Steinmeier getting used to waiting in line for Çavuşoğlu
by Daily Sabah
ANKARADec 06, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Dec 06, 2016 12:00 am
Waiting for Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is becoming a habit for German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, even when he has not requested a meeting.
A diplomatic scandal took place on Nov. 2 in Beirut during which both the Turkish and German foreign ministers were coincidentally paying a visit to Lebanon on the same day. Steinmeier was scheduled to meet with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil after Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu. However, bilateral meetings between Bassil and Çavuşoğlu took longer than expected and due to the German delegation's failure to confirm timing changes, Steinmeier had already arrived to meet with the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the time Bassil and Çavuşoğlu were holding a joint press conference. Steinmeier had to wait for Çavuşoğlu to conclude the press conference, which took nearly half an hour.
Prior to the incident, in November, Çavuşoğlu refused a call from Steinmeier twice and delayed his request to visit Turkey. "They think Germany is a superior country and expect us to be ready to pick up the phone whenever they are ready. We are not loafing around here; we also have things to do," Çavuşoğlu said on Nov. 8
Steinmeier paid his "solidarity" visit to Turkey four months after the July 15 failed coup attempt and after the visit admitted that talks with Çavuşoğlu had not been easy. "If you [Germany] want to further relations with Turkey in every area, you need to see Turkey as an equal partner, not a second-class country because we see our partners as such," Çavuşoğlu said during a news conference in Ankara with Foreign Minister Steinmeier on Nov. 15
Despite Germany officially recognizing the PKK as a terrorist organization, Turkey has criticized Germany for failing to cooperate in Turkey's battle against the PKK and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). Turkish officials said earlier that Ankara had presented more than 4,000 files to Berlin in relation to PKK activities in Germany and it had received replies to only four of them. Moreover, Germany is also becoming a safe haven for FETÖ members. On Oct. 24, German officials said that 35 Turkish diplomats and family members with suspected links to FETÖ had applied for asylum in Germany since the July 15 failed military coup attempt in Turkey.