase after Turkey refused to allow visits by German MPs.

Six Tornado aircraft, a tanker plane and about 280 personnel will be relocated to Jordan's Azraq airbase.

The planes are engaged in the campaign against so-called Islamic State (IS).

The German decision comes after a long-running diplomatic row between the two Nato allies.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was furious when his ministers were prevented from campaigning in Germany, where many Turks live, for an April referendum that broadened his constitutional powers.

He accused Berlin of "Nazi-style" behaviour and reignited a dispute over the Incirlik airbase.

In May, Turkey prevented a group of German MPs from visiting Incirlik, citing as a reason Germany's decision to grant asylum to Turkish soldiers accused of taking part in last year's failed coup.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The German parliament said it regretted having to take the decision

President Erdogan has also been angered by German criticism of his crackdown following the coup attempt.

"The German Bundestag (parliament) regrets very much that conditions for the continued stationing of the Bundeswehr (armed forces) in Incirlik are not met," a parliamentary statement said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the two countries must keep talking to each other, despite their current spat.

Her critics accuse her of trying to curry favour with President Erdogan to secure Turkish help in stemming the flow of migrants into the EU.

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