Chancellor Merkel to visit Ankara amid diplomatic tensions
by Daily Sabah
ANKARAJan 17, 2017 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jan 17, 2017 12:00 am
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to visit Ankara in February to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım where she will be received by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Daily Sabah has learned. According to diplomatic sources, discussions on bilateral ties, Turkey-EU relations and the fate of the agreement reached between Turkey and the EU in March 2016, that aimed to stem the flow of migrants into Europe will top Chancellor Merkel's agenda, along with diplomatic efforts in the fight against terrorism.
Despite Turkey's historical and cultural ties with Germany, relations between the two countries have soured since the German Bundestag approved a nonbinding resolution recognizing the Armenian events as "genocide" in June last year. In addition, President Erdoğan slammed Germany last November for "harboring militants" and organizations with alleged ties to the PKK terrorist organization as well as the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), which are both listed by the EU as terrorist organizations. The president also slammed Germany for supporting members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), saying: "We are concerned that Germany, a safe haven for the PKK and DHKP-C for years, has also become FETÖ's own backyard."
Germany has failed to meet Turkey's extradition requests for terrorists residing there, exacerbating strained ties between the two countries. While Ankara accuses Berlin of being reluctant to take definitive action against terrorist cells in Germany, Berlin says they fight against all terrorist organizations. From 2006 to 2016, Turkey submitted extradition requests for 136 suspects - including PKK and DHKP-C terrorists - according to the Turkish Justice Ministry's Department of International Law. Germany has only fulfilled a handful of the requests, extraditing three terrorists only, declining the requests for 110 other suspects. The formal extradition process is still ongoing in an additional 23 other cases.