Turkey–Germany relations to be normalized after German elections: AKP official
Current tense relations between Germany and Turkey will normalize after German elections to be held on Sept. 24, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chair Mehdi Eker has said.
“Germany is one of our most important trade partners and we engage in close economic relations with it. I believe that with an initiative of the German authorities, the relationship can be normalized,” Eker told reporters on Sept. 14.
He also said stated that German politicians have been using Turkey as a tool for internal politics ahead of the Sept. 24 vote.
“I think everybody is trying to profit from antagonizing Turkey. It is normal to some extent to instrumentalize such issues in internal politics but I believe it has been quite unfair on Turkey. The issue has reached a point that has become hostile to Turkey,” Eker added.
“I think that since they cannot solve their own problems, they have started to come under pressure from more radical politics in Germany, instead of uniting people in the center. Radical parties in Germany have built their campaigns on animosity to Turkey,” he added.
Ankara and Berlin have been at odds, particularly since the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. Relations became particularly tense after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would support the end of Ankara’s membership talks with the European Union in late August. The call came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged Turkish citizens in Germany not to vote for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union or other major parties in the country, calling them “enemies of Turkey.”
Berlin then announced that it has put all major arms exports to Turkey on hold on Sept. 11. Turkey’s EU minister Ömer Çelik said on Sept. 12 that the decision weakens Ankara’s fight against terrorism and makes Europe more vulnerable.
Describing the tense relations as a result of “populist policies,” Eker said “he hopes reason will prevail.”