Turkish premier tells lawmakers that recent decisions to grant coup-linked suspects asylum had harmed ties with Germany.
A recent decision by the German authorities to grant asylum to a number of Turkish ex-military personnel suspected by Ankara of having links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) has strained relations with Berlin, Turkey’s premier said on Tuesday.
Speaking during a meeting of lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in Ankara, Binali Yildirim said Berlin had to decide if it wanted to "improve relations with Turkey and to strengthen its friendly ties coming from the past”.
Numerous Turkish officials -- including military, diplomatic and civilian personnel -- were recalled from abroad by Ankara following the foiled July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey which left 249 people martyred and around 2,200 others wounded.
Several did not return to Turkey and applied instead for asylum in European countries, including Germany.
Tensions with Germany also increased this week when Ankara on turned down a request by German lawmakers to visit troops stationed in Incirlik Air Base, southern Turkey.
Diplomatic sources in Ankara confirmed that the German parliamentarians’ request was not approved by Turkey, as such a visit was considered to be “inappropriate in the current situation”.