Turkey hopes normalized relations with Germany
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that Ankara hopes to be able to patch up its strained relations with Germany, as he called for mutual steps to normalize relations.
“I don't see a reason for having problems between Germany and Turkey,” Çavuşoğlu told German magazine Der Spiegel on Oct. 7, adding that "if you go one step toward us, we’ll go two toward you."
Çavuşoğlu expressed hope that Ankara and Berlin would return to normal relations, as Germany left behind Sept. 24 elections, which was dominated by a heated debate about Turkey and Ankara’s EU membership bid.
“I have already told my friend [German Foreign Minister] Sigmar Gabriel before the elections: Let us look forward,” he said.
A multitude of issues have caused friction between the two countries, including the jailing of several Germans on terrorism-related charges in Turkey. Germany has protested the arrests as unfounded.
One of them, journalist Meşale Tolu, is going on trial next week.
Michael Roth, a German deputy foreign minister, told the Die Welt newspaper Germany remains "prepared to talk" but cannot remain silent when its citizens "are unjustly imprisoned."
Çavuşoğlu ruled out Turkish government’s political influence on the judiciary with regards to the cases involving German citizens.
“The Turkish judiciary is independent. It is not for me to sentence or acquit suspects, it is for our judges to decide,” he said.
During the interview, Çavuşoğlu said Turkey has never sought confrontation with Germany, “but only reacted to growing anti-Turkish and anti-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rhetoric” in the country.
“President Erdoğan has only responded to attacks from Germany. We will continue working together with the German federal government in a trustful manner,” he added.