Berlin Upset at Missed Chance for Dialogue After Turkey Blocks Lawmaker Visit

© Sputnik / Hikmet Durgun Incirlik Air Base
Incirlik Air Base - Sputnik International
The German Foreign Ministry regrets Turkey canceling a Bundestag lawmaker visit, which amounted to a wasted opportunity to establish a dialogue between the two countries, ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said on Wednesday.

BERLIN (Sputnik) — A group of four German lawmakers, including Bundestag'sVice President Claudia Roth, were planning to visit the Turkish cities of Ankara, Diyarbakir and Istanbul from Tuesday through Sunday to discuss the recent Turkish referendum on constitutional changes, internal Turkish developments as well as the country's relations with the European Union. The lawmakers did not plan to visit the Incirlik air base where German troops are stationed, but the trip was canceled after the Turkish side called it "impossible."

A technician works on a German Tornado jet at the NATO air base in Incirlik, Turkey. (File) - Sputnik International
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"We regret that another opportunity to establish a dialogue between lawmakers was missed," Schaefer told the briefing.

Schaefer stressed that the Foreign Ministry had made significant efforts to organize the visit, though it was clear that Ankara considered the idea "less positively." Late on Monday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry's secretary informed about canceling the visit by phone, Schaefer added.

The visit was set to be conducted amid tense relations between the two countries since Germany banned Turkish pre-referendum rallies on their soil, as well as Ankara's earlier refusal to let lawmakers from Berlin visit the Incirlik air base over what it said were concerns with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) supporters in the delegation.

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