Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek said the worst times in Turkish-German relations have been left behind and that ties are en route to be revitalized, which will make 2018 more progressive in comparison to the tumultuous year of 2017.
"German Turkish relations are on the mend. Relations are improving after they bottomed out. The worst is behind us; 2018 is going to be a much better year, hopefully," the deputy prime minister said in an address he gave to leading Turkish and German businesspeople at an event held by the German-Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
Warming the atmosphere with his positive messages directed at long-time German businesspeople operating in Turkey, Şimşek said the hectic environment between the two countries for the past couple of years was "just a temporary breakdown."
"Let's just move on," the minister said, adding that the rollercoaster-like period "was only a bad spell."
Drawing audience's attention to the recent reciprocal attempts to mend ties, Şimşek said there have been positive signals for normalization.
You are probably aware that there have been some strong positive signals. President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan was on the phone with the German president and chancellor," he said.
Furthermore, the deputy prime minister said that "strong lower level dialogue in the past couple of months" also helped the two sides reflect better on matters.
"We are addressing some of the issues that soaked up the oxygen in our relations," he stressed.
In spite of all the pessimism that crippled relations for a long time after the July 15, 2016, coup attempt in Turkey, Şimşek said the process of repair is picking up speed.
"I am actually quite a bit optimistic that things are picking up," he said, adding that the outlook of the relations is actually "much stronger."
Following several meltdowns in the already strained ties in the recent period, Ankara and Berlin embarked on an attempt to find the "lost trust."
The German Foreign Ministry told Daily Sabah in mid-November that there were "some attempts in recent weeks to normalize bilateral relations." Plus, the German foreign ministry said that "there is a desire to stay in close contact from both sides and, step-by-step, to rebuild trust."
Şimşek, who is in charge of Turkey's economy, also did the German entrepreneurs and businesspeople justice by lauding them for not letting the strained ties get to their heads.
"The German-Turkish business community never really paid much attention to the political noise," he said, and added, "congratulations."
"Thank you for focusing on long-term fruitful partnership," the minister said.
He also added that the two countries are never to be drawn apart, saying, "Turkey and Germany are inseparably connected to each other."
As the German government announced a series of sanctions against Ankara in late July, German giants had told our paper at the time that they would not be affected and they would go on with business as usual.
While Siemens spokesman Richard Speich said that "it does not have any impact on Siemens' activities," the communications coordinator of the Leverkusen-based German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer Hans-Bernd Schmitz said that "our commitment in Turkey is long-term oriented and is not fundamentally questioned by temporary crises, as there have been several times in the past."
Ankara has been bashing Berlin for harboring terrorists, providing them safe haven and showing unwillingness to carry out extraditions, especially over the course of the last one-and-a-half years, whereas Berlin has complained about alleged human rights violations, press freedom and imprisoned German nationals.
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