Turkish Foreign Ministry hold talks with German ambassador amid EU row
DOHA / ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Germany's Turkey envoy Eberhard Pohl was summoned yesterday by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, after German Foreign Ministry summoned Turkish Ambassador Hüseyin Avni Karslıoğlu in Berlin. AA photoGerman Ambassador Eberhard Pohl held talks today with Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu in Ankara amid recent tensions between the two countries over Berlin's intention to halt Turkey's accession process to the EU.
During the meeting, which lasted around 1.5 hours, Ankara asked Germany to support Turkey during the EU's critical meeting on June 24, when members of the bloc will decide whether to delay Turkey's accession talks, daily Hürriyet reported. Turkey also noted that both countries' foreign ministers had called for the acceleration of the accession talks only a month ago, inquiring about the change in Berlin's posture.
According to daily Hürriyet, Ankara also expressed its unease with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's televised statements, in which she spoke about having seen "horrible images" during the Gezi Park clashes in Turkey. "In many parts of the world, the police respond with similar methods to demonstrations. But for some reason what happens in Turkey is projected very differently. The language used in the statements is disturbing," the Turkish side said.
Pohl was summoned yesterday but the meeting was postponed to today as he was out of the Turkish capital. The German Foreign Ministry had also summoned Turkish Ambassador Hüseyin Avni Karslıoğlu yesterday.
Davtoğlu meets Westerwelle in Doha
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu met his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle today on the sidelines of the "Friends of Syria" core group meeting in Doha to discuss recent tensions between the two countries. The meeting came a day after Turkey and Germany summoned each other's ambassadors.
Both foreign ministers told the press after the meeting that the atmosphere was "friendly" and as two allies they had discussed every matter.
Germany insisted last week on halting negotiations with Turkey as a response to Ankara's recent police crackdown on Gezi Park protesters as the EU was set to open talks on Chapter 22 next week, which would be the first new chapter in nearly 2.5 years. Berlin's decision has stirred a huge reaction in Ankara with EU Minister Egemen Bağış linking Berlin's move to the campaign for upcoming parliamentary elections in Germany.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had expressed their rejection of Turkey's EU membership in their electoral program.
No crisis: Turkish EU Minister
For his part, Bağış continued to tone down his rhetoric today, saying that the row over Turkey's accession process could not be described as a "crisis." "We can have different opinions on different matters. But we discuss, talk about it and resolve it at some point as two allies," Bağış told reporters in Istanbul.
He nevertheless defended his statements, which have caused much unease in Berlin. "As the chief negotiator, I am obligated to remind [the EU of] the pacta sunt servanda [agreements must be kept] principle that the chancellor always emphasizes. May no one expect me to act as the minister of the EU responsible for Turkey," he added, adding that what he said was in Turkey's best interest. "The instruction given to us by our prime minister is to stay upright. This is what we are trying to do," he said.