German, Turkish ministers in talks for reconciliation efforts

German, Turkish ministers in talks for reconciliation efforts

Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
German, Turkish ministers in talks for reconciliation efforts

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke with his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel by phone late on Oct. 3, his second phone conversation with the German foreign minister since elections last week.

The parties are seeking reconciliation after months of a war of words, diplomatic sources told Hürriyet Daily News on condition of anonymity. The two will attend a UNESCO meeting in Paris on Oct. 5, bringing an opportunity for an ad hoc meeting, but there is no scheduled program.

The phone conversation between the ministers of the two NATO allies came amid tense relations between Ankara and Berlin, which heightened before the Sept. 24 German elections.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 22 that bilateral relations would “return to normal after the German election” because the Turkish government “does not have a problem with the people of Germany.”

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım sent a congratulatory letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel after her center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won the elections with 33 percent of the votes, securing a fourth consecutive term in office.

Merkel on Aug. 29 said at a press conference in Berlin that she wanted to have better relations with Turkey, but the relationship between Berlin and Ankara was currently at “a very complicated phase.”

“I would very much like having better relations, but we have to face reality… It’s a very complicated phase in our relations,” she said.

Germany demands that Turkey frees from custody a number of German journalists and rights workers, including Die Welt daily correspondent Deniz Yücel.