Nobody can deny the importance of Germany when it comes to the relationship between the EU and Turkey. If Turkey's relations with the EU are to come down to a different spot, Germany will play a very important role in it. The EU-Turkey relationship, hindered by Germany in various ways, cannot provide any sort of positive development. This is a reality of the EU.
EU member states try their best to be very careful when Germany is concerned. When Germany is involved (rarely is it not involved) they feel the necessity to protect their interests. An EU without Germany has no chance to be assertive on an economical level. Regardless of how assertively France and its President Emmanuel Macron talk, without Germany by its side France can only be a paper tiger.
In relations with the EU, no matter what you do in Brussels, if you do not include Berlin your chances of succeeding will not be high.
When you meet with the officials of small EU member states who are active in international relations one of the first realities you will realize is the fact that they always feel the need to ask "what is Berlin doing," when deciding on their foreign policies.
While enmity toward Germany is rather high in Greece, every Greek citizen knows well that without Germany they would not have had the chance to come out of the economic crisis. Even if they do not admit it, it is Greece's truth that they were able to get out of "poverty" thanks to Germany.
I can expand this list. My concern is not to praise Germany. I don't have this intention nor does Germany need it. However, when it comes to the EU it is beneficial to know Germany's place.
When it comes to Turkey, certain circles within the EU can act against Turkey as much as they want, but it is not a country that should be lost for the EU. The geography Turkey is in carries critical importance for the EU.
In recent years with the refugee crisis EU citizens have realized this yet again. When it comes to fighting terror, those living in EU states capitals are able to sleep soundly because of Turkey. Thanks to Turkey's war against terror, Europe, starting with Daesh, has been saved from the threat of terror.
For the EU, Turkey is a state that is an ally which cannot be lost when it comes to security and stability. In addition, for the future, Turkey as an EU member has the potential to become a "gain" for the EU. From an economic perspective, it is also a huge market for the EU.
We can see this from the plans of Germany's auto industry giant Volkswagen. The German press is covering this openly. Turkey is by far the most attractive country for the new investments and production Volkswagen is planning for the many different brands it owns.
When compared to its rivals, with the domestic market it has, that promises hundreds of millions of euros of profits, it is attractive. As Volkswagen is planning to produce Skoda's SuperB model in addition to its Passat and many more models, Turkey's
value as a market surfaces yet again. German investments in Turkey are proof of this. For many EU brands, Turkey is a market and a production country. When the markets that would be reached from Turkey are considered, it would be beneficial to take the discussions in the EU regarding Turkey to be taken out of the mediocre level it is in.
For example, if the European Parliament is willing to provide for the EU's security and economic development it has to follow policies regarding Turkey in a far more different and constructive way than how it being done currently. For Germany, Turkey is not only Germany's domestic market or a doorway to the East; Turkey can also be a very valuable partner for Germany in Africa. The relations Turkey formed with African countries in recent years are a "win-win" for Turkey and these nations. Both sides are very pleased.
For example, there are almost no countries left in Africa where Turkey does not have an embassy. Turkish Airlines is the only airline that has regular flights to every capital in Africa. Turkish businessmen are signing giant projects in many countries in Africa. In this context, German-Turkish cooperation could be very productive for these two nations and the African nations that they will deal with. For example, Namibia as a country that has close relations with Germany also has good relations with Turkey. It is one of the most modern countries in Africa. If I were to say that the Germans going to its capital Windhoek feel as though they are in a German city it won't be wrong. In the past Namibia had suffered a lot as a colony of Germany.
However, nowadays Germany and Namibia are able to become two countries with very good relations by getting over these sufferings. German and Turkish businessman with a Namibia- Germany-Turkey cooperation could become very successful in this country as well as in its neighboring geography.
In truth, this example is possible for many other corners of Africa as well. When Africa, Germany and Turkey win, the EU will also be a winner.
Today, when many problems are continuously discussed, shouldn't we see and evaluate what is also positive?
Just as the EU cannot be without Turkey, it is also not possible to think about Turkey as being excluded from the EU. The same is also true for Germany-Turkey relations. Instead of speaking about what "could not happen," it would be more correct to support dialogue on "what can be done together." Why can't German and Turkish economic cooperation and joint investments in Africa be one of these?
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