German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said there is no link between the extradition of Turkish asylum seekers from Germany and a visit to German troops in Turkey’s Konya province by German lawmakers.
Merkel’s remarks came during the annual “Summer Interview” with the German broadcasting service ARD in Berlin on Sunday.
A total of 3,206 Turkish nationals have applied for asylum in Germany in the first six months of 2017, data from the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) have recently showed.
According to the report by BAMF, there has been an increase in the number of Turkish nationals who applied for asylum in Germany in the first six months of 2017 since a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.
After being denied a visit by Ankara last week to visit German troops serving on AWACS surveillance planes at the NATO base in Konya province due to tense relations between the two countries, Merkel said there would be no compromise and asylum applications by Turkish nationals in Germany would not be part of the political bargain since these two issues have “nothing, but nothing to do with each other.”
Underlining that any demands from the Turkish authorities concerning the asylum requests by the Turkish citizens would be turned down, Merkel said: “before we draw conclusions, we should first wait for talks and discuss these things with NATO’s help.”
Germany has begun to withdraw forces from Turkey’s İncirlik Airbase after the Turkish government denied requests from German parliamentarians to visit the troops at İncirlik.
It is said that some lawmakers are demanding a withdrawal from Konya of German troops in case Ankara does not conform.
“This whole issue is unfortunate, very unfortunate,” Merkel said on Sunday.