On the day Turkey held its constitutional referendum, there was an interesting report on the Turkish page of the Deutsche Welle.
The report was about the German business world waiting for the outcome of the Turkish vote. The tone of the article was so grave, one would have thought the future of the German economy depended on Turkey. According to the article, the chairman of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry hopes that in the future German businessmen will be able to develop good and fair relations with Turkey like they did in the past.The report insisted that commercial relations and investments between Turkey and Germany have suffered because of last summer's coup attempt. According to the Deutsche Welle, the German business world was hoping to have a more stable and predictable Turkey in order to return to the "good old days."
It was interesting to publish such an article on the day of the referendum and talk about the good relations the two countries used to have. It was like they were trying to give a hand to the "no" voters, maybe expecting to influence the result. The Deutsche Welle was right about one thing though: The economic and financial relations between Turkey and Germany are quite profound and old. Naturally, businessmen would want the relationship between the two countries to prosper as they seek to benefit from it. This is quite understandable.
Nevertheless, German businessmen should also ask themselves why they suddenly need to worry about Turkey's political future. The report insinuated that the degradation of the relations began with the coup attempt. They could also point out the refugee crisis, but it doesn't matter. Why is the coup attempt so important to German businessmen, and why do they feel like this is a turning point for their businesses? Those who really had to worry about the coup were Turkish businessmen, because some people within their military tried to overthrow their democratically elected government and plunge their country into chaos.
Thanks to the people's resistance, the coup attempt failed and Turkish businessmen were relieved. It appears, however, that their German partners, instead of expressing solidarity with the Turkish people, have chosen to doubt the official version of events and believed the German government's version that the coup was staged. They didn't understand that the German government wasn't helping to improve relations between the two nations, in fact, it was quite the opposite.
Some people may say the German government wasn't opposed to the nation's reaction against the coup, but to the measures adopted by the Turkish government in the wake of the coup. However, this was the German politicians' choice, and if the businessmen intend to pursue economic ties, they don't need to adopt the views of their politicians. Businesspeople are very talented in finance, because they are interested in one thing only: Making a profit. Since it is obvious who governs Turkey, German businessmen would rather look for ways to improve their relationship with Turkey's current governing team.
Recent political developments in Turkey may have raised some legitimate questions about the direction the country is taking, but we must admit the German government has not helped Turkey in this difficult period. In fact, the German government has adopted a clearly anti-Turkey position over these last few months and everybody in Turkey has felt it.
If the Germans intend to heal the relations, they should take immediate action. The current Turkish government is here for the long run, and a new era has begun here. So it is up to Germany to win Turkey back.