German Lawmakers Were Denied Visit To Turkey, Again

Photo: AP

A German delegation of lawmakers canceled their planned visit to Turkey after Ankara refused to allow them to visit Parliament or had talks with officials, tearing another hole in the architecture of an alliance between the two NATO allies.

The delegation was led by deputy speaker Claudia Roth, the loudest proponent of democracy in Turkey, and included stops in Diyarbakir and Istanbul. German parliament’s human rights committee chairman was among the delegation.

“Yesterday we received the information that it is currently not considered opportune at the very, very, very highest Turkish level to conduct political talks with the German parliamentary side in Turkey,” Ms. Roth told reporters on Wednesday.

This is not the first time Turkey refused to cooperate with a German delegation. Last month, Turkish authorities didn’t allow German lawmakers to meet with some 270 German troops stationed in Incirlik airbase.

Wednesday also marked the 100th day of the imprisonment of Deniz Yucel, a German journalist. His arrest caused friction between the two nations and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed not to release him.

Turkey’s consecutive snubs at German lawmakers leave some politicians in Europe voicing skepticism about Ankara’s importance as an ally. Earlier this month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin could move troops and jets stationed in southern Turkey to another location, such as Jordan.

The latest incident could serve as political ammunition for German politicians who increasingly call to suspend Turkey’s membership talks with the European Union.

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said the Turkish side told Berlin that the visit is not conducive due to a domestic political situation.

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