Germany’s vote on Armenia issue won’t have effect on migrant deal: PM
REUTERS photoPrime Minister Binali Yıldırım has dismissed any connection between Ankara’s ongoing cooperation with the European Union over the Syrian refugee crisis and tension with Germany concerning a resolution on the killing of Anatolian Armenians during World War I.
“Our relations with Germany and the European Union are at a very good level. Particularly in recent times we have made significant progress on the issues of visa liberalization, the readmission agreement and preventing illegal migration. Turkey is not a country that blackmails, utters threats and develops plans,” Yıldırım said on June 1, at a press conference before his departure to Turkish Cyprus.
Yıldırım’s statement came on the same day technocrats from the European Commission were in Ankara to hold talks on the readmission agreement between Ankara and Brussels.
“We are committed to agreements we made until the end,” he added, referring to the recent migrant deal. “Let the European Union also stick to its promises. This is not a tribal state; the Republic of Turkey is a country with rooted state customs,” he added.
There were concerns the potential approval of a draft bill at the German parliament which labels the 1915 incidents as “genocide” would cause repercussions on a deal between Ankara and Brussels to solve the refugee problem the continent has been facing. The deal was brokered through great efforts by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who since had to step down due to a disagreement with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Therefore there were concerns that a potential worsening of Erdoğan’s relationship with Merkel would have reflections on the refugee deal as well.
Turkish diplomatic sources have also underlined that talks with Brussels will continue in their own sphere despite the fact the German parliament would adopt the draft bill.
Expert-level talks start in Ankara
One indication of Ankara’s commitment to continue to cooperate with the EU to resolve an ongoing spat over the definition of terrorism that stands as the main hurdle before granting visa waiver to Turkish citizens is the beginning of expert-level talks in Ankara.
Technocrats from both sides were due to start talks on July 2 to find a way to overcome the problem, as agreed at a meeting between Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, EU Minister Ömer Çelik and EU Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans last week.
As part of the deal, Çelik was in Brussels on June 1 to hold talks with Johannes Hahn and Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU commissioners responsible for enlargement and migration affairs, respectively.