Turkey expects concrete steps in security ties with Germany
Turkey and Germany will take some concrete steps in defense and security matters, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said while elaborating that the exchange of talks between him and his German counterpart Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer during their meeting in Berlin was very constructive.
Akar, who visited Berlin to hold talks with Minister Karrenbauer on Feb. 2, described the meeting as very constructive with expectations of concrete steps in defense and security in the coming days. “We have gladly concluded that we share similar views on many issues,” he told the Anadolu Agency on Feb. 3 in Budapest, where he is scheduled to meet his Hungarian counterpart.
Germany stands as Turkey’s one of the most important allies and partners at the NATO, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) as well as at the Council of Europe Akar stated, assessing that Ankara and Berlin would be able to jointly deliver more positive and constructive works within the frame drawn by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Recalling Karrenbauer’s statement on the importance of Turkey’s role within the NATO, the minister said: “In this frame, we have fulfilled, and we continue to fulfill all the duties as a NATO member. I have openly expressed to her that we are very sensitive to this end, and we are exerting all our efforts.”
On the developments concerning the eastern Mediterranean, Akar has informed that there are three mechanisms between Turkey and Greece for de-escalation and resolution of the problems.
One of them is the NATO-led de-conflicting process, Akar said, stressing that Turkish and Greek officials held eight meetings in Brussels with the expectation that they will endure.
The second mechanism is the exploratory talks, which have resumed in Istanbul between the two sides’ diplomats, Akar said, informing that the two sides’ military and defense officials are also holding a third venue for the confidence-building measures. “Two meetings were held in Athens and one in Ankara. We are ready to host the fourth meeting. We are waiting for our Greek neighbors to come Ankara for these meetings,” he suggested.
“We hope to find political and peaceful solutions to the problems between Turkey and Greece by continuing the dialogue. We are very willing to do so, and we want everybody to know that we are ready to contribute to this end,” he added.
Germany is very consistent
On Germany’s stance in regards to the Mediterranean problems, Akar said Berlin’s policy was very consistent and based on principles. “We wish that this stance will be an example to other countries at NATO and the European Union. In our meetings, Ms. Minister has reiterated that they support that the problems between Turkey and Greece should resolve through dialogue, and they pledge their help on this,” he elaborated.
On a question about the cooperation between the two countries in the field of the defense industry, Akar described the current state of cooperation as very intense as for supplying various weapon systems, spare parts to the Turkish Armed Forces. “We are waiting for positive developments in this field in the coming period.”
As suggested by Karrenbauer that talks also included some tough issues, Akar said: “It was a very casual, transparent and open exchange of views. I have shared my opinions on FETÖ, on the fact that the YPG is no different from the PKK and that the implementation of the Irini Operation has turned into a tool to punish the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord in Libya. We see Germany as a very close friend and ally, and therefore, I believe we can resolve all these problems through dialogue. And this will create very good results for Turkey, Germany, and Europe.”